How Jolie is CRUSHING Influencer Marketing
First things first: You may have seen if you are following me on social, but I have made a very substantial personal announcement this week, and I am thankful for all the support and kind words. Genuinely excited for what’s coming next.
As we head into the depths of Q4, I wanted to talk about a topic I have been studying a bit lately, as well as share a case study marking the success of taking it seriously.
UGC, otherwise known as user-generated content, has been making waves in DTC over the last few years. What started as massive celebrity endorsements for the big brands has transitioned to seeding, gifting, and influencing all across the scale.
It's the candid reviews, the unboxing excitement, and the creative endorsements from real users that are weaving authentic narratives around brands. We are now even seeing the Flip Shopping app become a FYP for reviews (my entire house is full of free stuff from Flip, lol).
This week, I’m diving into the story of Jolie, a brand that has harnessed the power of UGC and seeding to foster a community and drive insane growth in its first two years.
Jolie isn't just a brand selling filtered showerheads and subscriptions; it's a testament to the power of organic conversations in marketing.
With a strategy rooted in authentic engagement, Jolie has cultivated a community where customers are not just buyers but advocates narrating their genuine experiences.
From seeding products to influencers to building a robust subscription model, the brand's trajectory showcases a blend of authenticity and intelligent marketing that's not just about making a sale but creating a ripple of genuine endorsements in the digital realm.
I have done lots of reading on this incredible brand, as well as listened to some podcasts Ryan was on, including this one from Ron and Ash at Obvi.
Let’s hop in; there are some tips you can take from the showerhead folks to get ahead.
Before we get into it, a massive shout-out to Insense for sponsoring this week’s newsie.
Like me, you’ve probably tried various UGC and influencer marketing platforms, but Insense stands out for the following reasons:
There’s no manual outreach; creators that match your requirements apply directly to your campaigns in minutes.
You can start collaborations immediately and get UGC within 10 days.
Their brief templates make communication smooth and seamless.
With just one click, you can gain access to TikTok Spark Ads codes and Meta whitelisting connections for influencer ads.
You can build a reliable roster of your preferred creators and influencers for long-term collaborations and brand ambassadorships.
Join major eCommerce brands like Clinicalskin, Bearaby, and KOS Naturals, who use Insense as their 3-in-1 tool for UGC, influencer posting, and whitelisted ads on Meta and TikTok.
Book a free 1-2-1 strategy call by Nov 17 and get $200 for your first campaign.
I’d highly suggest you check them out.
Ryan Babenzien, the brains behind Jolie, ventured into the beauty and wellness space with a distinct vision after his successful stint with Greats, a digital native footwear brand he founded, which later sold with Steve Madden in 2019.
The inception of Jolie sprang from a personal experience - during a shower, Ryan noticed his skin feeling dry, which led him to investigate further. He discovered municipal tap water harbored chemicals detrimental to skin and hair health.
This revelation spurred a question: why hadn't shower filters been deemed a crucial element of beauty regimens? Driven to alter this narrative, Ryan established Jolie, a brand committed to purifying water for enhanced skin, hair, and overall well-being.
His vision for Jolie was clear: a profitable business model with a product that seamlessly fits into daily routines, focusing on vanity - an influential factor in consumer choices.
The shower, specifically showerheads, was his answer to these criteria. Jolie's unique proposition lies in its showerhead filter, designed to purify water, enhancing both physical appearance and well-being, thus offering a compelling product with a narrative ripe for organic conversation.
Seeding Success – Tips from Jolie's Playbook
Leverage Seeding to Spark Organic Conversations:
Jolie’s strategy of seeding products to a mixed bag of influencers showcased their deep understanding of the digital social landscape. The initiative was not just about garnering visibility but sparking authentic conversations around the brand. It did not necessarily matter who the conversations were started by.
In the first year, Ryan and the team sent out 5,000 free products to both micro and macro influencers, and they doubled this number in the second year. The focal point was not the influencer's follower count but their ability to engage and resonate with their audience. Put simply, they had to give a sh*t.
According to Ryan, many folks just asked for a free showerhead in exchange for an authentic review, and as long as it drove a sale and some organic conversation, it was well worth it.
Platforms like Insense can be instrumental in this phase, helping brands pinpoint influencers whose values align with theirs. This ensures the seeded products find the right advocates to spur organic dialogues.
Encourage Organic Conversations:
Rather than enforcing a scripted narrative, Jolie encourages influencers to share their honest experiences with the products. This approach fosters trust and ignites organic conversations around the brand.
When influencers share their genuine experiences, it resonates well with their followers, leading to a natural proliferation of user-generated content across platforms enhancing engagement.
I cannot tell you how many videos I have personally seen on TikTok that feel like organic videos about products folks love. I had no idea it was an ad, and I cannot say that for any other ad I have ever seen on that app. 🤣
Here’s one of the ads I like. It just feels organic and authentic:
Filtering your shower water helps create smoother hydrated hair, for wash days rhat last longer. 🤗🚿 #hair #hairtok #washandgo #washandgoro... See more
There are loads of unboxing videos and even a slew of “Come change my Jolie Shower filter with me” videos. Really.
Still obssesed 🚿 it’s linked in my bio #jolieshowerfilter #showerfilter #waterfilter #cleanswaps #jolieshowerhead @jolieskinco
Jolie refined the beauty routine, created a category, and opened a whole new world.
Amplify Reach Through Varied Channels:
Jolie's 'surround sound' marketing strategy underscores the significance of a multi-channel approach. They blend offline marketing efforts like deploying trucks around town, sidewalk stickers, and out-of-home advertising. Alongside online influencer collaborations, these efforts have crafted a ubiquitous brand presence.
This omnipresence was carefully orchestrated to make Jolie appear everywhere, fostering a pervasive brand narrative that resonated with the audience wherever they were.
This approach underlines the importance of leveraging varied channels to create a more robust and resonant brand narrative. It’s about creating a brand echo that reverberates through the digital and physical realms, making your brand a familiar and recurrent part of the consumer’s environment.
You go from “What is this brand and why do I need a filtered showerhead,” to “Oh, that’s the “Erewhon Showerhead.”
Diving into Jolie's playbook has been a reality check. It peels back the curtain on what’s rocking the boat in today's marketing scene. It isn’t about who shouts louder anymore but who sparks real talk around their brand.
Jolie has made it clear: throw a product into the hands of real people, let them talk about it their way, and boom—you’ve got a community buzzing about your brand.
It’s less of a ‘Hey, look at us!’ and more of a ‘Hey, what do you think?’ approach. It’s turning marketing from a monologue into a dialogue.
And the beauty of it? When people start chatting, they do the heavy lifting for you. Your brand isn’t just something they bought once—it becomes a part of their conversations, their daily routine, and if you hit the jackpot, their recommendation to friends.
That's the power of seeding and UGC. It’s not just about tossing free products and hoping for the best. It’s about picking the right folks, sparking genuine conversations, and letting the narrative build organically. It's less of a sales pitch and more of a community chat.
And the fact that 80% of their customers are on a subscription model? That’s just the cherry on top. It keeps the conversation going, making sure your brand stays in their life (and their shower) on the regular.
As we continue pushing through Q4, Jolie’s strategy is food for thought. How can we turn marketing into a two-way street, keep the chat real, and build a community in it for the long haul?
That stuff will set us apart in the crowded DTC market.
That’s it for this week!
Any topics you'd like to see me cover in the future?
Just shoot me a DM or an email!