Case Study: RELX

Client: RELX

Services Provided:

  • Brand Copy and tone of voice guideline
  • Social Media Content Strategy
  • Global Brand Launch Support
  • New Product Launch: Brand and Social Strategy, Copywriting Support

Summary:

Helped a quickly growing design-driven vape brand launch their international presence by guiding brand positioning, providing product copy, and consulting on social media strategy. The success of the international brand launch dove-tailed into brand strategy and copy support for the launch of the first luxury flagship product for the brand.


Brand Strategy

As part of the brand strategy service provided, I created a style guide to help the team communicate in a coherent manner across social media, print, and owned media channels. By taking stock of the existing brand positioning developed for the Chinese market, I created a brand position that was consistent with the core values of the company, while adjusting it enough to communicate these values effectively outside of the Chinese context.


Brand Communications Style Guide

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Content Strategy and Brand Advocacy

With client head of global marketing developed multi-pronged communications strategy that leveraged the product’s unique design and technology (20+ patents in the category) to communicate the product’s value proposition. Using social media content, community-building efforts, long-form content, helped lead a program to grow an engaged audience of approximately 20 000 followers on Instagram and Facebook platforms. The audience was built through organic means only due to platform restrictions on vaping product category.

The messaging strategy targeted young professionals and adopted a more “mature” tone than was the standard for the industry at the time. This content targeting helped create a loyal user base among health-conscious professionals who sought to quit smoking and enjoyed the option of using nicotine responsibly and with reduced risks.


International Brand Launch

For the initial brand introduction, I have also authored the bulk of product copy, including the product descriptions, flavor descriptions, packaging, and point of sale promotional copy. What has since become the “RELX Classic” product offering supplied high quality products and unique flavors. One of the more interesting avenues for making the brand memorable was the adoption of an “East meets West” approach to positioning flavor options. The Ludou (Green Mung Bean) flavor in particular was especially popular in the Asian market, but faced some positioning headwinds in breaking into the Western market. By insisting on keeping the flavor name in Mandarin, I was able to create a sense of interest and mystery through online and point-of-sale messaging that invited the consumer to try the mysterious flavor. In the end this flavor in particular became a top seller outside of China, and was a flagship flavor to be included in the launch of the first luxury-tier product, the RELX Alpha.


RELX Alpha Product Launch

After the initial success and strong growth in Western markets, the brand sought to reinforce an up-market position, and sought to introduce a new, luxury-tier vape device globally. In collaboration with a growing social media team and the client’s head of marketing, I provided further brand messaging strategy and product copy. Along with the standard messaging streams for the brand, we developed an exclusivity-oriented strategy by creating and promoting a pre-registration Facebook group. The messaging around the group gave the RELX audience a chance to be the first to know about upcoming product features, receive special deals, act as brand ambassadors, and be the first to pre-purchase the Alpha device at launch.

The pre-launch messaging campaign and use of the exclusivity appeal to further consolidate client engagement created significant interest. The campaign resulted in pre-sale of 1 million+ starter kits on launch day. As a result of the launch success of Alpha, RELX had to quickly scale up production to meet sales demand. The resulting brand popularity allowed for a strong platform to introduce new models and see increasing sales, despite harsh regulatory limitations started in late 2019.