Here at IDG Advertising, we’re always excited to see how new brands are utilizing the digital space to grow their company and explore innovative marketing techniques. That’s why each month, we highlight one brand that we think is doing just that and uses digital marketing to the fullest. This month’s Social Spotlight goes to Blvck Paris for its ability to turn an Instagram following into a substantial and consistent revenue stream.
What is Blvck?
Founded in 2017 by entrepreneurs Julian O’hayon, 28, and Thomas Johnston, 20, Blvck Paris is a luxury streetwear brand that has earned a cult online following. This following of just under 500,000 on Instagram has earned the company $1 million in annual revenue, and the company has already turned a profit. With no employees other than the owners, Blvck is an intriguing example of a nonemployer firm finding ground in an ultra-competitive industry thanks to the power of social media.
How did we discover Blvck?
Like almost all of Blvck’s following, we discovered the company through their Instagram, @Black. Their posts are incredibly popular on the platform, so they regularly appear on the Instagram Explore page for hundreds of thousands of users. This online success has translated to the traditional fashion world as well; Blvck collaborated with Hugo Boss on a premium office accessories line in 2018, allowing them to expand their following outside of active social media users.
How well does Blvck know their audience?
Blvck’s audience is primarily made up of young adult men. Blvck clearly caters to this demographic through its product offerings as well as its social content. The vast majority of their Instagram content features men as the subject, whether that’s full-body images or images of a man’s hand holding Blvck’s product. When there are images of women, it’s often models framed in such a way that increases men’s desire for the product rather than women’s. Many of their images feature sports cars, jungle cats, modern home design, and other themes that are typically featured in men’s marketing. While the account certainly appeals to neutral-lovers of any gender, it is clear that Blvck knows what men like.
What can you take from Blvck?
With 500,000 Instagram followers and $1 million in annual revenue, Blvck Paris has earned a reputation as an in-demand luxury brand in less than two years. Capitalizing on the extreme consumerism and increased luxury shopping habits that have resulted from increased social media use, Blvck Paris has seen remarkable growth in a notoriously exclusive industry. Here are some tips to help you take a page from Blvck’s book.
- Find your signature. Strong branding is essential to any business. Find what makes you stand out from competitors and focus your branding around that. Then, hit consumers over the head with it. Blvck Paris is all-black everything. Every post, every product, every emoji in every caption is black. Curating a strong image for your brand that is easily identifiable to people will help you build a loyal following more quickly. Unique and creative images that are strongly tied to your brand but stand on their own are ideal for social platforms. Content like this will encourage high engagement rates and help you earn new followers from users that stumble across your content without searching out your brand.
- Social capital is financial capital. In this day and age, social media following is a form of currency. Those with a large following can leverage it for free products, brand sponsorships, and even business investments. If you have a business that you want to start or are just starting, focus on building your online following. As your social following increases, so will your sales and your business opportunities. Having a social-media-savvy business also grants you the opportunity to diversify your revenue streams. Not only can you sell traditional merchandise like Blvck Paris, but you can earn additional money for advertisements and product placements on your social platforms.
- Take advantage of redefined luxury. In the modern era, thanks in large part to social media, the concept of what is considered luxury is changing. Luxury isn’t just an Hermes Birkin or Rolex watch anymore; luxury is also a graphic t-shirt or slide sandals. Blvck Paris was just recently established in 2017 by unknown Millennials halfway across the world from each other. However, Blvck has quickly established itself as a desirable luxury brand due to its products’ low supply and high demand. This is a formula that has proven successful since the dawn of commercial enterprise. However, the additional elements of social media marketing and influencer lifestyle envy have caused this formula to reach unprecedented extremes. Two-year-old companies with just two employees can now become the pinnacle of contemporary luxury thanks to a large social following and strong branding.
Blvck Paris has achieved the perfect formula for contemporary social media success: trendy streetwear, minimalist aesthetic, and luxury lifestyle. By combining these elements, they have been able to amass an enviable following and convert it into an overnight financial success. With just two employees and one Instagram account, Blvck has grown into a luxury brand that regularly sells out each collection it drops. By keeping their costs low, profit margins high, and social media game strong, Blvck Paris has become a social media success story unlike any other.
Stay tuned for another social shoutout next month! If there’s another brand with a killer social media game, don’t hesitate to let us know. We’d love to check them out!