🧠Case Study #86 - selling 1M pieces of ice cream a day thanks to influencer collaboration

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Ekipa x Koral - how influencer collaboration pushed ice cream sales to 1M pieces a day (7 min read)

Ekipa – Poland’s most popular collective of YouTubers who live together in a luxury house and share pranks, challenges, fun activities, and lifestyle. Its creator, Friz is the third most popular Polish YouTuber with 4.37 million subscribers and 1.77 bn video views. Ekipa is the most known for their businesses–they’re making millions from various ventures and even went public through buying stock listed company.


Koral – Polish ice cream maker with an over 40-year tradition. The owners are two brothers who are both among the 100 wealthiest people in Poland.


Lody Ekipa – an ice cream (lody=ice cream) brand created in collaboration between the two above. They created a frenzy in shops, making people fight over them and list on auctions for up to 250,000 PLN (66,696 USD) 

🥊Strategy & Tools


Highlights


  • Mar 16, 2021 – the first notable searches for ‘lody ekipa’ can be seen on Google Trends


  • Mar 17, 2021 – Sitr0x, a YouTuber with almost 1.5 million subcribers finds Lody Ekipa at a local shop in Gdansk and records a review. It gets over 750k views.


  • Apr 1, 2021 – Lody Ekipa are introduced on Koral’s Instagram. The product is sold in smaller shops and rather flies under the radar of most people.


  • Apr 22, 2021 – Lody Ekipa go on sale in Biedronka chain malls, without much marketing from the chain. On the first day, 75% of the ordered stock got sold. A purchase has been made every 16 seconds. The first ice cream on the launch date was sold 20 minutes past midnight.


  • Apr 23–25, 2021 – Lody Ekipa wrappings get listed on Allegro auctions. Some of them are listed for a couple of hundred, some for 10k or even 250k PLN.


  • Apr 26, 2021 – Lody Ekipa are introduced to other big chain - Lidl. Lidl’s marketing refers to the prices on auctions. People go crazy and fight over shop fridges to get their ice cream.

    Friz releases a reaction video (300k views), teases new versions, and informs how exclusive the ice cream has become, since you couldn’t get them anywhere at that time.

  • However, Koral has set up a second production line, producing over 1 million ice cream per day.  


Well-thought-out product
Ekipa (eng. "crew") is known to introduce products that instantly get a lot of hype. They create trends and ride them. The collaboration with Koral was intended to promote Koral’s existing brands but during the talks, both sides of the deal came up with the idea to make an Ekipa-branded product.


The partnership is very mature. Koral let Ekipa choose any taste and characteristic to the ice cream product since they know their audience the best. On the other hand, it offered market-leading expertise of production, logistics, and sales.


Lody Ekipa are a good fit for Ekipa’s audience since they are mostly teenagers. The content published by its members could be rated as G, or PG in some cases, and although the brand looks for ways to grow up with its audience, an ice cream brand is just the right choice for now.



Influencers
That’s as old as the influencer world can get–collaborations between celebrities and manufacturers–after all, that’s what Kylie Jenner has built her empire on.


Ekipa has a large following and reach. Each member’s channel has well over a million subscribers. The most impressive is their real influence on purchase decisions. When creating their own brands, they get instant exposure to the target audience and engagement leading to purchases.



Storytelling
Ekipa rose to a YT content powerhouse through storytelling. Every upload of theirs is part of a wider story–a group of friends having fun. Many friendship dynamics and stories are passed from one video to another. And many of their stunts are well-documented in their videos. That makes the audience wonder what’s next and come back.



Brand marketing
Once the initial hype has been created, some more traditional ways of advertising have been introduced to maintain the demand. That’s through TV, digital display, and radio ads.


Koral’s headquarters in Nowy Sacz got a little Ekipa branding, too, together with transport trucks.



Social Media
The topic of Lody Ekipa has picked up well throughout social media in general–not only in Ekipa’s channels. The ice cream gets video reviews, TikToks, tips on where to find them, and other types of content that get the ball rolling.



Tools
TikTok
YouTube
TV
Display Ads
Radio Ads
Allegro (Polish version of eBay)

🧠Psychology


Social proof
After reaching a certain point of virality, Lody Ekipa became an object of discussion. Even though social proof didn’t work here as a recommendation (apart from the Ekipa themselves), it definitely built curiosity.



Curiosity gap
People want to know how to get from point A to point B. All those hearing about Lody Ekipa’s success wanted to check what’s so special about them–and contributed to the incredible sales.



Scarcity
This example shows best how scarcity works. Before Lody Ekipa went to bigger chains and got sold out, they were laying around in local shop fridges without much interest. Just as they became scarce, the perceived value rose up and led to irrational shopping behaviors such as fighting over 2 PLN ice cream.



Bizarreness
Bizarre things are better remembered. Listing empty ice cream wrapping for over $25k? That’s at least… unique.



Snowball effect
Once the scarcity brought so much attention to the ice cream, more and more people wanted to check out the product. That kept rolling, bringing more and more people in.

🔥Window of Opportunity


As I always say - going viral is a tactic. Ekipa has their own, large audience but if you lack it, you can partner with other influencers to introduce your product. If it makes sense to do so, making it limited and at the same time highly in-demand are the ingredients for making the product go viral, or at least get a solid flow of sales.

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