1. What’s your name and title, what do you do day-to-day in 20 words or fewer?
Jocelyn Toonders, head of partnerships.
I work closely with our partners to help put a strategy in place for our joint clients, enabling them to harness the power of word of mouth and significantly improve their brand advocacy.
2. At Mention Me you help leading brands to grow and scale. Can you give us a success story for a D2C brand you’ve worked with. Eg what was the problem? What did you do? What were the results?
French brand Hypnia found that while their customers loved their high-quality mattresses, they didn’t need to return and shop again very often. So, they launched their brand advocacy programme with us in 2020 to find other ways to drive growth.
By running A/B tests within their referral campaigns (such as testing a gift card versus cashback as an incentive), they’ve optimised their programme’s performance and are acquiring high-quality customers who are bringing along their friends and family. In 2022, they increased new customer revenue through referrals by 532% compared to the previous year.
3. You specialise in brand advocacy – what piece of advice would you give to DTC brands who want to improve in this area?
A successful brand advocacy programme starts by delivering exceptional products and experiences that leave a lasting impression on your customers. It is essential to create a positive emotional connection between your brand and its fans.
While having a solid brand purpose can help, it is often the quality of your products, services, or experiences that inspire customers to talk about your brand. By getting this right, you can quickly build a loyal customer base that advocates for your brand. In short, fuelling growth through brand advocacy starts with delivering excellence and creating a positive customer experience that rewards and recognises your brand fans.
4. What do you think the biggest challenges facing eCommerce/D2C businesses will be over the next 12-18 months?
One major challenge is the increasing competition in the marketplace. As more and more businesses enter the eCommerce/D2C space, it becomes harder for brands to stand out and attract new customers and retain existing ones.
Another challenge is the evolving consumer behaviour and unpredictable market conditions, rising cost of living and supply chain disruptions. As consumers become more selective and expect higher levels of personalisation, convenience, and value, brands will need to adapt and innovate to meet these changing needs, to create a sustainable differentiation in their market.
5. Complete this sentence – DTC brands that survive and thrive in 2023 will …
Have a strong focus on customer experience and personalisation, leveraging data-driven insights to optimise their marketing strategies, and build communities of brand advocates who promote their products through word-of-mouth to support organic, sustainable growth.
6. Name three D2C brands that are killing it and whom you recommend others to emulate/learn from.
PUMA are obviously a huge brand, but they’re stepping up their marketing strategy at the moment by using first-party advocacy data to segment their customer base more effectively.
We’re also seeing retailers like BrandAlley use this rich data across their CRM platforms to drive actions such as prompting a customer to refer or reminding someone who’s already referred to use their reward.
And it’s really exciting to see brands including Moss Bros use our Smart Experiment functionality to drive the best action from every customer based on their propensity to refer. For example, Moss Bros found that low propensity to refer customers who claim a discount offer are 23% more likely to buy again.