How a home decor brand leveraged influencers to foster community with its target audience
Ruggable, founded by Jeneva Bell, is an innovative rug company that specializes in a unique, two-piece rug system that features a machine washable cover that clings to a non-slip rug pad. Its rugs, which come in more than 150 designs, are spill-resistant and non-toxic, which appeals to the accident-prone consumer who still wants to invest in quality furnishings — namely moms and pet owners.
Since getting stains out of traditional rugs can be such a challenge, Ruggable prides itself on creating products that solve a problem, in addition to making one’s home look beautiful. By building and engaging with a community of people who can benefit from a machine-washable rug, the brand boosts brand awareness, increases customer loyalty and retention, and differentiates itself from competitors. That’s why Dmitri Cherner, the brand’s Influencer and Strategic Partnership Manager, focuses on scaling an influencer marketing program that is comprised of loyal fans who highlight why real people value Ruggable products. Influencers act as brand evangelists in the Ruggable community. They tell their own audiences about how Ruggable’s functional products solve a problem in their lives that’s best explained organically- on their own channel, directly to their own audience, and in their own words.
When Dmitri first joined the company, there was no influencer marketing process in place. Between checking DMS and emails, vetting influencers, and understanding how they performed, it was nearly impossible to scale. At first, he was only able to work with 5-10 influencers a week — when his goal was five times that amount.
“Vetting influencers is particularly important to Ruggable because the brand hoped to build a community based on authenticity. But without the proper tools, there were three big challenges:”
- A way to identify influencers who were genuinely interested in the brand and had an audience that aligned with Ruggable’s core audience.
- A way to assess follower authenticity and audience demographics, and then build vetting criteria. Dmitri noticed that most of the influencers who reached out to the brand were clearly paying for likes and followers.
- A way to manage hundreds of influencer relationships in order to build community, without losing the human touch.
“After researching multiple influencer marketing solutions,” he says, “I found AspireIQ to be the most robust platform among competitors that allowed me to find authentic influencers, manage relationships, and track the results I was looking for.
In less than 6 months on AspireIQ, Dmitri has identified and partnered with over 400 influencers that meet all of Ruggable’s specific vetting criteria. They share similar values, have authentic followers, and of course, are fans of Ruggable products. Most importantly, Dmitri can scale his program, without losing the personal touch. The brand went from working with 10 influencers each week to working with an average of 45. Through these relationships, the team has generated more than 2,300 posts, 36 million impressions, nearly 1 million engagements, and 166,000 Instagram followers.