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In this community matters spotlight session we spoke to Hannah Chesney, Ecommerce Associate, and Holly Robinson, Senior Ecommerce Associate from the London-based jewelry brand, Astrid & Miyu. Read our full case study on the brand.
Founded in 2012, Astrid & Miyu has generated a turnover of £10 million and experienced 1000% growth in the last three years. And this year they have just opened their seventh physical store. We spoke to Hannah and Holly about Astrid & Miyu’s customer community and their loyalty strategies. Watch the full interview below or keep reading for the highlights.
Holly: Astrid & Miyu was started by our founder Connie Nam in 2012. Pretty quickly the brand blew up on Instagram by building personal relationships with influencers and our customers. Nine years later we still have a passionate bond with our customers and we try to include them in everything we do.
We hold focus groups and Instagram or email polls. We also have a few staff members that mentor and guide students and businesses. I think consumers can really see when a brand is authentic and we view ourselves as more than just a jewelry brand. We’re a movement.
As a brand we like to talk about topics that are close to our hearts, and our customer’s hearts, such as the Black Lives Matter movement or the London Pride Festival. Our customers are a diverse bunch of beautiful people and we try to remain as inclusive as possible.
Hannah: Our marketing was focused on escapism. We wanted our community to feel that Astrid & Miyu supported them when they were anxious or isolated. Our jewelry was a way of escaping those feelings.
We wanted to be relatable and offer helpful advice to our customers about what they could do during this time. We posted self-care checklists, work-from-home guides, and book recommendations.
Staying relatable is really important. We posted content of our staff working from home to show that everyone was in the same boat. Instead of having fancy campaign shoots, we posted self-shot imagery at home with chilled stylings so that customers could envision themselves wearing it in a homely setting.
As Holly mentioned, we launched our Business Accelerator Program and Student Accelerator Program during the first lockdown. Our founder Connie, plus the managers and heads of departments came together to tutor BAME students and black-owned businesses to offer advice and support. I think that shows we’re not just a jewelry brand. We have strong brand values and we want to make a change.
We also work with a few charities. Namely, The Baytree Centre and Med Supply Drive. During Cyber Week we donated a percentage of sales to The Baytree Centre. And for Med Supply Drive we donated any PPE we had in the stores. I think this makes our customers feel like they’re doing something good while shopping with us and that they’re part of a community contributing to good causes.
Hannah: Our community hub has two sections. One is for styling, including “How to Wear”, new jewelry collections, and gift guides. The other is for more brand focussed content such as charity partnerships, our Business Accelerator Program, and our podcast.
Whenever we have a new collection we’ll do a content piece. For example, for our Serene Collection, we published content pieces a few days before launch, and then marketing channels pushed it out to build hype and encourage user sign-ups.
Other styling content includes “Six Ways to Wear Chunky Chains” and a “Jewellery Gift Guide”. These are more revenue-driven. We get help from our SEO agency to make sure they are optimized so people can find them organically. The main aim is to provide helpful advice and inspiration for our customers on how to stack and style our pieces.
Brand-related content is there to showcase our values as a company. We can show off our charity work and other initiatives. We also have a lot of content focused on business, such as how we are female-founded and how we are helping other people succeed in business.
For International Women’s Day, we listed some of our favorite female-founded brands. Additionally, our podcast speaks to women in business and to people who are advocates of many aspects we’re passionate about as a brand such as racial diversity, body positivity, skin positivity, and more. We want to be more than just a jewelry brand. I think now more than ever people are conscious about what they’re wearing. So they want to make sure that a brand is dedicated to good causes. That’s something that we take a lot of pride in. Having a community hub, where we display all this information, makes it as easy as possible for customers to learn.
Holly: I think one of the reasons we’ve been so successful is because we’ve continued the conversation with our customer community. We value their feedback whether it’s about our in-store services or the quality or design of our jewelry.
As I mentioned before, we hold online focus groups twice a year with customers. And we constantly receive feedback through reviews and customer service.
2020 was a real learning curve for all of us. As shopping shifted more online we made sure we didn’t lose that relationship between us and our customers. So we launched Digital Styling which replicates the personal experience that we’re known for in our stores. We also continued our mentorship programs and podcasts. We want to remain open and honest because we’re really all in this together.
This year we’ve got some really exciting things coming up. We’ve redesigned our loyalty program and I can’t wait to launch that. And we’ll also be popping up somewhere in Europe, so definitely keep an eye out!
Check out our Community Matters report to learn more about the customer community personas and how you can build an exciting community.