One of the most downloaded episodes last season was Brand Authenticity, Selling Direct to Consumer and Gaining PR Traction [Physical Product Podcast EP:02] with Scott Gabrielson, founder of Oliver Cabell. A minimalist high-end bag and accessories company.
On this episode, I bring Scott again to share the progress of his brand. What really initially impressed me was not only Oliver Cabell’s very well designed Italian made products but the execution of the media – both mainstream and social. It was right on point; with coverage on Fast Company, Cool Hunting and GQ. Scott had a lot to say on how to rapidly grow an email database.
Oliver Cabell has made another milestone; with recent funding from an angel investor to the tune of $1.2m, they are expanding beyond high-end bags into footwear (sneakers to be specific).
So on this episode, Scott shares how he was able to attract investment and how he intends to uniquely launch designs on a weekly basis rather than seasonal.
It was a really interesting discussion with sprinkles of anecdotes on how to build and grow a luxury fashion brand.
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The company started off making small and travel luxury bags. Scott chose not to go into suitcases since most of the brands known for making quality suitcases were based in Asia while he makes his products in Europe. He spent time learning and understanding more about leather, and this has contributed to their shoe collection.
Their collection is unisex although there will be some male and female specific designs.
The Oliver Cabell customer is one who is digitally native and mainly based in large cities. They understand what they need and know the brand they wear. They know that they will get high-quality sneakers that come in creative designs.
The company wants to make high-quality sneakers that are available at affordable prices. The cost of the collection will range between US$170 – 210.
Most of their customers are repeat purchasers which has helped them generate a significant share of revenue. They market their product through micro-influencers and not celebrities. According to Scott, influencers have higher engagements and have an authentic voice. Influencers are people who genuinely like the brand, and you can associate with.
The company relies on the press, social media and email to market their brand and tell their story.
The biggest challenge experienced when it comes to email marketing is having too much information in the email that overwhelms the reader. Instead of putting everything in the email, the company gives a glimpse of the message they intend to give and directs the reader to the website which is the main aim of any form of marketing.
The product is set to launch on November 14. However, they will be telling their story through their main platforms. In early October, they will be sending emails to their subscribers giving them the story behind their sneaker collection.
They have a referral program as part of their marketing campaign where customers get several rewards when they refer others. The rewards range from seeing the product to getting discounts on the sneakers.
They will be unveiling new styles weekly. The different styles will be available for limited times which will create a scarcity feel encouraging customers purchase them before they are sold out. They will be dealing directly with their customers and not through other channels. This will help them control how the message is relayed to the customers. They will use a transparent pricing model.
They went live, and an entrepreneur approached them and said that he wanted to invest in the company. The investor had read an article that talked about the company. He was impressed with the company goals and strategy that they wanted to implement. The entrepreneur has also invested in several business startups and plays an active role in the business. In Oliver Cabell, he is an active strategist who has proved to be an asset to the company.
Scott says that they plan on building a long-term company. They do not want to have a company that will go out of business once the investor funds run out. Instead, they want to build the brand and generate income at the same time. Eventually, the company can turn into a multi-billion company but currently, they want to make it a solid company.
02:47 The Oliver Cabell brand
06:22 Their customers
09:19 The cost of their collection
09:19 The marketing plan
17:44 About email marketing
19:25 The product launch strategy
25:07 Raising funds
32:40 Future Plans