The first digital brand of Instagram influencer Deborah Symond O’Neil is burgeoning and growing steadily just like her online persona.
When she started the journey with this brand, she just didn’t think about where the chequered flag of this insta-based start-up would be. And, she admits it graciously.
Mode Sportif has already become a 5-year-old brand that proudly boasts two fully operational brick and mortar stores in Sydney’s Paddington and Double Bay.
Started as a casual online venture focusing on athleisure, Mode Sportif brand has managed to become an all in one solution for women of all ages. Deborah believes in concentrating on knowing their customers, what they want, and at the same time what the brand is trying to drive. She realized that most of the customers wish to have a touch and feel factor with Mode Sportif, and the idea of establishing the showroom model of this brand came for there only. The Mode Sportif showroom now also features styling appointment for the customers.
One of the crucial factors behind the fast-paced success behind this brand is here customers get what they want. She also realized that most customers wanted Mode Sportif to help them with every occasion and, just athleisure was not enough. Today this brand still includes activewear brands like Adidas by Stella McCartney and The Upside, but now they also feature Scandinavian brands like Ganni, Samoe&Samsoe- clothing you would exercise in. Up comers like London based Rixo and Saloni are also available in this store.
“The amount of change we’ve seen in terms of our product offerings, the business structure, our sales tools since we have launched has been incredible,” Symond O’Neil says. “All of our channels are almost as strong as one another, and together they help one another too; it’s not about working solely as one channel only.”
Deborah has been feeling a little wary about depending on a single platform because she wants to diversify the brand’s outreach.
Just like most of the successful brands, Mode Sportif has been following the advanced approach of building the empire, capturing catering and retaining the audience online before trying their hands into the conventional retail world. Being a full-fledged digital-first brand has had a lot of bumpy roads in the venture. Symond O’Neil acknowledges the fact Facebook was once a very useful platform, but now it doesn’t resonate the way Instagram and Instagram stories do.
“We’ve done quite a lot of work on cross-pollinating our Instagram followers to our [newsletter] database. Because if they like to see what we’re doing on Instagram, chances are they’d like to see what we’re communicating with our EDMs each week,” says Symond O’Neil. And, she has also acknowledged the brand creates its own content with all the platforms in mid of each week.
No wonder the image-focused platform of Instagram is a playing a significant role behind the sky-rocketing outreach of Mode Sportif, especially now when this platform has made the in-app purchase a pain-free procedure.
“What’s just landed, how to wear it, how to style it, what we love, why we love it: people can choose to engage or not,” Symond O’Neil Says when asked about the Insta-Stories. A dedicated team posts 20 times a day. “I think that’s one of the amazing things about Instagram: if people like it, it will show up, and they will see it, and we can provide as much or as little information for them as they want.”
Symond O’Neil’s personal Insta handle has significantly blossomed online. With more than 20,000 fans, this entrepreneur easily falls into the micro-influencer category of Instagram.
“It’s something that completely came naturally, and I think I’ve been able to build a small audience that wants to see what we have to offer, and also what I have going on in the rest of my life,” says Symond O’Neil. “It’s something that’s definitely growing in conjunction with the Mode brand.
“Instagram is also a filtered version of our lives, but I try to keep it as unfiltered as I can, especially when it comes to the Stories … I think it’s fun, and I’m a very open person anyway. And most of the time, it’s the daily grind of what I’ve got going on.”
Being an influencer, Symond O’Neil is definitely running a new-aged venture that shows no slowing down in terms of global outreach.