It’s a match made in millennial heaven: A Snapchat-only publisher and a trendy direct-to-consumer brand have come together for a customizable product launch.
On Tuesday, on its Snapchat Discover channel, Sweet, the Hearst-owned digital magazine, is debuting the most recent product launch from Everlane, the online apparel startup. The included items, a collection of leather goods accessories including bags and wallets, will be able to be seen only on Sweet’s Snapchat channel until their official launch on November 10.
Everlane is known for practicing retail transparency and cutting out the middleman, as well as its prolific Snapchat presence. The company regularly teases new products, records factory and office tours and answers customer questions on its own account.
But for its first product launch on the platform, the brand turned to its native publisher.
“We’ve kept commerce and social separate for the most part. Our channels have remained organic, and we really use that to build community and provide more brand transparency,” said Alyssa Bergerson, who handles PR for Everlane. “With that being said, the world is changing a lot, and this is our first test to bring shopping to the platform. We’re starting by partnering with Sweet and seeing how it goes from there.”
Typically, Everlane has pushed a community-minded strategy on social instead of peddling products. CEO Michael Preysman has been wary of the power of a buy button in the past, and the company has tried creative ways to get more personal on platforms—through a private Instagram account and a potential Facebook group, to name a few examples.
The Sweet-powered product launch lets Everlane test Snapchat as a commerce platform without blemishing its own account in the process. It also added an element of personalization to the product drop. Sweet viewers can design a monogram on an Everlane item of their choice using Snapchat’s pen feature. Then, they’re encouraged to screenshot the photo and email it to the designated account. Everlane will then choose 50 submissions, initial them, and send the product (which customers pay for, but the monogram is free) when the line is released on November 10.
How the Everlane pouch will premiere on Sweet.
Everlane also does little traditional marketing, mostly relying on word of mouth. Migrating to a partner channel for a product release puts the brand in front of potential new customers.
“We could have done it on our own, but with Sweet we can reach a wider audience,” said Bergeson. “Sweet has a similar audience to ours.”
“We’ve been getting a lot of interest from the fashion and luxury community around breaking news and sharing exclusives on the platform,” said Ross Clark, vp and general manager of Sweet. “As a brand built to be native on the platform, we have a unique understanding of it and approach to creating content.”
Clark said that the partnership is purely editorial and not a paid promotion, making it much more affordable than a Snapchat ad. Most Snapchat ad products, like its upcoming $300,000 Live Story holiday package, are reserved for brands with big budgets.
“Novel ad techniques that require brands to get creative are what customers are looking for,” said Mo El-Barachi, CEO of marketing platform SweetIQ. “Brands don’t need to pay $75,000 to see engagement. Plus, what people wrote off as a younger demo isn’t true—it’s reaching older customers and people who can pay for the products.”