We caught up with a fellow Danish startup Waremakers to talk about creating engaging content online and how businesses can create exclusive experiences for their clients.
Quality in Fashion & Customer Experience
Providing unique consumer experiences through targeted, engaging content makes all the difference in e-commerce. Waremakers has understood this from the beginning.
Waremakers is a Danish brand founded by fashion enthusiasts, Anders Ojgaard and Mary Tungay. Together they've built a hybrid online shop/fashion magazine that tells the stories behind the products they sell, and the people who make them. Giving life to the products through exclusive content allows them to connect with their customers.
They offer a distinct shopping experience that is scarce in today's world of made-in-China mass production: the consumer is able to develop a relationship and understand the products they buy...products of lasting quality and design.
So we caught up with co-founder and Managing Director Anders Ojgaard to learn more about Waremakers' dedication to quality and their outstanding ability to create exclusive and engaging content for their users.
What was the turning point for you? When did you decide that the world was missing a company like Waremakers?
If I have to choose a specific point in time it would be in 2007. That’s five years before I actually did start the Waremakers, but that was the day I walked into a shop on a side street somewhere in central Rome. In it they sold the coolest looking flat caps I had ever seen.
I got into a lengthy talk with the shop keeper who told me they were all handmade in Sicily - and all materials were top notch and all natural. Cotton and wool. Even leather, not cardboard or plastic, inside the brim where most other producers “cheat”.
I liked flat caps already and knew the Stetson brand. But these hats were just so much better made, and the price was about the same. Why didn’t more people know about these caps? This would be the time that the seed that would become Waremakers was sown.
Now, I have had a fondness of very well made objects for a long time. I don’t buy too many things, but when I do, I want it to be the best quality available. I end up forming emotional bonds with these products and use them for years and years. Somehow the pride that the maker took in making these products rubs off on me and I feel much better for using them.
Add my Roman experience to the mix, and the fact that I found it overwhelmingly difficult to find these wonderful, crafted products online - always ending up on some mainstream page selling all the usual suspects. In 2012 it all came together and I co-founded Waremakers.
And yes, today Waremakers sells the caps I stumbled upon in 2007. They are called ‘La Coppola Storta’ and are still handmade in Sicily.
Do you still find it challenging to create engaging content for consumers?
I don’t actually. But that’s possibly because I previously published a print magazine for 6 years and still am involved in the online version of it. I also plan to finish my manuscript for a novel when I retire one day. So I guess content comes naturally to me. I am forever curious about the world around me, and love stories and what they do for human beings.
When creating content, what type of audience do you aim for?
Absolutely a niche audience. I have seen so many silly attempts at content from sites who are clearly lacking direction. There is no such thing as “universally engaging.” The closest you are going to come to that is probably a news site such as The Guardian, but you will never, ever be able to compete with The Guardian or any other media site that does content for a living and whose mission it is is to be both broad and highly productive. And nobody will come to your site looking for something that is not related to what you do.
If you sell printed t-shirts online, or provide SaaS for accounting, nobody is going to care what you have to say about Scandinavian fashion or cooking sushi in Peru. Cater for your audience. Build a coherent universe. Speak of what you know. Create a place for multiple manifestations of a specific interest to converge.
How do you align your content with your company philosophy?
We tell the stories of both our producers and their products in order to let people feel a connection with their potential purchase. We are even building an encyclopaedia-style guide section that tells the history of all our product categories - basically allowing people to understand where all their daily tools stem from.
Knowing how people shaved 1,000 years ago or how you would have carried your things around with you in the Middle Ages gives you a certain connectedness with both the past and the things presently around you. It grounds you, somehow, I think. At least it grounds me. Knowledge is king.
What advice you would give to companies struggling to create engaging content?
Two things. First, assume that nobody cares about what you have to say. There is just so much content out there and so many voices trying to be heard. Nobody cares. Once you have realised this, you are halfway there. Because now you will be thinking very hard about how on Earth you can make your content relevant for whomever it is you are trying to reach.
That’s the key word: relevant. What exactly is it you do? Who would potentially care about this? How do you release this potential? There is no short answer, of course. But you need to always put yourself in the place of your recipient and make sure that your content in some way enriches your recipient’s life - and that the recipient realises this as quickly as possible.
Need more inspiration on creating your own engaging content strategy?
Read more about the WareMakers philosophy of quality.