Cut away the fat for a D2C e-commerce clothing brand.
Blade & Blue, a D2C men’s fashion brand, running on Shopify was seeking growth. From 2013 to 2016, the brand grew steadily by creating a great product. They came to us in 2018, initially to take over management of their Facebook campaigns, but we saw bigger growth opportunities.
Speaking to the customer at the stage they’re at rather than the stage you hope they’re at can dramatically improve performance. Digging into the data and listening to customer feedback helped us identify the real customer journey, leading to optimizations that allowed us to cut ad spend but still drive more revenue.
We first started by optimizing behind the scenes. Facebook appeared to be the primary revenue driver, however very few buying journeys are a single click on an ad and then a purchase. By understanding the technology at play, we discovered Facebook was inaccurately claiming credit for conversions. Some customers were converting with their first Facebook ad click but most weren’t.
Armed with a more holistic view of the buyer journey, we made small, ongoing changes across Blade + Blue’s site, social presence, and email strategy with big impact. By really understanding why loyal customers loved the brand and the role each channel plays in the broader marketing effort, we were able to reduce friction to purchase for new customers.
The right message at the right time makes all the difference.
2020: Shifting strategies For Covid-19
In 2020, COVID-19 began and for a period, everybody quit buying everything. Not only did sales plummet 60% practically overnight, but supply chains were interrupted, making it challenging to source…anything really.
As PPE became harder to come by, customers started asking if Blade + Blue sold masks. We didn’t want to exploit the situation, but there was an opportunity to meet our customers’ need. In less than a month, we quickly spun up an advertising plan while Blade and Blue worked with the factory on mask production using excess material.
At the same time, advertisers began hoarding PPE and and charging exorbitant prices. Google and Facebook quickly shifted their guidelines to ban all mask ads, meaning we needed to shift quickly, too.
We tested various ideas, including influencer marketing, but none were as effective as the ads. Through creative messaging and video tactics, we were able to communicate that we had masks without violating platform rules against PPE advertising. This allowed us to more than replace lost revenue with mask sales.
2021: Turning reactive buyers into long-term customers
As lockdowns started lifting in 2021, and mask sales ended, we anticipated a drop off in revenue. We maintained a long term view and only marketed to audiences that we thought may also buy our clothes. Our strategic decisions and nimble execution helped to convert many of those mask buyers into long term customers.
By treating Blade + Blue like our own business. We worked closely with Peter to meet every challenge. In 3 years (excluding mask sales), we made significant improvements to the business together:
• 405% ROAS
• 65% revenue growth
• 71% increase in conversion rates
• 74% increase in orders
• 18% CAGR