Tayroc co-founder gives insight into the importance of becoming an ‘InstaBrand’

British brand, Tayroc, has revealed how important engaging with customers through its social media channels has been intrinsic to its success.

Tayroc’s co-founder, Dominic Owen, gave an in depth insight into how “connection and engagement” online has been a key USP for the brand in a crowded marketplace.

After starting out in a bedroom with one printer, the continuing growth of Tayroc’s social media following has led the brand to expand into 10,000 sq ft of office and warehouse space.

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After identifying that diverting traffic from online to the high street could be beneficial for the brand, Tayroc could be looking at going from an online, consumer focused brand to one which steps into the world of wholesale too.

Here’s what Dominic Owen had to say.

Who is Tayroc?

DO: “Tayroc is the consumer, the end customer. From the design stage, to the pricing stage the end consumer is always in mind. We try to bring the most creative, current and affordable product possible to the market.”

How and why was Tayroc conceived?

DO: “Tayroc was conceived between four friends, two pairs of brothers, James, Dominic, Kristian and Reiss. The idea was to create a product we could deliver to the end consumer for a fair price. The initial conversation took place in the early hours of the morning with way too much coffee involved but, within the following weeks we had decided on a design, a brand name and placed our initial inventory order of only 100 watches.

“We initially operated out of a bedroom with a printer, some shelving, a few watches and a dream. Now we have over 10,000 sq ft of office and warehouse space.”

What are the key USPs of the brand?

DO: “The key selling points of the brand have to be the design, quality, price tag and ultimately the connection and engagement we have with the Tayroc community on social media.”

How is Tayroc different to every other start up watch brand on the internet?

DO: “We had the right idea at the right time, unique designs and kept our own DNA. The majority of the watch brands I see start up now are just spin offs of us, or some of the other large social media players in the market right now.

“They spin a design off, reduce the quality and try to offer a low RRP, but all watch enthusiasts know quality when they see it and that’s why they love what we offer and the price we offer it for.”

We keep hearing the term InstaBrand… what does this mean and why is it important?

DO: “It’s a term many people use to describe brands with a large following on social media, but in reality it is now an essential tool for building a brand.

“For example without Instagram how would four friends with no money and no contacts be able to build Tayroc into a brand stocking over 300 retail stores? It just wouldn’t be possible within four years.

“Most brands conceived within recent years, which have gained huge exposure and grown relatively fast, have used a platform of social media, Instagram, Facebook, Kickstarter, ect, but now the start-up community is so saturated, not just in watches but in every industry, there are other routes to market which must be considered.”

What demographic of consumer are you targeting, both online and offline? And how do they differ?

DO: “Our general demographic is 18 to 36 but we don’t specifically have a set target demographic. The demographic is selected at the time of marketing each specific watch. A matte black watch with blue accents is of course going to be more desirable to a younger customer, but a classic silver watch with a black face, that could be bought in store by a grandmother for their grandchild, or by a grandchild as a present for their parent or grandparent. We try to keep the broadest collection of designs possible.”

You started as a B2C company online – why the change of direction to desiring a wholesale business?

DO: “We are not changing the direction of the company at all. There are many people who would prefer to visit a store to see, touch, try on and feel the quality of a watch before they purchase it. With the traffic we have pass through our online store we want to be able to offer this service, a customer can pass from our website to our store locater and purchase a product in the nearest stockist to them, as the company grows online it’s offline business will only grow with it.”

Have you prepared for the future and allowed a retailer margin to be added into the watch price, as so many brands have not?

DO: “Initially we had not, but as the company has grown we have allowed for this, but the wholesale business is not new for us. We have been selling watches in selected stores worldwide for over 3 years. One retailer in the Netherlands sold over 3,500 units through 2 doors in 2017 alone. We are just looking to expand on this with selected retailers, in selected areas.”

What type of distribution are you looking for in the UK?

DO: “We are not looking for distribution so to speak, we are looking for partners within retailers. We drive a huge amount of traffic to our online store, as I mentioned, many customers may want to feel the watch in person and purchase in store.”

The high-street is suffering at the moment, what do you think are the benefits of a retailer supporting an InstaBrand and introducing it to traditional retail?

DO: “We want to be able to drive the traffic from our online store who are not too familiar with the brand, and perhaps want to visit a retailer and purchase in store.”

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Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas