The Flatpack Co
Former Otago University students Angus Syme and Cameron Leigh, among thousands of others, were sick and tired of Fladmin – the nightmare of organising flat furniture.
The duo put their heads together and in 2019, they launched the successful online bed retailer business: The Flatpack Company.
The business was designed to offer New Zealand tertiary students, like themselves, affordable, brand-new beds, delivered to them on the day they move into their flat.
After experiencing immense growth in their first two years, they looked to turn their attention to the regular market – bringing their affordable bedroom furniture to the everyday kiwi.
They decided to collaborate with a digital partner that aligned with their ethos and that could help take their business to new heights. The Flatpack Company had pretty clear ambitions: expand the awareness of their student offering in order to sell over 1,000 beds during the peak ‘Fladmin’ period (October – March) and then to launch their regular market offering to a new demographic, profitably.
Sell 1,000+ student beds
Improve profitability of paid media campaigns
Gain visibility on online performance & attribution
Flatpack’s student PPC strategy used comedy, urgency, product comparison, and dynamic audience targeting to drive brand awareness and sales. This multi-pronged strategy was implemented over Google Search, Display, Shopping, and Youtube platforms.
Our most impactful tool for driving sales was creating a sense of urgency. We used Search and Display ads to highlight the fact that beds would be more expensive if bought after October 1st, pushing students to act early.
We implemented a dynamic countdown copy function within Google Search advertising.
The text ad would display a live countdown of the number of days before the next price rise thanks to this feature. For instance, one of our descriptions stated: “Our Beds Will Never Be More Affordable – Price Increase In X Days” with the value of X being dynamically inserted based on the time the advertisement is viewed.
This urgency was further heightened in remarketing across search and display, which targeted everyone who had visited the Flatpack student website in the previous 30 days but hadn’t completed a purchase.
With Youtube ads, we used sequencing to optimise the storytelling and customise the message depending on where the viewer was in the decision-making process. All skippable in-stream ads were designed to be organic and comedic to better relate to students.
Product and service comparison was a key theme across all ads. The second video “Why Should You?” continues to detail the benefits of The Flatpack products and services and reiterates the core USP from the top funnel ads. The third and final video step “Golden Child”, was a pure product-focused video designed to show the quality of the bed and instigate that final purchase.
This sequence had over 170k impressions and over 41k views (watches 30+ seconds). Our analytics also show that students were VERY aware of their looming deadlines.
Using a lighthearted approach to the creatives, the student-targeted paid social marketing focused on increasing brand awareness and social traction through quirky TikTok-esque videos that appealed to the younger audience.
Testing unique variants of messaging and imagery against each other, we were able to get a good sense of what was resonating with our audience and were then able to change tact or build upon these insights.
In particular, ads featuring everyday students talking about the beds, and creating vlog-styled user-generated content, resulted in fantastic engagement. Trimming ad copy, adding audio captions, and optimising assets across all Facebook and Instagram placements was also key to engaging with a younger audiences who are used to the likes of apps like TikTok – so they expect to be entertained quickly!
Our targeting approach was broad and simple to begin with; targeting a ‘lookalike audience’ of Flatpack website visitors – those that share similar characteristics to Flatpack’s initial customer base. This allowed us to pinpoint an audience in this tight age bracket interested in beginning the sales journey.
We were able to increase The Flatpack Co. brand awareness by dividing the marketing funnel into two stages, targeting the appropriate demographics who were ready to be nurtured at the prospecting level, and retargeting these students when they were ready to buy. Scarcity and urgency messages, similar to our PPC strategy, were employed to draw attention to product price hikes and foster a “get it before it’s gone” mentality.
We continued to develop and maintain the social advertising campaigns with the purpose: to reach as many New Zealand students as possible with The Flatpack brand, quality beds, and unique sales propositions!
We’ve smashed all our objectives, with over 1000 student beds sold, more than 300 student sales from new advertising channels, and a 300% increase in regular market conversion rate since launch.
From The Client
I couldn’t recommend Digitella higher. A highly skilled and experienced team who were able to manage and surpass our digital marketing goals. The team has also managed to remove all the unwanted parts of dealing with an ‘agency’.
Co-Founder, The Flatpack Co