In the age of DIY, no company is more synonymous with the trend than Brit + Co. Founded in 2011, Brit + Co is a digital media and commerce company that offers a slew of DIY projects, kits and online classes. With a reach of over 90 million per month online and across platforms, what began as a small community of creative types has grown into a massive business that is now a household name.
Francesca Bean, Brit + Co’s Director of Marketing, plays an integral role in continuing to foster the brand. With keys to success ranging from curating content to maintaining an authentic voice, Bean shared Brit + Co’s undeniable marketing tactics when chatting with TechDay.
DIY has been a prominent trend in recent years and continues find its way into mainstream culture. How was Brit + Co able to initially capitalize on this trend and how does it continue to foster it?
Creativity and DIY are at the core of everything we do at Brit + Co. Our founder and CEO, Brit Morin, launched the company in 2011 after realizing that the millennial generation loved to make and create, but had little creative confidence. Brit’s timing was key here. She saw the rise of companies Pinterest and Etsy as a revolution of sorts, spotted a gap in the market, and jumped in.
As a company, we first focused on content and building a community interested in making, and then looked at expanding into commerce. Our focus on creative content and online classes has allowed us to successfully merge media and commerce while staying true to our mission to make it easy to live a creative life. Now, we’re continuing to capitalize on the “maker movement” through products - we just launched Brit + Co for Cheeky®, a line of fun, patterned tableware exclusively available at Target, to help our community members be creative in yet another aspect of their lives.
What specific visibility and marketing strategies can you attribute to Brit + Co being truly the go-to destination for everything DIY.
Let’s be honest, it’s no secret that social media rules the publishing world. At Brit + Co, we’ve developed what we call our “go to them” strategy. Our team is structured to create unique content based on what formats and topics we know work well on a particular platform. For example, Facebook is the ideal platform for more viral content, such as celebrity and news pieces (and lots of video!). Pinterest, on the other hand, is a great place for more evergreen content -- think style, beauty and recipes. With this strategy, we’ve grown our engaged audience to over 90M online and across platforms.
Have there been any strategic partnerships that have fostered Brit + Co’s growth in terms of garnering a wider audience?
We have a number of partnerships with major social networks that have furthered our growth in a big way. The reality is that publishers can no longer rely on reaching their audience with content that only lives on their .com. In order to reach more people, we’ve developed programming strategies to reach our community on the platforms and networks where they’re consuming content (an “everywhere” approach!).
Brit + Co is one of a handful of global publishers invited to participate in exclusive content programs from Facebook (Instant Articles, Anthology), Snapchat (check out our pop-up Discover channel focused on holidays and seasonal moments) and Pinterest.
Our Brit + Co for Cheeky® line at Target was another way for us to introduce our brand to a whole new audience!
Though Brit + Co exists as an online platform, how important are face to face marketing tactics in reaching your core demographic?
Unique offline experiences are a super meaningful (and essential!) way for us to engage with our audience. These IRL (in real life) experiences support our mission to ignite creativity within our community members. One of my favorite offline events is our annual Re:Make Summit + Festival in San Francisco (we just hosted our fourth annual Re:Make last month!). We also have a holiday pop-up every year, where we invite our local community to come DIY and hang with us in person.
What is it about Brit + Co’s distinct brand “voice” and narrative that allows it to so successfully beat out competitors?
Brit + Co’s passion for creativity has allowed us to curate a unique and authentic voice (authenticity is key!). It’s our mission to inspire and enable creativity that sets us apart from others in the women’s lifestyle space. Our audience comes to us for a specific purpose - to get inspired and gain the tools to live a creative life. We’re biased, but we think our content in this realm is the best out there!
What general advice can you offer early stage founders looking to grow their audience?
Stay nimble! The ability to react to shifting industry landscapes and strategically change is crucial to growth (AND survival). Also, experimentation is integral. At Brit + Co, employees are encouraged to pursue projects they’re passionate about. This allows us to continually evolve and grow, maintaining an authentic voice and presence across platforms.
Any new innovations we can expect to see from Brit + Co in the near future?
We’ll be doubling down on all things video. We’ve grown our video team by over 50% in the past year and are excited to pilot a variety of new series. It’ll be fun to see how we can innovate within the live video streaming space as well.