Shugar Soapworks started from a strong belief that vegetable derived and eco-friendly bath and body products should work as well (if not better) than conventional products. When competitors undercut their pricing by moving off-shore, Shugar Soapworks restructured and its business model to keep their soaps naturally pure and its manufacturing in the USA.
Shugar Soapworks had no brand marketing and was facing pressure from its retailers to promote its soaps or lose contracts. In addition, the company has two brands, Shugar Soaps and Venezia Soaps, which caused confusion. The company sought to clarify its brand message and build a community of customers who would share their stories and demonstrate the demand for its products.
Working on a limited budget, our team first clarified the company’s brand message and developed content to support it. We designed and implemented an integrated social media and direct marketing strategy that promotes the soaps and retailers, while fostering a personal relationship with customers. The program pinpoints target audiences, drives engagement and inspires customer storytelling. Direct customer communication is a cornerstone of the program and spans social media, direct marketing, and customer service communication. In addition, we created the Clean Hands Save Lives™ campaign and enlisted customers in choosing nonprofits to receive soap donations. Our Strong Women, Soft Hands campaign invited the community to share their stories with us for use on the website. Public relations, while secondary, supports the overall brand messages.
The Shugar Soapworks Facebook community is approaching 80,000 with engagement climbing monthly. Customers comment on how they love the soap, the memories it evokes, and the healthy impact it has on their skin. They share stories of being “Shugar soap addicts,” ”Shugar soap hoarders,” and of having “stashes” of Shugar soaps. In 2019, we started an Instagram page to reach a broader demographic.
Shugar has been covered in local and national media. Dan Shugar was honored as “Hero of the Week” by KNX radio and featured on Trep Talk, an online show for entrepreneurs. Most important, Shugar soaps sell out at all retailers, and orders have quadrupled.