By Mylena Vazquez
At just two years old, Vacation Inc. has managed to take the sunscreen world by storm. With their incredibly fun line of sunscreen and other “leisure-enhancing” products and their humorous marketing, Vacation has managed to amass a cult following and enough business cred to secure $6 million in Series A funding last month.
How did a sunscreen startup grow so big so fast? Aside from their fantastic products and unique branding, I’d argue it had a little something to do with their strong omnichannel marketing strategy.
A direct line
Vacation’s direct line to consumers is a huge part of their omnichannel strategy. Like many brands, they offer a discount in order to capture users’ email addresses. But they’ve also gotten creative with capturing customer information. Early on, they created a feature that randomly generates a virtual business card with a fake (and ludicrous and hilarious) honorary title, which also required users to submit their email. After what feels like a fun game, users are asked if they’d like to give Vacation their phone numbers to be added to “Ray’s List” and be updated just a few times a year about new product launches, fun events, etc. This is an extremely clever way that Vacation has been able to build up their omnichannel strategy and get a direct line to their customers—no secretaries or phone extensions required!
Tailored to the customer
Vacation does a great job of retargeting customers who have interacted with their content. Oftentimes, after I’ve viewed Vacation’s Instagram stories or visited their profile, their sponsored content appears on my feed. Vacation also retargets through Google Search. I recently did a Google search for “sunscreen.” Of the visible sponsored results, six out of the ten results were Vacation products. When I repeated this search in an incognito browser, the results were vastly different, since they could not access the data associated with my browsing history.
These exposures help not only to build brand awareness but also to build a relationship with that customer. After all, the classic marketing rule of 7 states that it takes seven exposures to a brand’s message for a customer to take action.
Buy anywhere at any time
Since its inception, Vacation has had a strong presence on all social media channels. They have an Instagram shop set up that gives customers the ability to shop without leaving the app. They also have a strong community management component; the brand reposts user-generated content and replies to each individual comment that users post on social media. When you visit their Facebook page, a chat automatically pops up in case users want to ask questions of the brand.
That’s online, but Vacation also operates through offline channels. They’re carried nationwide by big box retailers like Ulta Beauty, Nordstrom, Bluemercury, and more—all of whom have their own omnichannel strategies that work in conjunction with Vacation’s. With their online store locator, Vacation makes it easy for users to find their products in person.
Vacation Inc. is proof that a strong omnichannel marketing strategy can pay dividends in the long run. Reaching your customers where they are at any given moment is a surefire way to keep your brand in their brains and motivate them to take action. Whether their customers are at work or in Waikiki, there’s no doubt that their minds are on Vacation.
How does your emerging brand employ an omnichannel strategy to build relationships with your audience?