Haute House is located in Atlanta, Georgia. The company designs and develops hairstyling tools and hair care products. Charles. K, founder and CEO of Haute House began his career selling his own hairstyling tools to passers-by in the mall and was competing against businesses much larger than him at the time.
He experienced the typical roller-coaster of a startup brand successes and failures. But regardless of the countless late nights and endless hours trying to figure out his brand, three years into his business he hit rock bottom and ended up back to where he started.
But rock bottom also has a knack for providing an entirely new perspective. He hired a design firm to refresh his brand and packaging, created a pretty logo, even lower his price but nothing seems to work. Forced to re-evaluate his business, he realized he needed to take some dramatic steps to differentiate his company to dig himself out of the hole.
Haute House wanted to break from traditions to improve visibility and better reflect its vision to be the leading brand for hairstyling tools and hair care products. They also wanted to increase sales, brand recognition, and open new streams of revenue.
During our first discovery call, we found some major challenges the company is currently facing:
• Low ROI on marketing activities
• Lack of quality leads.
• Not enough sales
• Poor visibility and conversion.
• No sales automation in place.
• Brand not perceived as an expert.
• Not a trusted brand.
There’s were also a feeling within the organization to be all things to all people, that the wider the target audience, the wider the prospective customer catchment area. Cast the net as wide as possible to catch more fish.
The problem is that, especially for a smaller business, when you say you’re all things to all people, you have a lot of competition. By aiming to please everyone, the brand ended up pleasing no one. By positioning as all things to all people, the brand is viewed as a commodity and therefore was only able to compete on price with the rest of the 100+ brands that have the same positioning.
Our brand strategy for the company was quite simple, get out of the category they are not the first in, narrow the focus, niche down to a new category where they can be the best in.
In order to create that monopoly state and possibly even eliminate most of the competition and solve the organizational challenges, we first need to understand what the company’s attributes are which will help us define the positioning of the organization and the brand. Through a strategy meeting with the stakeholders, we were able to set the foundation for everything we are going to do for this brand.
When a customer chooses a product or service, they naturally gravitate toward the best in the category. In order to gain any positioning advantage over the competitors, we need to narrow the organization’s focus to the smallest viable market.
The best way to find this market is to show genuine understanding and concern for that group of people. In order to do that, we need to identify who we are talking to specifically.
The purpose of the customer persona is to focus everything the company does to a defined group of people and make all the decisions based on them.
• Use it to build product roadmaps.
• Help with aesthetic decision making.
• Build effective brand strategies.
• Build rapport with potential customers.
• Better serve the customers.
Once the team understand who they are talking to and are clear on the attitudes, opinions and beliefs of their targeted customers, they were able to study that market better, see their product through their eyes, have consistency across all efforts to avoid wasted resources, and most importantly, new ways to connect with them. This was the turning point of the company, this is when the organization got out of the race to the bottom.
Armed with clarity on the organization and the targeted market, the next step is to build the automated sales funnel architecture.
An automated sales funnel architecture is a narrative representation of every experience your customers have with the company. It shows the customer’s interactions with the organization over time and across all channels based on the customer’s perspective.
The automated sales funnel architecture help creates a personal experiences for the customer that encourage sales conversion and help the organization better identify gaps between touchpoints that are needed in order to complete a purchase.
It also helps the organization by creating an overview of the scope of work, requirements, milestones and schedule to focus on what matters the most and increase efficiency.
The benefits of a sales funnel architecture:
• Help see customer interaction.
• Focus on customer need at each stage.
• Identify if the customer journey is logical.
• Show gaps on the customer’s journey.
• Highlighting development priorities.
• Concentrate resources to increase efficiency.
Based on the brand positioning, customer persona and the sales funnel architecture we worked on, we now need to convert and visualize everything into an aesthetics form to reflect our promises and distinctions across all media in the sales funnel.
Each touchpoint in the funnel is designed to have a very specific purpose, some are focus on driving commitment to explore the brand, some are focus to drive changes, some build consensus while others resolve concerns and persuade a positive decision, etc.
They work together with the end goal of driving the customer deeper into the sales journey while resolving objections along the way to increase sales conversion.
With the sales funnel in place, it is now time to feed traffic to it. Getting cold traffic to convert into sales with paid ads is extremely difficult and is almost impossible to achieve positive ROAS. Instead of focusing on sales conversion, the paid ad’s only purpose is to drive traffic into the funnel and find the people that the brand is most relevant to.
By doing this, we will be able to collect traffic data, build our list, reach them again and track them for retargeting on cross platforms with a relatively small ad budget.
Most companies make the mistake of targeting all the traffic, the issue with that is the budget you need to be able to capture the entire segment is so big where companies usually run out of money on the campaign.
The beauty of retargeting is we are only spending our ad budget on people who are already qualified which is a much smaller audience size then cold traffic.
Once we identify who has high intent, we will use the data we collected to re-target that same person on multiple advertising platforms and audience networks.
When a brand is able to serve a variety of messages in front of someone on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Google display network, CNN, websites, free alarm apps, pretty much anywhere on the internet. It gives the brand tremendous authority and allows the targeted person to come much closer to making a favorable purchase decision.
When a brand can stay in front of the audience not only on one platform but pretty much all over and all the time, we called this achieving omnipresence. It is not about the frequency of the ads, it is about being everywhere all the time. This gives a brand unlimited influence power that can’t be achieved any other way.
The new branding and marketing strategy proved to be the most successful in sales for the company to date. Result sales hit 1.5 million in 8 short months, showing positive growth on every front and access to a new market. The results contributed to many record-breaking milestones and Charles and the team recognized that this was only the beginning of bigger things to come…