Although the company had a presence on social media before the pandemic, its potential was not being reached. The team were using Instagram TV to good effect, with Jo getting in front of the camera to display new products and add her voice to the brand, however, whilst Peter lauded this as good marketing, he wondered why it was not being broadcasted to a wider audience. “The Instagram content was excellent,” Peter explains, “but it needed to be shared via multiple channels to make it work as hard as it possibly could.”
The team heeded this advice and began sharing their content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. By consistently being present in that content, Jo and her team projected the image that real people were behind the Black White Denim brand, which she says has proved to be astronomical in affecting the business’ fortunes. “Keeping the personality of the brand front and centre is what made a difference to us thriving rather than just surviving; I still have customers telling me how much they enjoy our videos!”
The Need to Relate
The next area to look at was brand relatability, which is still a hot topic, particularly in the world of fashion. Peter realised that Black White Denim’s target audience would be unlikely to identify with a lot of the photography on the website. The solution to this issue was to take their own photographs, particularly for items that came with more extravagant stock imagery.
To compound this positive effect on relatability, Jo and her team actually hired their own model. “We now have an in-house model,” she explains, “and people have commented on the fact that they can relate to her. You know, she’s a size 10 or 12, she’s got shape, and our audience really enjoy seeing that.” Customers became more able to see themselves in the clothing that Black White Denim was selling, which made them more inclined to buy those items, and enhanced sales.
Help with SEO
The final aspect of Black White Denim’s online profile that Peter and Jo concentrated on improving was SEO rating, which, when their relationship began, was not something she had really considered. Given the complexity of SEO and how much specialist knowledge is required to understand it, this was the most difficult change to implement using the company’s existing resources.
Peter explained that, whilst it is possible for SMEs to create Google Ad campaigns, adjust their site, and such the like themselves, it is very difficult to achieve a noticeable, long-lasting improvement on their search rankings. Consequently, Peter recommends seeking external expertise, as many SMEs do with his current business, WSI Digital Advisors. “We listen to businesses, explore what they already do, and determine their appetite for possible strategies. We then create a plan to boost their visibility to Google and other search engines to create more revenue for their business online.”
Strength in Adversity
Although Joanna’s 121 sessions with Peter acted as the catalyst for change, Peter was keen to emphasise that she had identified many of those changes herself already. Perhaps what she was missing was simply the confidence to implement those ideas. “In terms of my involvement,” Peter explains, “it was primarily to help Jo talk through what she wanted to do and to validate her ideas.”
The last 14 months have been an epic journey for the Black White Denim brand, which is now on an exciting upwards trajectory. The fact that Jo and her team managed to turn a profit in a year plagued by the pandemic is testament to this and, perhaps most significantly, Black White Denim has taken the bold step to move to a new premises in the last few months, and this time, they own it.