Rob Bridgman is the third generation of his family to go into the furniture business, but, ironically, he still bought a couch that didn’t fit through his flat’s door. Frustrated by the buying experience and long delivery times, Rob founded Snug, his own modular sofa company.
Snug makes sofas that are guaranteed to fit into any small space—and they’re delivered within a few days. Despite the fact sofas aren’t a frequent purchase, Rob was able to build a community around the brand. In fact, Snug went from selling only one sofa in its first month to becoming a $30 million business in the three years before it was acquired.
Rob says effective social media marketing and PR were the key to unlocking the company’s massive growth. Ahead are some of the tactics he used to create content around couches, and his advice for other growing brands.
1. Use a cheeky brand tone
“As a cheeky, irreverent brand, we’ve got permission to be quite bold with our marketing,” Rob says.
He believes this brand tone has allowed the company more freedom to experiment with content creation and helped it acquire more followers. Snug currently has more than 186,000 followers on Instagram.
2. Try one-to-one video chat
The COVID-19 pandemic forced Snug to get creative with how it was engaging with customers.
“We had the stores closed down, and some of our best salespeople were stuck at home. And then we had all of this demand for people that really wanted to see the product and speak to an expert,” Rob explains. “Essentially we just connected the two. We redeployed all of our retail staff onto video chat.”
The one-to-one video chats wouldn’t have been nearly as successful if Snug hadn’t built trust with consumers beforehand, however. Rob credits the company’s fast delivery times and easy returns process. “It really made that whole customer journey that much easier, which gave consumers confidence to buy online without seeing the product,” he says.
3. Enable livestream shopping
One of the best examples of Snug’s successful social media strategies was its livestreaming efforts. The company broadcast a 40-minute game show on Instagram, hosted by a comedian. During the show, the host gave away Snug sofas, and viewers could participate and win prizes. Over 30,000 people tuned in to watch—and the company had a record sales day.
“It was really the best example I’ve come across of leveraging the power of social media with great content and talent, but to drive real commercial results,” Rob says.
4. Come up with PR stunts
Snug also gained engagement from a PR stunt, where team members filmed themselves trying to get a Snug sofa into the smallest house in Great Britain. It fit, so Snug was willing to up the stakes. The company invited its audience to share pictures of their tiny spaces, and offered applicants $1,000 if they couldn’t get their Snug sofa into them—or 50% off a Snug sofa if it fit. Snug picked three winners from the heaps of pictures of tiny attics and spiral staircases.
“I’m very pleased to say that all three got the sofas in,” Rob says, “and we acquired three new customers that day as well.”
To learn more about how Snug makes its marketing entertaining, listen to Rob’s full interview on Shopify Masters.