How Daniel Wellington Sold 1 Million Watches or $228M in Just 3 Years
Learn how this watch brand used influencer marketing and UGC for every part of their marketing funnel. Here's how they did it.
Updated January 23, 2024.
Daniel Wellington started as a small brand with a meager $20,000 in cash. The story is that the founder Filip Tysander was traveling in Asia and met a British man with impeccable taste. The man’s name was Daniel Wellington and that’s how the brand was born.
In 2010 Instagram was first launched and Filip saw his opportunity to launch a brand using influencer marketing. He was using influencers before the term ‘influencer’ was even widely used.
In just 3 short years the brand was able to sell $228M in watches, or 1 million watches, and become a household name. Their success is attributed to their brilliant influencer marketing strategy.
Their strategy was to reach out to influencers and offer free products. Since their margins were 50% because of the cheap production of these watches, that was a pretty cost-saving strategy.
They reached out to everyone - from fashion models to painters. Anyone that had an engaged following on Instagram.
Here’s an example from an artist on Instagram:
Their UGC campaigns became so popular that influencers started buying watches and posting using the hashtag #DWpickoftheday to try and get featured on the brand’s official profile. This hashtag has had 62,000 posts (as of the writing of this post) so that’s roughly an average of 15 new influencer/UGC posts per day.
The brand went after user-generated content aggressively by commenting on influencer’s photos and asking permission to re-purpose them for their own marketing campaigns.
Here’s an example of a post that they asked to use:
The brand took this image and used it on their product page, inside of their UGC gallery of Instagram images shot by their influencers and customers.
Daniel Wellington also uses these UGC images on their social media, particularly their Pinterest profile.
And this is a great opportunity to advertise and use some of these pins as the creative. Brands use Pinterest growth agencies to 10x their traffic from this channel all the time.
Influencers gave Wellington a sturdy foundation and the brand has continued to grow ever since. The key was to use these images in every aspect of their marketing - from social media to their product pages.
That systematic approach to UGC and influencer marketing is what really helped build the brand and make it one of the top watch companies in the world.