Mustard is storage locked brand started in 2018 by the Stern sisters: Becca, who lives in Australia, and Jessica, who lives in the UK.
Since Mustard's inception, they've:
BEAM is the world's first online platform that crowdfunds for training courses and professional qualifications for homeless people - and then supports them into stable careers.
Given their success, we felt the sisters were pretty well-suited to give us some insight into how they reached their customers and made the magic happen. First, we asked Becca and Jessica how they used social media to acquire customers and grow their impressive online following. "When it comes choosing platforms, we looked to Instagram," said Becca, "it holds a lot of potential for small businesses, and it's free!"
"We've found that investing in quality photos to build your visual language and brand voice creates a cohesive image."
The sisters also felt that by connecting and communicating with their customer base online they were able to learn more about their interests and needs. "As an online business, you don't get the face-to-face feedback that you would get in a shop," explained Becca, "so we decided that Instagram would be the perfect platform for us to get that conversation going."
Building that rapport requires a two-way relationship that keeps the audience engaged. "We encourage our customers to share photos of the lockers they buy in-situ on their Instagram channels, which means our hashtag, brand, and products are popping up in their friends feed - expanding our reach and visibility."
Becca and Jessica also use Facebook's platform, as it is a relatively low-cost tool if you do the work. They recommend managing this platform in-house so that you are more responsive with your ad-spend, you can quickly try out different strategies, and you can instantly respond to demand and feedback.
The Mustard team also found that collaborating with other small brands was a great way to attract new customers. "The key is to find brands with a comparable customer base and a different offering," advised Becca, "each of you leverages your own platform to raise each others profile. We have found that when both brands are a natural fit, you create a win-win situation where you are both reaping the benefits and the added reach.
"Collaborating and cross promotion comes in different forms, like sharing posts, interviews, giveaways, and using products in photo shoots. We want our community to enjoy and benefit from our content and to build up our community of like-minded businesses."
The team also uses their blog as a tool to increase their following, and of course, get more customers. "Blogs are a great way to acquire new customers because the more content you create, the more likely it is that you will show up in search engines and drive organic traffic to your website." Jessica explained, "We find it works to tell the story of our brand, our products, and the behind-the-scenes aspects of the day-to-day running of a business for those curious to know more. Our blogs are a reference point for customers looking for more in-depth answers to their questions. Social media is excellent for short, snappy content, but we like having a medium where we can really go into a subject."
Jessica also emphasized the power of positive customer feedback. "It's so nice when customers say, 'I read in your blog post...' and we get the feedback that they got something of value from it. We want our customers to stick around and keep coming back again, knowing that they're supporting a business that they align with; our blog plays a big part in achieving that."