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Learn how Just Strong’s mission to empower and connect strong women evoked a successful brand ambassador program.

 

About this episode:

  • Why a personal trainer started a brand to empower women
  • How Just Strong automates the process of screening their brand ambassadors
  • Why the brand uses segmentation within its ambassador program
Just Strong

Full Transcript

 

 

 

Alicia Thomas: This week on Ready, Set, Grow, I’m in London. I’m meeting up with Mark Robinson, CEO and cofounder of Just Strong. He’s built a unique brand ambassador program to help scale his fitness lifestyle business. Let’s check it out.

Mark Robinson: So we’re an active lifestyle brand dedicated to empowering, motivating, strong women. We sell a variety of leisurewear pieces. Anything, bottoms, shorts, jogging pants, leggings or these tank tops, spotlights. The reason I decided to start it, even though I’m the guy was, I saw the sense of camaraderie that women from the variety of different backgrounds had at the gym I was working with at the time, but it was peaceful. It was missing parts of social media, so I wanted to translate the community that they had into something online, which recognizes people no matter what background you’re from or what they live.

Alicia Thomas: And you’ve really scaled the brand with your brand ambassador program. Can you talk a little bit about how you set that up and kind of why you’ve decided to go that route?

Mark Robinson: I guess when we first started and we were in a social media accounts, there was absolutely loads of engagement. I started to see the community that designs the brand to be, come into our online space but never really translate into revenue. So plus I also saw the excitement and the snowball effect. It never really translated into sales and I wanted to be able to do this full time rather than work in the gym. So I designed a way to get people more involved, help us as a brand and give us feedback a little bit more and incentivize them to purchase and make their own clothes too. So mainly how it came about. Largely, the ambassador program was a pilot and since then, taken the lead on everything that we do.

Alicia Thomas: I think it’s pretty unique to that most brands may have a brand ambassador program, anybody who wants to can sign up, they get their code, but you’ve decided to really actually vet them and you have to answer some questions and then you’re checking to make sure that they kind of align with your values. Can you talk about how you’ve set up that vetting process and what it looks like?

Mark Robinson: So example would be if a customer speaks to us via messenger, we’ll send them a series of questions relating to our brand values. So you can say yes or no. Do you believe that women can be strong no matter what walk of life they have come from, et cetera. And then we use that as tags as AP and it goes back to Klaviyo and then we use the email segments based on the answers from the messenger chat to deliver them yes or no emails in the sequence that follows.

Alicia Thomas: So you’re also segmenting your ambassadors, which again is pretty unusual. Usually people get everyone in there and they treat them all the same. Can you talk about how you’re segmenting the different types of ambassadors that you have in the content you’re giving them?

Mark Robinson: I really believe in the power of personalization. So I think the more personal you can make an email, the better it’s going to be for your conversions and overall brand feel. You know, people want to leave a really good impression. For example, if a mother had come to us and they’d signed up through our Facebook or Instagram post, we will put them into a flow and then they get emailed content and imagery, which is mothers and children wearing just strong gear. Which is entirely different than what someone would get if they’ve come from a crossfit background. So again, I think that really helps deliver the personalization and make customers feel like that’s exactly what I wanted.

Alicia Thomas: So not only do you have women’s wear, you also have kids. Why did you decide to branch into that as well?

Mark Robinson: I guess feedback from the group initially. I think a part of motivating strong women is looking at the children and how they were raised. We launched it as a pilot again around six months ago, but it’s been a bit of a really popular part of a business that we want to keep its fun with it because it is an important message to carry on to children, right? Mothers wanting the children to feel strong and be the strongest version of themselves. So I guess that’s why it fits.

Alicia Thomas: So what other activities are you doing to really engage those brand ambassadors and kind of build that community?

Mark Robinson: So our private Facebook group is a great way to connect with them. Again, we ultimately are part of it. So if they signed up to ambassador program, going through the checks, we send them an email with an invite to the group. And after then we run events but we just started to run events. We just the first pilot. We invited all the customers from the UK to a gym around Manchester and we went out with them. We gave them Prosecco and some clothes and some pre-workouts. Everybody had a good time. Now we’ve started taking the initial concepts I’ve seen in person online, back offline to create the community that we had without the fear of being judged in a public gym. 

Alicia Thomas: So it’s really come full circle. What started as an inspiration from a gym, gone online. Now it’s back to the gym. Very cool.

Alicia Thomas: Do you have any advice for someone who is looking to launch a brand ambassador program? Anything that you would have changed when you got started?

Mark Robinson: A lot of people look at us from a business perspective will think about launching an ambassador program is the key to success in sales. But I guess without the community and the message that we had at the beginning of being able to portray that right out the gate before anything like that was introduced is the biggest and most important thing. You have to have something that will give people a reason to stand behind it, a reason to talk about and promote and encourage it to the people. So I guess having that on key is by far the most important thing.

Alicia Thomas: Well, thank you so much for sitting down and sharing about your brand ambassador program.

Mark Robinson: My pleasure.

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