Know Thyself: A Brand’s Guide

Mother’s Day is around the corner, and for many, it’s a wonderful time to celebrate the women in our lives who have been there for us through our best and worst days. However, for many others, Mother’s Day can be an unfortunate reminder of loss, disappointment, or grief that they would rather not have to “celebrate.”

Some brands, like the online craft store Etsy, are choosing to provide their customers and email subscribers with a chance to “opt-out” of their Mother’s Day promotional emails, saying “We’ll still keep you in the loop about one-of-a-kind finds we think you’ll love, just without the Mother’s Day messages.” For an online retail store like Etsy which thrives around holidays meant for homemade gifts, is this a risky move that will lead to profit loss? Or do they simply know their audience well?

According to Statista, there were 4.3 million active sellers on the Etsy.com platform in 2020, and the site had 81.9 million active buyers who had bought goods through the platform, taking in total revenue of 1.7 billion dollars. The platform is designed to allow individual sellers or stores to sell their products and invites customers to ditch mega-stores like Amazon or Walmart for something with a bit more personal touch.

By allowing their customers to opt-out of Mother’s Day emails, Etsy is acknowledging their customer’s desire to shop for something special and unique. They understand their customer’s purchases are often motivated by things like thoughtfulness, design, and that “personal touch” that is missing from most department stores. In this way, Etsy is embracing the emotional aspect of its brand and products by acknowledging the variety of experiences surrounding a heartfelt day like Mother’s Day.

While it will be interesting to see if similar tactics are used for other heartfelt holidays, like Father’s Day or Christmas, it is clear that Etsy has a grasp on its brand’s appearance and leans into it. Though this could risk losing out on several thousand dollars in revenue, it’s more likely that those who do wish to opt-out feel cared for by a brand they care about, which is likely to lead to more profit down the road.

Retention is key and, for a brand as big as Etsy, understanding the customer journey as a slow burn rather than a few quick, gotcha campaigns that bring people in for a purchase or two could keep their company around for 50 years versus 5 years. While many small businesses starting out often tend to cast their net and get people sampling their products by giving them some rewards like free luxury promo items, it can be extremely beneficial to recognize the point in one’s company where they switch over from attention-seeking to attention holding.

At Miller Ad Agency, we’ll help transition your company’s appearance through all phases of size, profit, and status. From logo creation to campaign planning, we work with you to present your best self to your current and potential customers.