It’s no secret that social media plays a pivotal role in how today’s brands communicate with their consumers – it’s a primary channel for engagement and establishing brand identity. Despite this, very few retailers’ private brands have a robust online presence or platform.

Jeff Gamsey, Senior Vice President of Private Brands at Boxed

Online warehouse site Boxed’s Prince & Spring private brand often looks to take an industry-forward approach to growing its private brand – and its social media strategy is no different. When launched in 2015, Prince & Spring set out to be seen as more than a generic private label – it set out to be a brand – and the recent launch of its very own Instagram (@PrinceandSpring) is yet another extension of this strategy.

“A brand leverages every touchpoint to establish meaningful connections with its customers and produce engaging experiences that support its authentic sense of value,” Jeff Gamsey, Senior Vice President of Private Brands at Boxed, said. “One way we hope to accomplish that is by using social media to augment the story of Prince & Spring in a more compelling fashion. Launching a dedicated Instagram account provides new ways for us to showcase products and topics that are important to the brand in the aesthetically pleasing, Prince & Spring way.”

Prince & Spring’s look, feel, and value are core to its products, packaging, and now Instagram, where followers will notice how its personality shines through in posts ranging from

to beautiful

The team is focused on developing consistent, relevant content for its audience while also experimenting with new ways to grow its following and engage with potential and existing customers.

One example of this is using Instagram as a channel to communicate sales and promotions, like it has been during this week’s Prince & Spring Week (running through July 14). The team has been posting graphics of different discounts and incentives that convey its value to consumers in a more original way, outside of traditional marketing tactics like email campaigns. Another example is trying out new captions involving recipes, raffles, and unique hashtags that might interest different types of followers. This strategy has proved effective – the team sees immediate spikes in follower engagement anytime a post includes a recipe, like its recent post of the Almond Butter Smoothie Bowl, which outperformed all previous posts’ engagement by 160%. Additionally, Prince & Spring’s recurring #StellarHour posts – that feature cocktail recipes made with its own Stellar Seltzer – have become a fun, relevant way to show followers the versatility and practicality of the product.

Today, Instagram is primarily used as a touch point between the Prince & Spring brand and its consumers, though the company has plans to change that in the future. According to Hootsuite’s 2019 Social Media Trends Report, Instagram will become an increasingly practical way for retailers to streamline consumers’ path to purchase through shoppable posts. Because Prince & Spring is a digitally native brand, it’s able to more easily circumvent the limitations of in-store shelf space and traditional marketing tactics to evolve quickly and pursue these in-app shopping technologies for its customers.

“We’re continuously looking for ways to innovate and leverage the wealth of tech savviness our teams possess to push private brands beyond their historic constraints.” Gamsey said. “That connection to brand is an enormously valuable asset to the future growth of Prince & Spring and a core part of the mission of Boxed.”

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.