March 19, 2024

Cuppa 14: Lush, Collecting vs Buying, 3 tips to scale fast, Virgil Abloh

Sasha Jeppesen
Head of Creative

Welcome to the latest issue of Cuppa, a quick-fire newsletter for internet-first brand builders. Filled with analysis on the art, science and culture of building breakout brands in a digital age, it's quick enough to read over a cuppa. (Or something stronger, you survived BFCM!). To get it direct to your inbox every other Tuesday, subscribe here.


Lush ditches social media in the name of brand

To leave behind millions of followers and risk losing over $13 million in sales is certainly a bold move. The brand marketer in me loves their unwavering commitment to brand values. But I'd also like to think that this decision is a reflection of Lush's successful brand-building efforts. After 26 years, they've built a brand so recognisable, and inherently shareable, that they're confident enough to exit social media and let UGC do the job for them. And in a future where unpolished, UGC content is increasingly becoming more successful than owned brand content (thanks to TikTok), maybe not having to invest in content creation is the end-goal we should all be aiming for?

Turning brands into collections and products into collectibles  

Another incredible thought piece from Ana Andjelic. This one dives into how brands can use collections as a mechanism for increasing brand value, creativity, and growth. It particularly got me thinking about how robotic launching a DTC brand has become. We even have a term for the go-to DTC aesthetic: “blanding.” If more brands were to adopt this collective vs. buying approach, whereby products a drip fed in unique collections, I think we'd see a lot more creativity and differentiation in the world of e-com.

Be more like Adele

Inspired by Adele's recent revelation of shutting down requests to make music for TikTok, our dear friend Shope Delano, founder of Kind Regards, shared some musings about having the patience to explore rich territories in a move fast, carbon copy world. It's the perfect food for thought.  



Reminder: leave room for experimental channels

When new channels appear, it's tempting to wait and see how it unfolds for others before investing the time and money yourself. But when you're finally ready to jump in, it's usually too late. So to inspire you to have a higher tolerance to risk, TikTok has released their first-ever Culture Drivers list. The list consists of 14 brands that are doing the best, most engaging, and entertaining work on the platform. For many of them, TikTok started out as an experiment, but now it's a core component of their marketing strategy.

The return of an old classic: shopping catalogues

It was only last year that IKEA decided to scrap its iconic catalogue. E-commerce and social media were to blame for the travesty. But for those who appreciate a curated experience in print, things are looking up, because brands are returning to this channel to stand out from the competition and diversify their channel mix.

How this bootstrapped business scaled to $100,000 in daily revenue

In this useful twitter thread, Nik Sharma shares 3 simple things he did, weekly, to scale a bootstrapped company fast. The TLDR: optimise ad creative (learn and rotate every 7 days), make the site “easy” to buy from (aka can your grandma use it?) and dig into customer feedback to validate learnings.

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Virgil Abloh was ahead of the curve on Web3

Virgil broke down barriers in music, art, and fashion for an entire generation. His impact is undeniable. Since his passing was announced, Instagram and Twitter have been flooded with stories of his generosity and genius. One story that speaks volumes to his ahead of the curve thinking comes with a PDF (shared with permission from his team) showcasing his visions for a DAO, written way before Web3 was even considered mainstream vocabulary.

Produce influencers?!

Scrolling vs. strolling, live streaming farmers making millions and the phenomenon of Snaxboi's - these are just a couple of the latest food and beverage trends to have on your radar. Penned by the hilarious Andrea Hernández, this issue of Snaxshot is not to be missed.

Instagram Paywalls

Paying for exclusive content from influencers is nothing new, however I don't think any one is doing it as well as FlexMami. Known for sharing her complex social commentaries and daily musings on IG stories, she's recently decided to put a price on it. For $9.99 fans will be added to her close friends story list where they'll receive 20-40 stories, seven days a week, 365 days a year. What's smart about this is that rather than migrating to Only Fans or Patreon, she's allowing her followers to stay on the same platform they initially connected on. Plus, Instagram enables two-way interactions which creates a more intimate subscription experience for her hyper-engaged community. Curious to see if a consumer brand can crack this content model…

Sasha Jeppesen
Head of Creative
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