Challenge

Closet Relay is a mobile app that aims to change the way people buy and sell clothing online. The start-up is a one-woman operation with only one external resource: Switchboard. Ria Mizera, the brains behind Closet Relay, hired Switchboard to help take her app from an idea on paper to product launch and beyond. In the process, Switchboard needed to help answer some critically important questions: how do we position Closet Relay in an oversaturated fashion/lifestyle market — and get an edge over competitors? And how does a team with such limited resources ensure optimal customer care?

Solution

Switchboard’s collaboration with Closet Relay began with extensive strategic groundwork, which culminated in a detailed roadmap and communications strategy to take the app from concept to a pilot product launch in Vancouver. The strategy required that Closet Relay be bold in order to stand out and grab attention amongst the app’s target audiences. Tactics included video series, a blogger launch party, and creative activations at strategically chosen venues such as Vancouver’s Largest Clothing Swap and university campuses. And because Closet Relay needed a community of engaged users to take off, the plan also included leveraging on-the-ground ambassadors who could help kick-start this community. Switchboard recommended recruiting these ambassadors by sending ‘care packages’ with Closet Relay collateral to university students — a key demographic for the app.

Results

Switchboard helped make Closet Relay’s August 2015 launch a success. Despite a windstorm (during which people were told to stay inside), over 15 bloggers and key influencers attended the soft launch party at Matchstick Coffee. Thanks to this event and to Switchboard’s broader media relations strategy, bloggers and other digital media outlets have embraced the app; it has been featured in numerous prominent Vancouver media including 604Now, LikeVancouver, and VancityBuzz. As of January 2016, Closet Relay has over 500 users, and over 600 items have been posted for sale — and Closet Relay is a recognized player in the tech, fashion and sustainability space.

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