A new Toronto startup called BRIKA is setting out to be the online destination people go to when they are looking for well-designed handcrafted products. I know one of BRIKA's founders and have been watching from the sidelines as she went from having an idea about a company to launching it, to growing it into a flourishing business. There are a lot of things BRIKA is doing really well that I thought any marketer could take inspiration from:
Understanding how their customers buy
One of the first things that struck me about BRIKA was that they understood a really important thing about their target customer: When they buy handcrafted products they are buying into something bigger than what the product does - they are buying into the idea of a "well crafted life". So while BRIKA do have product details on their site, they spend a lot of marketing real estate on profiles of the artists who make the goods they sell, and the stories behind the products. They couldn't have figured this out without having a deep understanding of what makes their customers tick.
Having a distinct identity
Companies are made up of living, breathing people but sadly so often we see marketing that is bland and well, boring. BRIKA is not afraid to stand for something - they are all about celebrating the talent of the small-batch artisans they work with as an alternate to mass, factory producers. This mission comes through in their copy, their PR, the events they hold and the content they share on their blog.
Sweating the small stuff
If you click over to the BRIKA blog you'll see examples of all the different ways their customers experience BRIKA - from the website to the launch invitations to the packaging they use for shipping. Each has been carefully considered to deliver on their brand promise.
Telling great stories
Storytelling is something that many marketers still struggle with. Granted, it seems easier to tell a story about a beautiful shawl than a piece of software, but BRIKA knows how to weave a good tale. They capture the romanticism of buying a hand crafted product through their own stories as well as those of the people they partner with. Good storytelling draws you closer to the storyteller and leaves you wanting more.
Building a community of like-minded people
The folks at BRIKA seem to understand that people express themselves through the things they buy. And communities form around shared values. BRIKA has done their homework in knowing who else in the online space is reaching a similar audience, and has developed relationships with these bloggers and consumers through joint online promotions and face to face gatherings.