Fran Dunaway (CEO/Cofounder) and Naomi Gonzalez (COO/Cofounder) | Seattle, Washington | Retail
Fram Dunaway, TomboyX| Seattle, Washington
The company’s success has a lot to do with its focus on comfort and quality, but they also believe it has everything to do with the company’s core values. “As we always say, TomboyX has an agenda, and it’s not simply a feminist agenda or a gay agenda but a human agenda that says we are all people,” Fran says. “We see TomboyX as a rebel champion sticking up for what’s right because that’s what tomboys do.”
This pre-crisis digital readiness also included use of websites (71%), and social media (72%), and a majority (64%) increased use of these tools during the crisis.
The mechanics of the business rely heavily on digital tools. YouTube was particularly helpful during the Kickstarter campaign and is something the company has been refocusing on this year. Instagram and Facebook have been central to the business’ strategy from the beginning. The company supplements its social media strategy with advertising on platforms such as Google Ads and Pinterest. G Suite and associated tools such as Gmail and Calendar are critical. Other tools that played a big part came from monday.com and Adobe Creative Suite to Klaviyo, Moz, AB Tasty, Canto, Attest, and a host of others. A TomboyX favorite is the marketing attribution platform Rockerbox, which integrates other important tools for the company such as Google Analytics.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Fran and Naomi’s attention turned to their customers. They created a list of resources to help those in need — covering everything from mental health to homelessness — and the company used social media to communicate with and provide support to its community in a listening and empathetic capacity. At the same time, TomboyX gained a deeper understanding of marketing analytics and customer insights by investing more fully in Rockerbox and the analytics that fed into it, such as Google Analytics.
Most SMBs (53%) also plan to continue to use more digital technologies in their business, even after the pandemic.
The company also turned to Google’s Find My Audience tool to help refine its targeting and track what was trending with the Google Trends feature. While TomboyX had initially braced for a steep decline in sales, something remarkable happened: products began selling out. The customers that made up TomboyX’s tight-knit digital community were looking for something familiar and comfortable at an unnerving time. And, as Fran and Naomi will tell you, there was no way TomboyX would have been able to provide any of it without the digital tools that fueled their business from the start.
“Without digital platforms, there would never have been a TomboyX to begin with,” notes Fran. “And without digital tools,” Naomi adds, “I don’t know how we would have been able to survive or be there for our community during the pandemic.”
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