If I had to guess, you have more than likely heard of the watch brand MVMT. But what you may not know is how this millennial-focused, affordable retail brand started. In 2013 two college dropouts decided to start the MVMT and launch an affordable, minimalist, high-quality, direct-to-consumer watch brand. To kick start their efforts MVMT founders, Jake Kassan and Kramer LaPlante, took to IndieGoGo for funding. With a background knowledge in crowdfunding and e-commerce, the two were able to reach and exceed their initial goal of $15,000. So much so that by the end of their IndieGoGo campaign they had raised nearly $300,000.
To gain traction and awareness after stepping off of IndieGoGo, the duo took full advantage of both Facebook and Instagram. Social media according to D’Souza, is a local and/or personal focus with a global reach (2013). This statement is exactly why Kassan and LaPlante decided to take to social media to promote their growing brand. In the early stages and still to this day, MVMT heavily utilizes social media giveaways to boost engagement. In the beginning, they would host several giveaways a month encouraging fans to tag their friends in order to win. Before the Instagram and Facebook algorithms caught on, this method of “encouraged” engagement allowed both social media platforms to view their content as highly engaged, therefore, showing it to more and more people (Resnick, 2018).
So with no brick-and-mortar stores, how did MVMT gain the trust of its fanbase? Being an entirely online retail store, it’s imperative to gain the trust of your audience although this feat is much easier said than done. Because of MVMT co-founders’ beginnings in crowdfunding, community plays a large role in the brand as a whole. According to Smart Insights, “The Brand is the single most important element to a business organization. If you think about what branding actually is; it’s a position that has been carefully established, and a set of customer promises and overall experiences based on communication and service…” (2017). “The brand is your primary asset to manage. You must protect the brand” (D’Souza, 2013). To establish this trust, MVMT actively sought out reviews, testimonials, and user-generated content from their fans. By sharing their users content and utilizing their feedback for customer service and product development they were able to quickly gain the trust of their fanbase and in turn #jointheMVMT.
And if you were curious – the Movado Group swooped in and acquired the growing brand of MVMT for more than $100 million this past summer (Millwood, 2018).