Vancouver expert: three key ingredients to successful digital marketing

Mikey Scott, global marketing director, Herschel Supply Company 

For Mikey Scott, global marketing director of the rapidly growing Herschel Supply Company, there are three key ingredients to successful digital marketing.

“Engineer your content to be shareable, personal and, most of all, believable,” he said.

Herschel Supply Company, a wholesale business in Vancouver’s Railtown district, makes and sells backpacks, duffle bags, totes, messenger bags, electronic cases, head wear, wallets and luggage that have proven internationally popular.

The company promotes its product line through its website, an international network of retailers, and social media channels: @herschelsupply can be found on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.

“Our digital marketing program is based on communicating our brand values to our consumers,” Scott said. “If they appreciate what we are about, I believe they will be more inclined to support us through purchasing the product.”

Social media enables Herschel Supply to not only showcase its product line to consumers, but also further establish its brand identity.

“For example, we have two online content series, #CityLimitless and #WellTravelled, that enable users to share photos of their travels,” Scott said. “Travel, fashion and design are a huge part of who we are, and we want to highlight that aspect of our brand to our customers.”

In addition to social media, Herschel Supply promotes its products through earned media coverage, online and print advertisements and such innovations as the Herschel Supply for Coca-Cola pop-up shop the company opened recently in New York.

The company, which ships around the world from its website, is carried by over 7,000 retailers. It has successful partnerships with such companies as Coca-Cola, Disney, Stussy, Liberty of London, Hudson’s Bay, Clarks Originals and New Balance.

The company’s marketing strategy has paid off handsomely.

“Since our founding in 2009, we’ve more than doubled our revenues year-over-year, on average,” said Scott. 

Herschel Supply is a “design-driven global accessory brand.”

“We’ve taken classic items and modernized them to optimize function and fashion for today’s consumers,” said Scott.

The company sells its products to many different consumer groups around the world. 

“Our product is available in more than 170 territories,” Scott said. “As you can imagine, there are many different types of consumers in each territory. As a result, our product can be found on a global scale inside the world’s best retailers.”

The backpacks, which retail for between C$30 and C$200, are designed in North America and manufactured in Asia.

“When we started, most of our product was made with polyester and leather,” Scott said. “More recently we’ve been really putting a focus on new material plays, such as water-resistant tarpaulin and Polycoat, and a self-healing ripstop nylon called Sealtech.”

Herschel Supply was founded in 2009 by brothers Jamie and Lyndon Cormack. While Jamie and Lyndon are both from Calgary originally, the three generations of family before them hail from Herschel, a hamlet (population 65) in western Saskatchewan.

In addition to its head office in Vancouver, the company has a design office in Los Angeles.

“As of fall 2015, we have 105 employees in various departments, including marketing, online, sales, operations, design, legal, finance and information technology,” Scott said.

Scott has almost 10 years of experience in digital marketing, including stints with Nike and Red Bull.

“Before Herschel Supply, I worked with industry-leading brands on content marketing and lifestyle-based marketing initiatives,” he said. 

Scott will be speaking about the future of digital marketing at the 2016 Canadian Internet Marketing Conference.

“I will be outlining a bit about successful storytelling through digital content marketing,” he said. “Briefly put, I hope to tell people a bit more about how Herschel Supply has been successful in building an online community through content marketing.”