With a time crunch and a serious need to get breez off the ground fast, our strategy was designed with one thing in mind: the influencer. We knew that if we wanted to get Vancouver’s well-heeled crowd using the app (think a better, safer, cooler alternative to Craigslist), we had to give them someone’s lead to follow. Paired with breez creative director and influencer in her own right, Susie Wall, we engaged in a program of major influencer outreach and ambassadorship to get the breez blowing.
Knowing we didn’t want to launch on the App Store without an audience, we activated breez’s social channels (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) three weeks in advance of the official app launch. Working with a somewhat intangible product was a challenge, especially when it came to developing content for social media in advance of the official launch, so we looked to establish the brand’s culture through fashion, home, and Vancouver-based imagery cultivated from influential Instagrammers, Pinterest and other online sources. From there, we took on a program of organic follower-building and engagement, targeting our established consumer personas to ensure the audience we were building would be listening.
We tapped top Vancouver bloggers and influencers Cara McLeay of A Fashion Love Affair, Kiara Schwartz of Tobruck Ave., and Jill Lansky of The August Diaries to join the launch as official ‘breezers.’ Each created their own breez account, and listed their top pre-loved clothing, accessories and home goods for sale – essentially allowing breez users to shop their favourite bloggers’ homes and closets. From there, all three girls participated in a photoshoot helmed by photographer Brit Gill and creative directed by Susie Wall, creating vitally important content for social media use. Each breezer posted about the official launch on their own social media channels, wrote a sponsor blog post (including a unique link to track app downloads), and conducted an Instagram takeover of @breezitapp.
Working with a local videographer, we helped produce a crucial piece of the strategy: a brand video that showcased the app’s value proposition and ease of use when buying and selling online. Our team attended the shoot, and even served as actors in the final cut, which was then posted to breez’s website, social channels, and shown at the launch party on a loop.
We positioned breez’s official launch party as an opportunity to shop the closets of Vancouver’s fashion elite. Held at the brand’s ultra-hip whitewashed Trading Post in the city’s Armoury District, the event allowed guests to flip through racks of items listed on each of our breezer’s accounts, along with coveted pieces from Susie Wall’s closet. Each attendee was required to download the app on their iPhone, and provided with a hashtag to post to social: #breezit. The result was mega social media awareness: every fashionable influencer in Vancouver was talking about breez, while sipping on luscious local wines and catered comforts from Boy with a Knife.
Seeking credibility for the app beyond the influencer sphere, we then crafted and distributed a press release to Vancouver-based and national fashion, design and lifestyle media. We followed up with targeted pitches to our hit list of media outlets, securing multiple print, online and broadcast hits in the six weeks following breez’s official launch.
In just three short months, breez went from a concept to a bona fide player in the fashion, lifestyle and tech realms, counting numerous major Vancouver influencers amongst its users and curating an unbeatable selection of coveted home and fashion items for sale. Earned media coverage topped $125K in value, and included exposure in FLARE, The Vancouver Sun, and Breakfast Television, along with countless local blogs. The credibility our work created ultimately contributed to the sale of breez, which was purchased for an undisclosed sum in early 2016 – but its legacy lives on.