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TECHNOLOGY

How This Singaporean Start-up Builds Brands in the Digital Space

Social media helps propel Supernova’s success

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BY Melissa G. Bagamasbad - 14 Jun 2018

How This Singaporean Start-up Builds Brands in the Digital Space

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Many start-ups depend on social media to grow their brand. But what happens if companies use social media from incubation to launch?

This is what Singapore-based start-up Supernova is dipping its toes in. A global e-commerce company founded two years ago, Supernova builds brands in the health, wellness, and fitness space.

How it works is Supernova's entrepreneurial teams conceive the product ideas under the Supernova platform and work with partners globally to bring these ideas to life. They have their custom 360º product development process that includes product ideation, branding, packaging, social media marketing, e-commerce storefront, international shipping, and customer service.   

Co-founder and chair Emily Hamilton says the idea for Supernova was born out of her last venture, Bellabox, an Australia-based beauty subscription service. It was there that she saw “great opportunity in the global wellness market.”

Supernova has since launched SkinnyMint detox tea; BodyBoss, a fitness program; Sand & Sky, an Australian botanicals skin care brand; and Coco & Eve, a Balinese-inspired hair and body brand.

Using social media to connect with consumers

"Unlike the traditional way of launching a product — and spending a few years finding and launching products through a retail partner — we actually launched via social media, connecting with customers right away and receiving real-time feedback, an invaluable insight for product improvements," says Hamilton.

She adds customers are much more receptive to e-commerce and product discovery on social channels. As such, this has allowed them to grow their customer base and database quickly.

Hamilton recalls that when they launched skincare brand Sand and Sky, they tried to contact several retailers to discuss partnerships. Few would pick up their calls, and those who did turned them down. It was different in social media.

"We saw great success when we launched via social media, and those same retailers reached out to us," she says. "Today, our products are stocked across 12 retailers worldwide, including ASOS, Cult Beauty, Boot UK, and Adore Beauty in Australia. Going digital first has been our success mantra."

Hamilton attributes the success of their strategy to customer conversations, real-time feedback, and reviews, which help in customers’ purchasing decisions.

Getting new blood

 With four offices and 90 employees globally, Hamilton says their goal this year is to get more entrepreneurs on the platform.

"These are [people who] are able to problem-solve on the fly, quickly adapt to changing situations and understand how to look at their projects or issues from an overall business perspective, not just their own expertise," she says.

She says they plan to bring these individuals into the Supernova fold through a three-pronged approach: hiring, training, and culture.

But for those who are just getting started, Hamilton advises them to go and work at a start-up first. “It’s a great opportunity to see how it is…and to learn responsibilities, make an impact. You’ll learn a lot. It’s a really great way to start your own career,” she says.  She adds that doing so can also help aspiring start-up founders develop a lot of connections.

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