Melbourne-born sunscreen brand Ultra Violette exploded out of the gate in 2019, rocketing from startup to being stocked by Adore Beauty and Sephora within 12 months. Its clever social media helped fire 400 per cent growth in 2020. And in February, after almost a year of on-and-off lockdowns, founders Ava Chandler-Matthews and Bec Jefferd took their brand on the road in an Airstream caravan, running bright, big-energy pop-ups in their home town and Sydney’s Bondi. Chandler-Matthews explains why real-life engagement is irreplaceable to a new business.
A vibe can be sellable
“We wanted a big visual splash but also to give real energy to the brand in a way we could 100 per cent control. There are so many new brands in beauty, if not in SPF, so we had to cut through the clutter.”
Your customers want connection
“Crowds at our pop-ups were bigger than Bec and I ever expected. The queues were crazy. People came from near and far to Bondi for it. They hung around with friends. It shows how people are craving real connection right now.”
It's a two-way payoff
“Interaction at the pop-ups gave us really important insight into our community that we could never get online. I think customers like knowing who is behind the brand.”
B2B is better in person
“Flying around Australia to do visual merchandising in retail stores is vital – nobody cares about your brand the way you do. And we achieve so much more in an hour’s face-to-face meeting with Sephora than in weeks corralling Zoom meets and email with our new overseas stockists. We’ll fly internationally to see them as soon as it’s an option.”
Attract online, convince in person
“Social media has been important for cementing our tone of voice, brand identity and ecommerce site but touching the product and asking questions makes people feel connected to the brand. Sending samples in the post is great but doesn’t have the same power.”
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