Posted by: wjingwong | November 2, 2015

Indie Brands & Social Media

Chapter Six in The Shallows talks about Costikyan’s independent games movement as well as how indie brands could survive in the market. This discussion reminds me that nowadays, there are more and more artists and designers setting up their brands instead of applying for jobs in big companies.

As they start marketing their brands and make it more “spreadable,” they prefer to use Instagram or any other social media to reach out to their potential customers. In addition to the now famous Daniel Wellington watch, another success story is Kaufmann Mercantile, a lifestyle company that sells everything you’ll use in daily life. After launching their brand, the company sent an email to some famous Instagramers, inviting them to choose whatever things they like from KM’s website, to help promote the brand. KM also gave each of photographers their own promotion code, so their followers would enjoy a special discount.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 10.03.01

Promotional photo for KM

To indie brands like DW watch and Kaufmann, social media can be one of the most efficient tools to help them succeed, in addition to starting a project on Kickstarter to fund their brand. However, start-up companies have a long way to go before bringing their brand to the mainstream market, or even owning a physical store. Can indie brands survive or continue to be successful without relying on social media?


  1. There’s a cool company in Portland called “Portland Gear.” It was started by a guy who claimed the @Portland Instagram handle and built a company around it. There’s definitely a lot of opportunity, but no silver bullets. I’m wondering if it’s a right place/right time scenario, or if there is a proven way people can leverage social media for consistent results (without spending tens of thousands of dollars).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: