Personal Experience – I collaborated with Mejuri!!!
As an active user on Instagram, I was flattered that Mejuri (a Toronto-based jewelry store) has invited me to join in their influencer partnership campaign. They have sent a couple of emails to me every time when they launched a new product, asking me if I would like to promote their products on my Instagram through IG story or content post. Since 2019, I started to get in touch with this brand and collaborated with them in several campaigns including Black Friday Promotion, March Pearls Launch etc. After a long-term partnership, I became more addicted to their products and their philosophy delivered, so I even introduce this brand to my friends and on my other social media channels.
Mejuri as a newly established jewelry brand is growing fast and has attracted its target audience through its exceptional digital marketing strategies. The company conveys a new concept to position its products: fine jewelry for every day. Unlike the traditional model, the business has adopted the digital-first approach which optimises its digital presence to achieve sales growth.
Let’s take a look at which key strategy decisions that Mejuri has considered when initiating their strategies.
1.Market and Product Development Strategy
As one of the marketing mix, it is important that online businesses should identify its target market (existing markets and potential markets) and then develop product strategies through different stages. This is the fundamental step to build up own value position that is competitive to other competitors and understand what customers may want from your delivered products.
Mejuri used a market penetration strategy for its existing products. The philosophy of the company determines that unlike traditional luxury brands they offer relatively lower price jewelry to achieve an occasional purchase, which improves customer value through increasing purchase and usage frequency. In terms of customer loyalty improvement, Mejuri engaged user-generated content mixed with its own campaigns, allowing consumers to tag Mejuri on social media platforms and share their experiences while wearing the jewelry (Karin 2020). This strategy helps the business to somehow enhance customer loyalty as social media posts or comments have a significant influence on the company’s brand building. I became more trusted and believe that Mejuri did provide high-quality products after browsing those aesthetic posts shared by Instagram users. And it is shown that 40% of Mejuri’s revenue is from repeat consumers (Elizabeth 2016).
When it comes to new products launch, Mejuri cast aside seasonal collections approach, instead, they created weekly editions every Monday to launch two to five new pieces (Elizabeth 2016). Besides, the company created waitlists, meaning that consumers can sign up for launches to get early access via email or SMS (Elizabeth 2016). This is important particularly for online businesses as it can add value to not only its brand but its products, consumers are always more willing to purchase the pre-launched products and enjoy the premium experience.
2.Business and Revenue Models Strategy
This is important when online businesses hit a wall at generating profits, which means that they need to consider alternative revenue models not only focusing on transactional base but subscription base. And for online retailers, they should also consider a mix of on and offline transactions.
The basic business model Mejuri adopted is direct-to-consumer (B2C). Centered on its customer-first ethos that delivers heightened digital functionality, Mejuri sells fine and seem-fine jewelry with relatively low prices (Elizabeth 2016).
In terms of revenue models, Mejuri first adopted web sales which is another form of transactional revenue model to generate traffic, customer conversion rate. This is the popular form that most online retailers use allowing customers to purchase their products via a web search.
Later in 2018, Mejuri opened its first pop-up store in Toronto called The Vault. The focus of this store is not about transactional base but more about hospitality and relationship building, and building brand awareness and customer loyalty in the context that fits into Instagram and influencers (Katie 2019). This may not directly generate revenue for the business, however, the pop-up store helps new online businesses edge into brick-and-mortar for the first time, identify values when testing new markets, and build personal relationships with customers, which indirectly boost online sales (Katie 2019).
3.Targeting Market, Positioning and Differentiation Strategy
These are the necessary decision-making approaches for online marketers when precisely target their potential and current markets. Without appropriately segmenting your market, online businesses may go into a failure no matter how many resources have been invested in. And if online marketers could not identify proposition and create unique value for each segment, it is hard to attract customers and retain them in the long-term. Before implementing any strategy, ask these questions first: ‘who is your target customer (target market)?, why do they purchase your products instead of other competitors (differentiation)? and what do they do with your products (positioning)?’
Unlike traditional luxury jewelry brands, Mejuri maintains its mission on fine jewelry every day and the company believes that luxury should be accessible, fun, and part of your every day (Cassidy 2019). Keeping its promise, the company is targeting consumers especially women and young people who want to buy good quality jewelry regularly for themselves at an affordable price, which is different from the traditional concept i.e. buying jewelry only for gifting.
Apart from this, Mejuri also fills a unique niche. Many young people are interested in ethical and sustainable living particularly during COVID-19, and the company who is committed to high manufacturing standards and quality materials targets this group of people and develops a brand proposition in their minds. On its website, they demonstrated the use of enduring materials from metals to chains, set with genuine gemstones and ethically sourced diamonds (Mejuri 2020).
4.Customer Engagement and Social Media Strategy
For a new online retail business during the introduction stage, a simple interactive website and social media engagement may be required. However, in order to achieve target sales in the long run, fully interactive site and marketing automation providing relationship marketing with customers are necessary.
