It’s a double WCW today.
Jen Rubio and Steph Korey are the fabulous founders of Away. If you aren’t familiar with it, Away is a travel company, with their first output being luggage.
Rubio and Korey’s approach to their business feels both old-school and entirely fresh at the same time. They have picked one thing and done it well. They haven’t tried to diversify into a million accessories and colours. They had faith in their product and target market. They go straight to the customer.
To me this is a lesson in simplicity. It is so easy these days to try and produce everything at once, and do it in 20 different colours. That’s not always how to win though.
They do with ease what larger companies with bigger budgets struggle endlessly to do. Every activity they do and every piece of content they produce feels natural and entirely on brand.
A massive key to their success has been their focus on social. Away is constantly working with influencers and has built a strong following – particularly on Instagram. They use their retail space as an event space, hosting talks and workshops. And these talks aren’t about where to go on holiday next. There is no falsehood or agenda in them. They are about what their audience would want to attend, and what those who work at Away feel passionate about.
I believe Away has been so successful because of the strategic hires Rubio and Korey made. For example, their head of marketing and operations is 24 year old Emma Bates; a recent UK uni grad with an impressive online following. Not many would take such a risk on someone with limited corporate experience. Some could view this as an easy way to get quick followers, but from what I have seen, Bates has done a more than excellent job in developing the Away brand and solidifying their social status as a must have travel product.
Keep an eye on this one. I’m expecting big things.