In 2022, Anine Bing celebrated 10 years in business — a rare feat for an influencer-founded brand. Founder Anine Bing got her start as a blogger in 2000 and today has 1.2 million Instagram followers.
In its tenth year in business, the brand doubled its retail footprint, reaching 20 stores around the world. Along with Bing herself and Bing’s husband, Nico Bing, the brand’s co-founder and chief strategy officer, Annika Meller, has been key to the brand’s longevity and growth.
According to Meller, much of the brand’s success has come down to its strong sense of self, even as it’s expanded into new categories. It 2020, it introduced fragrance, plus handbags became a pillar as it launched the now-popular Nico bag. Meller described the brand identity as “Scandinavian simplicity mixed with American energy.”
“We have been extremely consistent with our brand ethos, from the moment we launched,” said Meller. “We’ve put brand first, and that’s one of the reasons why we’ve been able to build a true and genuine brand.”
Bing is Danish but grew up in Sweden, and Meller is Swedish. The brand is now based in California, which both women have come to call home. Meller said that this international viewpoint has translated to global appeal. For both the American and Scandinavian customer, the brand offers something that feels “exotic,” she said. ‘It’ girls including Sofia Richie, Gal Godot, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Kate Bosworth all proudly wear the brand’s logo on its signature ball caps and sweatshirts. Meller oversees all global brand strategy, inclusive of creative, brand marketing and global communications.
In 2022, Anine Bing ran a billboard in Times Square and hosted its first influencer trip, to France. A second, to Sicily, took place in May. These splashier marketing initiatives have paid off. The brand, which itself has 535,000 Instagram followers, has seen growth in impressions, engagement and new customers. Retail sales are growing 50% year-over-year, while the brand’s overall annual growth is 25%. Notably, UGC photo tags, an indicator of brand awareness, have increased by more than 70% year-over-year.
Meller believes in taking a holistic approach to distribution. Though the brand has made a heavy investment in its own retail footprint and launched virtual styling on its e-commerce site, it also sells through retailers including Shopbop, Revolve, Nordstrom and Net-a-Porter. The same goes for marketing; Anine Bing isn’t overly reliant on any one channel. Unsurprisingly, its video content has performed especially well, based on engagement, with customers wanting to see how clothing drapes and falls in motion.
“We’re trying to blur the lines between retail and online, while also providing educational content,” Meller said.
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