According to an interview with the co-founder of Mejuri, she mentioned that she believed in the power of testimonials, transparency and feedback, and customer happiness as well as further encouraging open dialogue and conversation (Elizabeth 2016). Until now, Mejuri has more than 820,000 followers on Instagram, the company said that their Instagram is a living, breathing feedback and discussion board for their team and community (Elizabeth 2016). Their digital adaptations enable the company to work more closely with its customers and interact with them regularly. And Mejuri’s social media account focuses on user-generated content which can provide more authentic feedback.
Another common tactic most online retailers implement nowadays is selling products directly through the Instagram platform. Mejuri followed the same pace, generating profits via social media platforms.
Apart from the above-mentioned social media strategies, SEO (search engine optimisation) can help businesses generate traffic and enhance brand exposure. I used to work in a real-estate development company called Country Garden Australia, we have leveraged an SEO online marketing campaign when we rebranded our company. It was quite challenging and may involve any PR issues during rebranding, however, I have to say that the SEO campaign is helpful for the company to enhance its brand image and reach a broader audience. When you search ‘Risland Australia’ on Google, you can see the website listed on the top that directs you to the page ‘Risland Australia Brand Announcement’ followed by its LinkedIn and positive news regarding how the company responded COVID-19. From a psychological perspective, these positive information can somehow establish a reputable brand image for the company.
5.Multichannel Distribution Strategy
This refers to how businesses use different social media platforms to target different market segments, which may not seem to be significant for a newly established online business as sometimes many companies focus on one particular distribution channel to promote and deliver their products. Later during the growth stage, marketers may need to consider expanding its distribution channels to enlarge its customer base and increase its brand exposure.
Mejuri mainly focused on virtual/online channels to sell their jewelry including Instagram, website, email subscription, as their primary strategy is based on a digital-first approach. The company achieved a sales growth at nearly 500% because of its robust social strategy that optimises its digital presence as a customer dialogue with smartphone-centric communication (Elizabeth 2016).
During the growth stage, Mejuri opened its first physical store as part of its multichannel retail strategy. The aim of the pop-up stores was not driving sales but it tended to boost online sales as this provided a platform to engage influencers, sponsors, and VIP customers to communicate and actively interact. Building such a dialogue among existing customers helps to enhance its brand awareness and customer loyalty.
6.Online Communications Mix and Budget
New online businesses must consider budget aspects when making any marketing strategy decisions during the product lifecycle. Without great control over your budget, any strategy may not be profitable as expected. Besides, while determining any kind of online communication techniques, marketers also need to decide whether their primary purpose is customer acquisition, retention, or relationship building.
The online communication techniques Mejuri adopted include influencer campaigns, online ads, and email marketing. They all increase brand exposure and generate traffic for the company’s website. As mentioned in the previous personal experience, Mejuri entered into an influencer campaign with me requiring me to post at least one Instagram story and post within the timeframe. Besides, they provided me with a discount code to share with my followers. By doing this, the company is trying to expand its online presence through influencers and generate sales via consumers’ use of the discount code. From my perspective, I think why the company is targeting me as their influencer is not because of my followers (just a small number of followers on Instagram), but it is because of my engagement with the audience. Therefore, I think when the online retailers are looking for an influencer, they should consider whether he/she is good at content creating and actively engaging with others.
Mejuri also invested in the Instagram business promotion campaign, which allows the sponsored ads to pop up on the Instagram page. This kind of strategy may be costly, but it can somehow increase brand exposure and generate traffic.
7.Organisational Capabilities and Governance
This decision element helps the businesses to review and examine their internal capabilities, which is supportive of the above-mentioned aspects. The 7-s framework (structure, systems, style, staff, skills, strategy, shared values) determines whether the businesses acquire sufficient resources in implementing strategies and can achieve the ultimate goal.
Back to the Mejuri case, the company is constantly focusing on its internal tone of voice: Mejuri is your friend who is having fun with you, who knows more about jewelry. We’re not above you, we’re with you (Karin 2020). And it is said that they do not need too many guidelines when they hired staff who believe in the mission of the company (Karin 2020). This reflects a strong corporate culture and consistency within the organisation.
Elizabeth, D 2016, ‘Jewelry Brand Mejuri Takes Millennial Business Approach for Big Payoffs’, Dash Ventures, viewed 31 August 2020, <http://dashventures.com/press/jewelry-brand-mejuri-takes-millennial-business-approach-for-big-payoffs/>
Karin, E 2020, ‘Mejuri: A Masterclass In Disrupting The Jewelry Industry, On A Global Scale’, Forbes, 8 May, viewed 31 August 2020, <https://www.forbes.com/sites/karineldor/2020/05/08/mejuri-a-masterclass-in-disrupting-the-jewelry-industry-on-a-global-scale/#183f934f2c59>
Katie, R 2019, ‘How Mejuri is using pop-up stores as part of a multichannel retail strategy’, Glossy, viewed 31 August 2020, <https://www.glossy.co/fashion/how-mejuri-is-using-pop-up-stores-as-part-of-a-multichannel-retail-strategy>
Mejuri 2020, Mejuri Inc, Canada, viewed 31 August 2020, <https://mejuri.com/materials>