For the next in our series of PR case studies, we spoke to Sally Bowers, the co-founder of Kinnari, which creates beautiful bespoke jewellery. Kinnari allows people to customise their own jewellery using a powerful online tool, so you end up with a piece which suits your mood and personality precisely.
Sally launched the company with her partner Katie Ridd back in March after over a year working on designs and building the website. Since then they have had some enviable success, and both Pippa Middleton and Billie Piper have been spotted wearing their pieces.
I would never underestimate the power of the printed press. Having your pieces endorsed in quality magazines can help to establish it in people’s minds as a quality brand.”
Kinnari has had coverage in Vanity Fair, Hello, Grazia, Marie Claire and the Daily Mail.
At its launch it worked with a PR agency, which won some of this coverage plus some of their celebrity endorsements. It then took over its own PR, so all coverage now comes through and Katie’s own efforts and contacts.
Contacts, contacts, contacts are so important. We developed the contacts and worked on the relationships, sending in background about the company and photographs of the pieces. With the press, it is who you know.”
In some cases, they will send in samples of their pieces, and they factor free gifts into their marketing budget. However Sally emphasises that none of the coverage they have received so far has been as a result of free gifts.
With a product like jewellery, one powerful forms of marketing and public relations is celebrity endorsement. This is delicate business and is very much a case of finding a connection somehow or somewhere and asking them to approach the person on your behalf, show them the jewellery and hoping that they like it.
One key lesson Sally has learned is the difference between getting coverage in traditional print and online publications. With online publications, inquiries are instantaneous, as readers can just click straight through, whereas with printed magazines and newspapers, it takes several days for any traffic to increase on the Kinnari site.
To date, the company has nearly 3,000 fans on Facebook and over 1,200 followers on Twitter and it also uses Instagram and Pinterest.
What has been successful is getting coverage from fashion bloggers. That has brought 50% of our daily traffic. Twitter works really well with the press and we have bloggers who have found us through Twitter. We have really cultivated Facebook as it is a great way to link to customers and are fanbase, and to keep people interested in Kinnari.
We are planning to use Instagram and Pinterest more because both are visual so we should be more active on these than Facebook. We take a lot of time on our social media marketing. We make sure we have strong beautiful imagery, our overall content is varied, interesting and relevant to each platform.”
Sally and Katie blog regularly and send out a newsletter, using both to connect with their clients, and to boost their all important SEO.
We both have unique backgrounds with both gemstone expertise and being front of house at Van Cleef, so it is nice to be able to share our gemological knowledge. Sharing personal stories with our customers helps to humanise the brand.”
One of the most popular features on the Kinnari blog is its wedding feature because it is so personal. Sally and Katie talk to customers who have chose Kinnari jewellery as gifts for their bridesmaids about their wedding and share loads of photos of their big day.
There are two further strands to Kinnari’s marketing and PR activities:
Firstly, they employ a specialist company to manage a Google Adwords campaign, which provides them with an immediate return in terms of traffic.
And finally, they use networking and promotional activities to spread the word about themselves and their unique product. They are both experts in their field, so they give talks at events and they run hugely successful events and private parties, which they promote via word of mouth.
Kinnari is a young brand which is growing fast, and they’re using all the means available to them to promote their beautiful jewellery to the right market.