We first discovered Herschel Supply Co. when we unintentionally stumbled upon their social media accounts and almost instantaneously loved their photography – their stunning photos of nature (which are almost otherworldly) were what first caught our eye. Since the entire Booje Media team is B.C.-bred, we suppose it’s not that surprising. Moreover, there’s not much that makes us happier than a homegrown, Vancouver-based success story, which is merely another reason we love Herschel Supply Co.! Founded in 2009, Herschel initially established a local cult-like following, and then quickly expanded into the United States and then grew internationally. We can attribute the resurgence of backpacks in the fashion world in part to Herschel – they certainly made backpacks fashionable again and even managed to re-imagine and rename the stigmatized “fanny pack” to the “hip pack”.
Through innovative design and a focus on aesthetics, Herschel continues to create a quality product and, coupled with strong imagery & content marketing, has built an amazing lifestyle brand founded on different social media platforms. Needless to say, they have done an amazing job of building a brand around their product online.
Herschel’s success on social media certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed. Both Nitrogram and Hootsuite have featured Herschel Supply Co., praising the company for their strong social strategy and ability to successfully grow their business through social media. And perhaps most notably, Herschel has been featured on Instagram’s Suggested Users list 3 times; with upwards of 200 million active Instagram accounts, that’s no small feat for the company.
We were fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with Allison Butula, Herschel’s Social Media Manager, and talk social media, digital marketing and how they use imagery-focused content to market and grow their brand:
Interview With Allison:
- Herschel Supply Co. has been featured on Instagram 3 times now. How did you see that impact your growth?
Getting featured as an Instagram ‘suggested user’ has helped bring our account to the attention to a lot of people who may have not discovered us otherwise. It really spurred our growth in the beginning.
- With over 200 million active users on Instagram, what do you think made Herschel’s account stand out and why do you think Instagram first noticed your company?
Our Instagram strategy is unique. We focus more on telling a really authentic, continuous story around our hashtag #WellTravelled rather than trying to communicate a variety of different objectives. When you look at our feed you should be able to glean the story of our customer exploring the world and living a Well Travelled life. I think it really speaks to what Instagram was created for, high quality visual story telling. We also have high engagement on our photos with 95% of them hitting the popular page after we post them.
- To what extent does Herschel value social media as part of its marketing effort and what do you look for when utilizing these platforms?
Social media is a huge part of our marketing efforts. We don’t buy traditional media advertisements, so when we are releasing a new product line or partnership it’s all done online through our social networks and media partners.
We try and stay away from being too sales oriented on our social networks and don’t use call to actions such as ‘shop’, ‘buy now’ etc. I’ve found that sharing news and telling stories creates a stronger brand awareness, which in the end helps drive sales organically.
- Often times brands trying to sell a specific product are not successful on social platforms. Why do you think Herschel’s social media appeals to so many people?
This comes back to our focus on story telling. Even if someone isn’t interested in purchasing a new backpack they could be interested in travel, photography, music; all pieces we cover on our social channels. If we limited ourselves to just selling products, people would disengaged pretty quickly after their first purchase. We’re looking to build a long-term relationship that transcends a sale.
- If you could sum up the aesthetic of Herschel’s Instagram account in one sentence, it would be:
Exploring, enjoying and experiencing the world through travel.
- How do you keep your social media from becoming stagnant?
We make sure to only post pictures and stories that our team is impressed by. Maintaining a high level of quality ensures that even if our themes remain the same, there is always something interesting happening.
Just days after our meeting, Herschel surprised us when a package of their bags arrived at our office. We wanted to send a big thank you to Allison & Herschel; all of us at Booje Media have since traded our purses for backpacks and have now been converted to the growing list of backpack-lovers. Case in point: our makeshift Booje “Backpack Rack”.
Follow Herschel Supply Co. on Instagram: @herschelsupply
To keep true to their ongoing #WellTraveled theme, we are hoping to win the latest Herschel’s Wander The World contest; they’re giving away a trip to Peru!
The House of Booje
“CREATIVITY IS CONTAGIOUS. PASS IT ON.” – ALBERT EINSTEIN