In Conversation with Jordan Eagle from Bellroy

Natalie Dean-Weymark


February 27, 2024

This journal article is taken from Episode 7 of Compass Studio’s podcast series “In Conversation” hosted by Co-Founder and Director Natalie Dean-Weymark.

What’s the difference between branded content and promotional content? And can paid content ever match the impact of organic content? Enter the world of user-generated content; the format that is taking the spotlight from traditional advertising – and where authenticity, relatability and the power of community take center-stage. 

On this week’s episode of In Conversation, we spoke to Content Partnerships Lead, Jordan Eagle from Bellroy; a global B Corp that is known for its timeless and responsibly-produced leather carry-goods. Read on, or listen here 👇

Q: What's your favourite partnership campaign, and why is it your favourite?

A: My favorite campaign is the ‘Work’ campaign, which launched back in August. I love it because I was there from the beginning, and it allowed me to see the inner workings of a brand I've respected for a long time. The campaign aimed to reshape the perception of our work collection, considering the changes in the world since our last pre-COVID campaign. We diversified the styles of work depicted, moving away from the traditional corporate look. It was an exercise in proactively reshaping how this collection is perceived in a post-COVID era where work is more fluid.

One aspect I appreciated in my role was the user-generated content (UGC) campaign, the Bellroy Carry Crew. Our UGC program sources content creators from our customer base. We reach out to people with positive experiences with our products, creating authentic collaborations. Working with creators who have a genuine community following adds authenticity to our campaigns. For the Work campaign, we collaborated with Virginia Jenkins, a lawyer, mum of four, and content creator, bringing a fresh perspective on work.

Q: What do you wish you knew at the start of the ‘Work’ campaign?

A: Starting the campaign and being new to Bellroy, I had the typical desire to know everything right away. However, I realized the value of fresh eyes and the grace to figure things out along the way. I wish I understood earlier that being new is a unique moment in time that shouldn't be rushed. Embracing the feeling of being new and recognizing it as an advantage is important, especially in a rapidly changing industry. 

From Bellroy's'Work' campaign which sources content creators from its customer base

Q: In the purpose-led space, is there a secret recipe for success?

A: Repetition is crucial, especially in purpose-led marketing. People need to hear a message multiple times for it to stick. Even though marketers may get tired of repeating the same taglines or messages, consumers hear it so infrequently that it's necessary for brand recall. 

Integrity in messaging is also vital. Brands need to live up to their promises, ensuring a high level of integrity in their practices and products, differentiating themselves in a competitive market. Brands that genuinely work toward a triple bottom line and maintain high integrity in their practices create a significant difference. When offering similar products in a purpose-led market, the extra mile a brand goes in terms of sustainability or positive cultural practices can make a significant impact. 

Q: With varying budget sizes, what, in your experience, moves the needle the most?

A: For smaller budgets, finding a balance between tried-and-tested tactics that drive results and exploring new spaces is essential. It allows for quick testing and learning. For larger budgets, making data-informed decisions and investments is crucial. There's a need for skepticism when assessing opportunities and ensuring a strong return on investment. Clear frameworks for testing new avenues and setting expectations with the team are essential, regardless of the budget size.

Q: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in the purpose-led space?

A: Navigating the purpose-led job market has been my biggest hurdle. Finding the right alignment of values and work culture has been challenging. The industry has evolved, and now there are more resources like the B Corp directory and platforms like Work 180, making it easier to align with businesses that share both values and work practices. It's about finding businesses that not only claim to be purpose-led but also demonstrate it through actions and transparency.

Q: Who are the voices you believe always nail it when talking about purpose-led marketing?

A: I admire Fluff Casual Cosmetics and The Dirt Company for their transparency and willingness to share their journey. Both Melbourne-based, female-founded businesses are committed to shifting narratives within their industries. They consistently share the ups and downs of building their brands, making them relatable and inspiring.

Q: What are you currently reading or listening to for inspiration and development?

A: I'm reading "Stolen Focus" by Johann Hari to understand and address my unhealthy relationship with my phone. I'm also listening to Jules Terpak, a digital culture journalist, who provides insights into topics like AI chatbots and parasocial relationships.

Q: The marketing landscape has changed so much in recent years, how have you as a marketer responded to this change?

A: Adopting a learner's mindset has been crucial. There are vast concepts influencing our work, like chat GPT. Rather than feeling overwhelmed, I see an opportunity to understand, seek resources, and learn how to leverage these changes. Embracing new technology is vital – I don't want to be stuck using outdated methods. Also, applying Seth Godin's marketing definition of solving problems for people and critically evaluating output is key. While there's pressure to appease algorithms and maintain content frequency, sacrificing quality isn't an option. Slowing down, setting up systems, and taking time for ideation and refinement have been valuable, even if it means not posting as frequently.

Like what you read? Listen to the full episode podcast with Jordan Eagle here or read more from our other In Conversation guests over on the Compass journal here.

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