In 1997 Pierre Hermé (@pierrehermeofficial) had a big idea: to push beyond the typical patisserie experience and create a luxury brand. “We adopted an original approach that has revolutionized the traditions of the craft: banishing excessive decorations and using
sugar like salt—as a seasoning to bring out other subtle flavors,” says founder Pierre Hermé.
Today, sweet lovers continually line up for a chance to taste the world-famous pastries, and of course, share each bite on Instagram. “We try to focus on the emotional relationship we have with our customers,” Pierre says. “This is why we share our community’s content so much, our customers and us are life partners.” When the patisserie isn’t sharing UGC, they find inspiration from the universe of tastes, sensations, and most importantly, the pleasures at Pierre Hermé Paris. “Treat yourself first by publishing the content you’d like to see and let the magic happen!”
📷 by @pierrehermeofficial
“We reached out to our network who were in the creative community and pulled them in to help us develop these classes together,” says David Knight, co-founder of Workshop (@workshopsf). Together with Kelly Malone, the #founders started their unique DIY art school whose teachers are composed of other local makers and designers.
In preparation for the busy holiday season, Workshop teases out its holiday-themed classes on Instagram—from making classic wreaths to scented candles. Workshop also shares photos during classes, while taking cues from their student's own posts on Instagram. “We learn a tremendous amount from what our students are posting on Instagram,” David says. “It's like we get to work together because they're excited to show off what they did in class and we're excited to show folks they can do it too.”
Next Saturday, we're sharing more small business #founders and the ways they're tackling the busy shopping season.
“We’ve found that our community enjoys any content that allows them a close-up or behind-the-scenes look,” says Fashion and Textile Museum (@fashiontextilemuseum) Head Curator, Dennis Nothdruft. Situated in the heart of fashionable Bermondsey Village, the museum aims to do more than display items relating to fashion and textile design, but to offer inspiration to a new generation of creatives. On Instagram, sharing inspiration can take many forms, but one consistent theme is it has to feel personal. “Offer your followers a look backstage,” Dennis says. “For us, this means exclusive insight into an exhibition or garment, but as long as it’s something personal that lets your followers know you value them.”
📷 by @fashiontextilemuseum
“We want to create an open dialogue about our brand and business model with our customers,” says Italic (@italic) founder and CEO, Jeremy Cai. For Italic, transparency is at the core of their business. The fashion brand sells luxury goods without the brand label. And for many people that model feels too good to be true. “We use stories as a way to share the narrative behind our unique business model,” Jeremy says. “Original content from customers has proven to be a powerful way to build trust with potential customers who are still on the fence.”
📷 by @italic
“We’re not on Instagram for the likes,” says Shea Brand (@sheabrand) co-founder Krystal Vaquerano. “We love Instagram because it provides us with an opportunity to teach our customers and get them involved in the values that are so important to us.” On Instagram, the self-care brand preaches the importance of natural ingredients and what it means to be a sustainable business. It’s all in an effort to build an ethical and empowering community. “When it comes to empowerment, we focus on using our platform as a way to showcase people’s stories. It’s important to remind our audience (and us too!) to practice self-love and compassion.”
📷 by @sheabrand
“We believe that to create a long-lasting, meaningful brand, it’s critical for us to do far more than simply promote our products,” says Sierra Tishgart, co-founder of Great Jones (@greatjones). “There are over 100 million accounts on Instagram, we always ask ourselves, why should someone follow us?” The cookware brand keeps their content fresh on Instagram by prioritizing new ideas that highlight everything the company is cooking up. “Earning followers is great, but it's not the same as retaining them,” Sierra says. “We do this by trying new ideas—if we only posted overhead cooking shots, people would likely tire of us quickly.”
📷 by @greatjones
“The Creative Team, and specifically our full-time photographer is capturing images all day,” says Purple Carrot (@purplecarrotxo) Content Director, Jules Lemire. Purple Carrot started with just a seed: encourage people to eat more plants for their health and the health of the planet. Today, that idea has grown into a lifestyle—a lifestyle that starts with their employees. “When creating content, we like to get everyone at Purple Carrot involved,” Jules says. “Whether through a photoshoot or Instagram story, it’s really fun for our audience to see behind the scenes.”
📷 by @purplecarrotxo
This week we were in Istanbul, Turkey for Brand Week 2019 (@brandweekistanbul). We went on stage with brands, creators and influencers from across Turkey that are using Instagram to inspire and engage their audiences. And spent time with local businesses in a series of workshops sharing the latest tips and tools for success. See more from Brand Week, on our story now.
“We’ve used [Instagram] to build a tight, loyal customer base who is fully invested in our journey,” says Ali Bonar, CEO and co-founder of Kween (@kweenandco). “Never before have customers been able to get as ‘close’ to businesses as they can now—they’re able to see the behind the scenes, challenges and wins, etc. It creates a loyal customer who is a part of our journey.” The food and wellness brand use Instagram to spread the word about granola butter, the world’s first spreadable granola. Kween likes to feature the silky texture of Granola Butter in posts, but their real secret recipe is building personal relationships with their community. “Kween Foods isn't just a company, it's a community. And Instagram helps us grow it.”
📷 by @kweenandco
“Instagram has had a huge impact on building a recognizable brand image for us,” says Millican (@homeofmillican) Marketing Manager, Stephanie Bradshaw. “[It's] allowing us to be clear with our aims and principles as a business, which allows authentic conversations within our community.” Millican designs their sustainable bags for conscious travellers in the English Lake District. The lush surroundings embody their continual commitment to exploration and keep their values connected with a community of travellers that span the globe. “We’re lucky to have a community who get excited when they see someone else out and about with a Millican bag on,” she says. “They feel an immediate connection because they know that they must share a certain amount of interests and values of sustainability with that person.”
📷 by @homeofmillican
The fashion industry is built on change. Just ask clothing brand Bird (@birdbrooklyn). In 20 years, the company has seen a lot of trends come and go. But among them all, Bird has managed to stay connected by remaining true to the brand. “Be open, stay curious and always be willing to try something new,” says founder, Jen Mankins. It’s a belief they practice on Instagram where they like to feature bold looks. “We think an outfit is more interesting when it enhances what the wearer has to say and provide opportunities for expression by curating the most unique, beautiful and intelligent designs from around the world.”
📷 by @birdbrooklyn
Framebridge (@framebridge) was founded with the mission to provide an easy and delightful way to custom frame. But along the way they noticed something even bigger—helping people tell their most personal stories. “[On Instagram], our favorite thing to feature is customer content—those unforgettable stories hanging on their walls,” says Robin Doody, Social Media Producer. While Instagram plays a big part sharing these stories, they also use Instagram to drive business success. “Ads featuring UGC and leveraging Instagram specific elements like stickers or native fonts have driven engagement upwards of 30% higher than similar ads without this approach.”
📷 by @housesevendesign, @ralphtheminicockapoo, @jointhebandd