If you’ve ever wondered whether influencer gifting is an effective marketing strategy, just see the recent success of UK small business Home of Hammam, which sells Turkish loungewear consisting of robes, kimonos and kaftans.
On 28 July, author and fashion editor Erica Davies showcased one of Home of Hammam’s robes (since renamed The Erica in her honour) on Instagram, where she has 202,000 followers. What happened next is the magic of an influencer shout-out: Home of Hammam sold out all its stock, gained 4,500 Instagram followers and its website crashed due to the high volume of traffic.
- Home of Hammam is a small UK business that sells Turkish loungewear and its website launched in October 2022.
- Fashion editor Erica Davies posted a photo wearing one of its robes on Instagram and shared how much she liked it. Her post led to the company’s website crashing, selling out all its stock and its Instagram gaining 4,500 followers.
- In the days following Davies’ post, the company received 190 orders, which was 1,425% higher than the previous week.
Home of Hammam founder Frances Fordham told CORQ that between 28 July and 3 August, she received 190 orders – 1,425% higher than the previous week. All of the sales were due to Davies’ post, as Fordham wasn’t running any other marketing campaigns.
“If my website hadn’t gone down, God knows what that figure would look like. It could be double.”
Davies had previously contacted Home of Hammam seeking to purchase a sold-out robe after seeing it on lifestyle creator Claire Stewart. Although Davies was adamant about wanting to support the small business and purchase the robe, Fordham ended up gifting it to her.
“I was so unaware that somebody would be able to have such an influence on people. It has completely blown my mind.”
History of influencer marketing success
Speaking about Davies, Fordham said: “Erica has been so kind and humble about it all. She’s obviously somebody who actually genuinely enjoys helping people like me [who run small businesses].”
Lucy Owen, founder of Lucy Owen Talent, the agency that Davies is signed to, echoed these sentiments and told CORQ: “Erica has always championed small, independent brands, and supporting them organically is a huge part of her [Instagram] mix. Her community trusts her implicitly and knows she only ever shares brands and products, both organically and commercially, that truly resonate with her personal style and ethics. This can really have a significant impact for a brand and is her star power.”
Brands that have worked with Davies know just how impactful she is. In 2022, John Lewis told CORQ that Davies’ boot collection had one of its styles sell out within 24 hours and that she is one of its top-performing creators.
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“I never envisioned that I would have this many orders,” Fordham said. She grew up travelling to Turkey and came up with the idea for the company during lockdown. Home of Hammam is a “one-man band” that was a “hobby” she was passionate about and could run alongside being a mother. She began selling stock in late summer of 2022 and Home of Hammam’s website launched in October.
Gifting a robe to Davies has proved fruitful, but Fordham has only gifted to a “handful” of influencers, such as stop-motion creator Dominique Davis (who is a friend from college) as well as Stewart. Home of Hammam’s marketing strategy has been “modest” and has consisted of running adverts across Instagram and Facebook through Meta for Business.
As for the future of Home of Hammam’s influencer marketing work, Fordham “100%” wants to gift to more creators. “This is so much more effective than any ads that I could be putting online.”
By Caroline Edwards, CORQ news and features writer. Picture credit: Erica Davies