A couple years ago, Daniel Wellington or the word Nato Strap didn’t mean much to any fashionables. Launched in 2011, Daniel Wellington became an international sensation in the fashion watch world with huge social following especially on Instagram. They did it without noticeble investment in traditional paid media (Print, OOH, TV, etc). However, they invested strategically on digital especially on social media, riding on the trend of UGC (User Generated Content. It’s not a new concept. Burberry has done it well with artoftrend.com). The term “Nato”, originally from British Navy, is not widely used in the interchangeable straps watches world.
What’s their key to the great success? Let’s sum them up:
1. Clear and Concise Brand Story
The story began with a friendship across the world. Daniel Wellington is supposed to be a dynamic individual who has a James Bone Flair and wears his Rolex with a Nato Strap.The brand is supposed to be a tribute to the man with the same name. (Seriously, there’s never a photo of Daniel Wellington on the internet. I’m personally doubting the existence of such person.
Quoted directly from Daniel Wellington’s Official Site:
2. Clearly defined persona & Target Audience
Daniel Wellington himself is the ultimate brand ambassador – gentlemanly and refined, yet completely unpretentious. (According to Fashionbeams.com). Mr Wellington has a colorful personality and a great sense of style.
The design is simple –
- the Nato Strap
- the Leather Strap
- A Watch for all Occasions summed that up
For the modern style conscious male, but, ‘not just for men”. (How clever is that!)
3. Well-rounded visual appeal on the right platform – Instagram
Shows how watches can match with different seasons/occasions by the easy change of strap (now everyone knows the NATO strap..) the over 917K fans is a good indicator of its success. It’s definitely thew golden child of Instagram – the visually appealing platforms for the fashionables
4. Strong Word of Mouth Network
That’s actually the top secrets of their success. They seeded out thousands of watches to numerous bloggers in different sectors and offered their fans a unique/personalised 15%-20% discount code for their fans to buy the watches directly from DW’s official site (of course, they do free shipping to lower the barrier).
Benefits of Extensive Bloggers outreach
1. Credibility – they are influencers. They built up their flowering and their own brand. It’s simple endorsement. They don’t need to be all fashion bloggers, as long as they poise a lifestyle followers aspire to.
2. Content – bloggers are content generators. Content is king. This is exactly what bloggers are good at. They create very impressive photos with the watches under the hashtag #DanielWellingtonWatches. With the bloggers and key opinion leaders (KOLs) starting the trend, others follows and a social culture of taking visually appealing image with DW watches is a cool thing to do.
3. Traffic – it’s all about sales at the end of the day. With the personalised discount, bloggers are more willing to direct traffic to DW’s site and encourage their fans to purchase – internet word of mouth.
4. Quality User Generated Content (UGC)
As the led by the fashionables, a social culture of #DanielWellingtonWatches have been formed. Quality UGC is ultimate consumer engagement. #DWpickoftheday offering no incentive but featuring the photos on DW’s official Instagram has been a great way to keep the momentum going for more quality UGC. It’s a symbol of style if your photo is picked. DW won the exposure and also the heart of the consumers – double win.
6. Board & Decentralised distribution
DW is sold in over 450 points in APAC and over 35 major online stores. They ranked no. 11 in the top watch brands in terms of sales on 11.11 in 2014. Their first ever store is in LCX Hong Kong. Rumor has it. The sales is impressive as well. As for Tmall, DW does play by Tmall’s rules, offering discount, coupon, 50% off here and there, even for online activation didn’t require such deep discount.
The Key to DW’s success is their smart use of social media and bloggers outreach. Whether or not, the brand is a one time hit or could emerge to an icon in fashion watch is still unknown. They just launched a new watch Dapper. What do you think?
(I did ordered mine online using one of the bloggers’ discount code 😉 Online Shoppaholic ME)