Running a business can be a challenge, whether it is a global tech brand or a small startup from your bedroom. Add a consumer product that’s not tech, but a luxury consumer item and the challenges change, while still being difficult.
We speak to Ryan Choy, Co-founder & CEO, Faire Leather Co, about the tools he uses to manage his growing business and keep up with the increasing demand for the brand. Ryan used to be the Head of Brand and Marketing, before assuming the role of CEO earlier this year.
Ryan is also responsible for consumer engagement and being mindful and sensitive to consumer feedback to translate them into market insights and developments for the brand. He will oversee Faire Leather Co.’s progressive evolution as a lifestyle company.
Prior to joining the company, Ryan was an account executive in the advertising industry, later moving into strategic marketing and business development roles in various industries including the Head of Marketing at Quandoo SG, a global restaurant reservations platform, where he oversaw the brand’s local marketing efforts.
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Faire Leather Co is a direct-to-consumer label backed by over 30 years of experience. The company started on Kickstarter when they launched the Bond Collection in Nov 2017. They raised over $406,000 and became the most funded fashion Kickstarter in Singapore. The brand continues to grow and is expanding.
Here are the tools that Ryan uses to manage his work day.
Get your links in order with Stashally (Free)
Stashally is a link in bio website builder for brands to keep fans updated with their latest updates, links, and content. The platform is easier to update than a traditional website, and in addition to links, you can connect your socials (YouTube, Instagram, Twitter), e-commerce (shopify, shopee, Lazada), files and media for quick access in one place.
You can also create individual landing pages for various promotions, collect user-generated content and feedback, distribute promo codes (loyalty and rewards), and gather newsletter sign-ups.
The platform allows full customization for background, colours, typography and animation, so you can stay on always stay on brand in terms of design.
It provides us with accurate and efficient productivity levels. The built-in analytics also help track which popular links customers are clicking on, with a dashboard that handles well in mobile or desktop (for quick edits on the go).
While a full website always brings a central brand experience to the customer, a Stashally page is for putting the latest information and links right at their fingertips, which is important for the current gen-Z who prefer seeing everything in one place (usually starting from socials).
Facebook Closed Group for free fan engagement (Free)
This may seem like a really obvious app to use but I’m not sure how many brands actually use this function. Community building is a big part of what we do because of our roots. As a brand that was born out of Kickstarter, we try to maintain dialogue with our customers who backed us right from the start (we call them our super customers or more traditionally, VVIPs). We achieve this by creating a Facebook closed group where only customers can join the group by providing the email they used to make a purchase and the corresponding order number.
It is in this closed group that we really get up close and personal with our customers. We share prototypes, gain insights, dish out exclusive promo codes and pre-launch our big campaigns to them ahead of everyone else.
The closed groups enable free-flowing discussions that are always “live” between our customers. These discussions serve as insights or Q&As that we can answer readily and on a personal level as founders.
Klaviyo helps manage email outreach (Paid)
Email marketing is a very crucial revenue driver for us. We send them once a week, sometimes twice if there is a need to do so. Our sub size is somewhere along 12,000 globally and we’re constantly finding other ways to acquire more subs in the form of offering discounts or packing hacks specific to our products.
We create custom flows to encourage complementary sales and cross-selling – people that have our bags to buy our wallets and vice versa, or people that have not bought in a while. Geographic segmentations are also created so that we can send EDMs that are culturally relevant; Great Singapore Sale, Independence Day, 11/11, Cyber Monday etc.
We use Klaviyo as our email marketing tool. We most recently were using Mailchimp but wanted to test variations in design offerings and the difference in segmentation and automation. We are still at that stage now of feeling our way around it but current indications are that it’s a much better platform to use.
Once we’ve pre-determined custom flows and segmentation, scheduling and sending these emails are very easy for us and makes communications with our customers much faster and more accurate.
Create dialogue with customers through Typeform (Paid)
As mentioned above, discussions and dialogue with our customers remain a key feature of our design components, our web functions as well as our policies in terms of improving customer service. As a brand that’s feedback aware, we very often send out surveys asking our customers everything under the sun – what products they’d like to see next, what improvements they’d like to see on the current versions or services that we can provide to make their experience an even better one.
For a direct-to-consumer brand based in Singapore with customers from all over the world ( our key markets are in the US, Australia and the Middle East), it’s important that we use as many online alternatives to reach out to our customers.
Typeform is a very simple survey tool that allows us to stay on brand (design-wise) while being able to gain insights on the questions we seek answers for. It gives us detailed breakdowns of the percentage of people that chose a certain answer. We’re also able to structure different types of questions to achieve the most accurate answers.
It’s a faster way to communicate with customers when we need insights from demographics that are not based in Singapore. The insights we gain contribute to the positive results we have from translating them into the company’s products and services.
Calendly to manage bookings (PAID)
Our priority has always been to engage our customers in as many ways as possible. If we can’t be where they are physically, our goal is to minimally bridge that gap digitally – that’s why we created a new function for our customers to book a video session with us via Calendly. The feature is relatively easy to use. Customers are able to book an appointment via a booking system. Once that is complete, they will be sent a link for a video call where a customer representative from the brand will address their queries—whether that’s to get a closer look at the product, have the functions explained to them or understand stock availability.
This private virtual viewing service offers an exclusive option for shoppers to browse the desired item at a 360 view. To provide a seamless experience for customers, the video appointments take place in a showroom that has been recently renovated for the purpose of displaying and showcasing Faire Leather Co.’s products. The new arrangement ensures that customers are able to view and understand everything from product interiors to leather samples within one session.
Wherever possible, I try to take these video calls myself, giving customers the opportunity to hear directly from me about the brand and the processes behind each product in hopes that this will improve communication with customers and help them establish a deeper and personal relationship with the brand.
This helps with productivity because less time is spent typing back and forth via emails or our chatbot. The chance of a sale converting is also higher.