THE VIRTUALAF™ blog

Lake It Duluth Retail

Reinventing Retail: A “Virtual Marketing Department” For an Up-and-Coming Lifestyle Brand

In theory, online retail is an open game. In practice, major players still hold most of the cards. Large retailers can afford to build marketing expertise—and market share—without crushing their bottom line. So where does that leave startups?

Possibly stronger than ever. As emerging retailers like Minnesota’s  Lake It are learning, there’s a way to amp up strategic marketing support without firing up the burn rate. The retail site we recently developed for Lake It is the tentpole of the company’s new customer acquisition strategy—and the test case for a different kind of agency-client relationship.

“We’ve come to think of Social Link as our virtual marketing department,” said Justin Steinbach, Lake It’s CEO and president. “Like us, they understand that the future belongs to virtually networked organizations that can scale and adapt much faster than traditional retailers.”

Time to market is the critical factor. Virtual agencies like Social Link have access to a nationwide base of top talent—and can onboard quickly, providing the same calibre of strategic support as an in-house marketing team with far less overhead. Lake It entrusted us with all aspects of customer experience: visual identity, brand storytelling, social strategy, dashboard reporting, and pay-per-click. We’ve even taken a hand in developing new products to enhance the company’s new positioning as a lifestyle brand.

“There’s a niche for every kind of product, as long as you know who you’re trying to reach.” So says our CEO and founder, Brady O’Rourke. “For Lake It, we developed a customer profile around the idea of ‘lake culture’... a whole way of life that was born in Minnesota, and that high-end consumers across the nation are beginning to embrace. Every part of our digital strategy is designed to drive sales and qualified leads with this affinity group.”

If you’ve got big plans for your brand, then let’s talk. We’re ready to bring them to life.

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