While influencer marketing is now an integral part of the digital marketing mix, gone are the days where creators are relying solely on brands to make a living. In the past couple of years, we have seen both social platforms launching more monetisation oppotortunities for influencers as well as content creators establishing a more direct relationships with their fans, one that audiences are willing to reward.
In this context, it’s unsurprising to see an increasing number of influencers wanting to launch and scale their own brands. This is where a company like Third Phase comes in.
Launched by Rowlo Media founders Josh Savinson and Sam Venning, who are behind well-known brands such as Wuffes and Catalyst Global co-founder, George Gazzard, Third Phase focuses on incubating D2C ecommerce brands in partnership with celebrities and influencers. Third Phase looks after all operational areas of running the business and also has extensive knowledge in scaling ecommerce businesses to $15m+ turnover through sophisticated sales funnels and omni channels.
Gazzard, who helped launch brands like Filter by Molly Mae, Made with Love by Tom Daley, outlined that “there was a big opportunity for an outright ecommerce service provider to offer influencers the value add they require with respect to long term strategy and scale for their brand.” He added, “In this day and age, technology provides anyone the opportunity to conceptualise and launch a brand, however, the challenge lies in being able to take the brand past a ‘drop style’ model to demonstrate month on month profitable and sustainable growth; the skill sets and experience that Josh and Sam bring to the table through their e-commerce/marketing engine rooms are a real value proposition for any digital talent looking to launch and scale their own brand past their immediate audience.”
One of the biggest challenges facing influencers who choose to launch their own brands in place of lucrative brand deals is the ability to scale their brand outside of their immediate audience, whilst also building a brand with true longevity.
Third Phase is currently developing key product formats in house which it will align with empowered talent. The company fully funds the business with the partner, investing in the stock, operations and marketing. Third Phase sets up each business as its own entity where Third Phase takes an equity position in the business alongside the celebrity/influencer. The influencer is positioned as the Creative Director and plays a part in the sales funnel, creating content and engaging their immediate audience.
When discussing the challenges, Gazzard says that “the hardest part is ensuring we are delivering a compelling product to the marketplace that has a hook to attract cold audiences outside of the influencers immediate (loyal) community. We spend a lot of time reviewing data and trend analysis to ensure what we create is future proof and importantly, that it aligns with the narrative of the influencer. Storytelling is crucial to the success of the influencer so the product has to closely align with them.”
Third Phase aims to work with the most purpose driven talent within verticals where it can help them solve a problem to something they experience, whether that be skin or health problems. The company’s ambition is to have five leading brands across the UK/US by 2027 in product verticals that it has identified as the most commercial. “All the brands we incubate will have their own teams that Third Phase will have helped hire, train and develop to ensure each team is benchmarked against the teams we have put in place for our brands which turnover $15m+,” says Gazzard.
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