An Eco-Friendly Approach
Like the rest of the world, the pandemic created a unique market shift for Jessica Galarza, founder of JLOVEKNITS. 2020 presented many strategic challenges for Jessica, who is the latinx face, hands and brain behind all of the eco-friendly products found @JLOVEKNITS.
At the beginning of the pandemic Jessica was faced with one of her biggest challenges. She had to decide if she should pivot away from producing her top-selling eco-friendly products in order to help her customers with custom face masks. It was a risk, however, for the sake of her audience Jessica committed hours to handcrafting eco-friendly PPE masks. Her proactive adjustment is an example to online business owners on the right way to pivot your digital strategy during a global pandemic.
Here are a few takeaways from JLOVEKNITS’ strategic pivot.
#1 Marketing Strategy: Know your value
Although Jessica was aware of the competition in producing face mask—she trusted herself and the power of her eco-friendly value proposition. To stand out from the crowd, Jessica infused pieces of herself into her face masks. Opting for unique fabrics and pop-culture prints from favorite shows like The Office or Friends. Overall, Jessica understands that the blueprint to her brand’s Value Proposition lies in her passionate personality.
Her passion for reducing the use of mass-produced plastics is what separates her from the competition. On top of this, knowing these products will help keep her customers safe, made this option clear-cut. Altogether, producing eco-friendly face masks pushed Jessica out of her comfort zone. However, as a result of this strategic move, her customers supported her handmade eco-friendly products by purchasing them for themselves and their families.
When I pivoted to selling face masks I had priced them well under market value. I wanted to do my part to help my customers during this time. Once the materials became overpriced, I was forced to increase my price point. To my surprise, sales have continued to increase. - Jessica Galarza
#2 Marketing Strategy: Transparency wins customers
Once Jessica began selling face masks, she strategically focused on brand transparency through skillful communication and Relationship Marketing with her online community. The nature of relationship marketing focuses on long-term brand loyalty, not short-term sales. This is a difficult digital strategy to adopt online because it requires patience.
Even still, Jessica ensured customers were thoroughly informed about the proper use of her handmade face masks. Regularly posting product disclaimers and linking to health authorities added to her credibility on social media. During this process, Jessica discovered the value in being open and honest with her online audience, as she saw demand for products continue to rise throughout the pandemic. Altogether, Jessica encourages online business owners to communicate transparently to their customers.
If you just communicate, you can get by. But if you communicate skillfully, you can work miracles. - Jim Rohn
#3 Marketing Strategy: Communicate with your customers
JLOVEKNITS has provided a small business blueprint for optimizing and crafting digital value, especially in regards to her eco-friendly audience. In the March-April issue of the Harvard Business Review titled, The B2B Elements of Value, which extends on “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs“, we understand that the personal individual value comes from the growth and development process.
Jessica understands the value her customers place in transparency from sustainable businesses. Therefore, she capitalizes on this concept by walking her customers through each stage of her sampling process on her Instagram. By maintaining an open dialogue on Instagram, she ensures her customers develop a bond with her brand.
In short, Jessica’s quarantine strategy optimizes her platform combined with her ability to meet the surge of the increased demand for face masks. As a result, the incredible support coupled with the increased demand for her handmade eco-friendly products establishes a win-win relationship for JLOVEKNITS and her customers.
#4 Marketing Strategy: Stay True To Your Brand Identity
Undoubtedly, pivoting from what works is not a strategy that typically leads to increased profits. However, 2020 quarantine was not the first time JLOVEKNITS participated in crafting for a cause. Previously, Jessica donated joey pouches for kangaroos and wallabies affected by fires in Australia in 2019. In addition to this, every season she donates 5% of sales to a non-profit of her choice. Typically, she donates to organizations that invest their efforts into assisting marine, wildlife, and the environment. Therefore, despite the risks involved with producing face masks, in the end, Jessica was simply staying true to her brand identity.
- Find Relevant Ways to Adapt Your Digital Strategy
- Be Transparent with Your Customers and Digital Audience
- As Your Brand Grows, Your Customers Grows
- Align Your Digital Strategy with Your Brand Identity