Let's be frank.
When the marketing gurus behind Australian cult brand Frank Body said they’d love to join us for the girledworld Summit and bring their incredible homegrown success story and e-comm startup career advice to secondary school aged girls, we've gotta admit we were jumping out of our skin!
That's because we've long been fans of their ridiculous brand marketing talents, especially rockstar chief content creator Kirsty Bennett, and have watched closely as Frank Body has steadily self-funded to build a phenomenal global empire and massive online community entirely using social media as a sales funnel for their coveted coffee-based skincare products.
Story goes that the company was started when Co-Founders Jess Hatzis, 30, and Bree Johnson, 29, were told by Johnson’s fiancée, who owns several Melbourne cafes, that stacks of his female customers were casually asking for leftover coffee grounds to take home and use as a body exfoliator.
Recognising the business opportunity, riding the early wave of consumer appetite for natural skincare products and with just $5000 in the bank, Hatzis and Johnson started taking the coffee grounds home themselves and experimented with hand-making and self-packaging coffee scrubs in their Melbourne lounge room.
As a startup running lean and with no marketing budget, they relied purely on social media and word of mouth to get their Frank Body product out there, and within weeks quickly grew their phenomenal cult following (currently at 700,000 on Instagram alone!) entirely through using Insta and Facebook to drive online sales.
When they started few brands were using social media to leverage sales conversion, and Hatzis admits they “lucky” to get ahead of the pack.
Ok. Luck may have played a (very) small part, but mostly it was the startup marketing smarts (and making products people wanted to buy) which got Frank Body where it is today, dominating the natural beauty sector through its cheeky social media campaigns, leveraging influencer marketing so celebrities with huge followings plug the product on their social accounts, and expanding their product range to now include cleansers, scrubs, balms and face masks all priced under $25.00.
Their scrappy startup approach worked a treat. Since launching, Frank Body has sold 2.2 million of its signature coffee ground-based body scrubs, ships product to 149 countries across the globe and last year turned over more than $20 million in sales.
That's a pretty awesome rise, and a long way from what started as a little caffeine-fuelled idea between Melbourne best friends.
“Let’s be frank - to launch, it took blood, sweat and tears,” 30-year-old Co-Founder Jess Hatzis said.
"We launched with a very humble budget and handmade our product to start and would produce each item after orders came in, just to manage cash flow as we grew.”
“(But) we wouldn't have the business we have today had it not been for our ability to leverage platforms like Instagram and Facebook,” she said.
“We created a bold brand persona that resonated with consumers and to this day it is still the largest referrer of traffic to our website.
"We do spend a lot of time developing content that our consumers want to see, but more importantly, we had a deliberate User Generated Content strategy from day 1 - and now have over 100,000 consumer-generated images living under our hashtags #letsbefrank and #thefrankeffect.”
To date, the brand have millions of followers engaging with them across their social channels and gain tens of thousands of likes per post. (You can check out #thefrankeffect on the @Frank_Bod social feed here - pretty gorgeous stuff, super smart marketing and the tiles give face to millions of girls and women across the world who are hands-down @FrankBod devotees and amplify the brand to their friends driving further sales).
Testament to their entrepreneurial trailblazing, Hatzis and Johnson were recently announced as the 2017 winners of the Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award, named after Madame Clicquot who was just 27 when she took over the reigns of Clicquot house. The title is awarded to businesswomen under 40 years of age who show ‘audacity, innovation and fearlessness'.
So if you’ve got a daughter in secondary school who loves digital and product design, and wants to learn the skills and secrets of building a multi-million dollar e-comm company through online marketing, don’t miss this rare chance to hear and learn from the Frank Body brand gurus at our girledworld Summit at the University of Melbourne Sunday June 25.
Early Bird Tickets On-Sale Now and Selling Fast!
(girledworld jam-packed Goodie bags included!)
This is your chance to equip yourself with top-line digital and social media marketing skillsets taught by industry leaders on one very big weekend of amazing female keynote speakers, interactive leadership and business workshops and career mentorship.
You can check out the rest of our inspiring speakers and girledworld Summit lineup here.