Founded by Bonnie Hatcher and Jasmin McVeigh in 2019, marketing agency Unicorn helps brands grow their online presence by first understanding their customers. They have four full-time employees, all based in London. Bonnie and Jasmin feature left to right in the photo above.

Bonnie, 33, previously worked as Head of Marketing for a fitness brand, while Jasmin, 29, managed the marketing for a makeup brand. Unicorn clients include skincare brands, an aromatherapy business and an alcohol-free drinks company.

Here, the co-founders share their advice on how to better understand and engage customers. Unicorn has been a Starling business customer since 2020.

Understand your customers through surveys and quizzes

“Before you do anything, you’ve got to understand your customers,” says Bonnie. “How do they spend their weekends? What are they passionate about?”

Jasmin adds: “When you know exactly who your customers are, you can communicate in a way that resonates with them.”

Jasmin says that surveys can be created with low budgets and the results can be incredibly valuable. Unicorn recommends SurveyMonkey or Google Forms, tools that enable you to easily share and analyse results. “Start with your top customers - the people who are already buying from you. They’re the people whose opinions you should really value,” says Jasmin.

In 2019, Unicorn ran a successful campaign for a major skincare brand using surveys, ads and quizzes, which they state increased monthly revenue by 258%. Jasmin says: “We used quizzes to segment customers by how they physically work out - be it rushing to the gym at lunchtime and then wanting to reduce redness before their next meeting, or running outside in the elements and wanting to protect their skin.”

The quiz allowed Unicorn to address the customers’ specific challenges and direct them to the most relevant products.

How to use social media influencers: Start small

When it comes to influencers, Unicorn recommends starting small. They suggest choosing up to ten influencers with audiences of under 10,000 on Instagram or TikTok.

Bonnie says: “Developing a one-on-one rapport with a select number of influencers, helps drive more meaningful content, and allows for a deeper understanding of what the influencer audience has in common with your customers.”

You can also use influencers to help shape your messaging, Bonnie says. For example, Unicorn created a campaign that saw influencers try a new alcohol-free drink on camera and then describe the flavour and how it made them feel. The playful campaign not only helped develop their client’s messaging, but generated a buzz around the brand.

Incentivise your customers to spread the word

Unicorn helps clients develop referral and rewards programmes. “When someone comes to your brand through a friend, they’re far more likely to become a loyal customer because the trust has already been established,” says Jasmin.

“It’s really important to get the incentive right and that’s where understanding your audience through surveys can help. The incentive doesn’t have to be monetary. It could be a complementary product or even a free coffee.”

Whatever the incentive, Jasmin advises using unique codes that can be tracked and analysed when the customer enters them at checkout.

Business banking with Starling

For Unicorn, a key benefit of banking with Starling is that it frees up time to focus on campaigns. “It saves so much admin and Starling’s ethics align with ours,” says Jasmin.

Bonnie adds: “The app is so helpful and intuitive.” Both founders also love that Starling champions financial equality through campaigns such as #MakeMoneyEqual.

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