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Yuppiechef case study

We've all heard about Yuppiechef and some have even purchased from the site, but just how did it get so prominent? Along with a careful selection of products, Yuppiechef has developed thought leadership and strong branding by clever use of content marketing.
At its core, Yuppiechef is a popular kitchen accessories e-tailer based in Cape Town that sells, primarily, third-party products. Founded in 2006 by two friends, Andrew Smith and Shane Dryden, Yuppiechef has seen a remarkable rise in fortunes, and in 2013 sits proudly at the top as South Africa's leading e-commerce store.

Its content marketing strategy is focused on building the brand's authority and a sense of community around that, picking a few key social media contact points and investing in them.

Its success is evident in just over 33,000 Facebook likes, over 10,000 Twitter followers and acquiring over 130,000 YouTube views.

Here, we will look at the four key themes of how Yuppiechef created this community around its brand.

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1. Positive feedback

Perhaps the most important key to the success of Yuppiechef is its commitment to quality customer service. The appreciation that customers have for Yuppiechef is clearly reflected on its Hellopeter page, where the hundreds of compliments dwarf the six complaints.

Of the six dissatisfied customers, all received a personalised response to resolve said problem. Dealing with customer gripes efficiently and showing their customers respect are likely to be key contributing factors to the impressive 300% annual growth of Yuppiechef.

Most of this growth can be attributed to the fact that 60% of their customers are repeat customers.

2. Social media

Over 33,000 Facebook likes and over 10,000 Twitter followers serve as a testament to Yuppiechef's success at creating a community around its brand. This is done by clever tactics aimed at engaging people and providing content that goes beyond just promoting their products.

On Twitter, the Yuppiechef team have further built on its community by taking on a casual conversational style tone with its followers, answering questions and thanking customers for their support.

It's always important to choose your social media platform carefully and play to its strengths. On Pinterest and Instagram staff is encouraged to experiment with Yuppiechef products and post pictures of their results, offering an alternative to some of the advertorial type products reviews on the website.

Meanwhile, the Instagram account provides a behind-the-scenes look into Yuppiechef and the consumer uptake is high. The content provided gives a sense of transparency, which in turn builds trust between business and customer.

With Facebook being the most populated social media site in SA, Yuppiechef have used this as its main engagement mechanism. The focus of their Facebook strategy is to offer visual treats such as images of tasty food to tantalise customers into shopping and sharing.

The video content here is a mix of curated video clips, user-generated videos, in-house mini films showcasing staff testing Yuppiechef products, and fun content like 'kettle boiler races'.

To further cross-pollinate various online properties, Yuppiechef includes an app that allows visitors to sign up for the newsletter directly from the Facebook page.

Yuppiechef also host a regular micro competition on Facebook called "Crafty Close-ups", during which a close-up photo of a Yuppiechef product is posted.

Users are required to search for and find the product on the website to stand a chance of winning a R250 Yuppiechef voucher. Not only does this drive potential customers to the site, it's fun and seems to be a smart conversion driven content strategy.

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3. Website

A tab on the Yuppiechef website dedicated to "Communities" clearly reflects the company's dedication to interaction with their fans. The e-commerce site even offers a 'linked fan badge' for bloggers and website owners to place on their own sites to show their appreciation for all things Yuppiechef, further spreading the brand and enhancing brand awareness.

A special feature of the site that reinforces Yuppiechef's commitment to customer service is the live chat box. This allows users to chat with a Yuppiechef customer service specialist, allowing the brand to engage with its customers, and provide quick feedback on queries and problems.

By offering a human communication channel, Yuppiechef successfully creates a very personal touch, and hence trust, within the digital e-commerce environment.

Yuppiechef has a team of in-house photographers to create exquisite food photography. The focus is on creating quality pictorial content to use across all its contact points. In addition, the team offers free wallpapers for Yuppiechef fans to download each month.

4. Online magazine and newsletters

We often find that people overlook these content marketing tactics, but always to their detriment. Magazines and newsletters are a very powerful part of the content marketing toolbox, and Yuppiechef makes clever use of them.

Yuppiechef has its own online magazine, cleverly named Spatula, dedicated to sharing recipes, news, trends and mouth-watering food photography.

The articles available are usually brief and easy to consume and come with their fair share of Yuppiechef-generated food photography. The recipes shared come straight out of the in-house test kitchen, and Spatula also comprehensively lists places that offer cooking classes, encouraging people to be active within the "foodie" community that Yuppiechef has created.

Last but by no means least, Yuppiechef publishes a newsletter that promotes new products and monthly specials, as well as snippets of what's in the latest issue of Spatula, always pushing back to the website. Yuppiechef invites you to explore its site on the basis that quality cooking equipment isn't just for the professionals, but the aspiring foodie and the kitchen-inept too.

Through careful use of content marketing strategies, Yuppiechef has brilliantly built a business that has a human voice and face, generating enough trust to be able to encourage South Africans to embrace online shopping - something many other brands fail at.
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About Athar Naser

I specialise in content marketing and native advertising - two areas that I have been involved in strategically and on a ground level for many years. My media career has spanned a variety of senior roles that have lead me to start my own content agency with my personal vision - one of high quality service, products and innovation. My clients now benefit from and are part of this vision.
Antoinette Motlhobatse
Definitely. I second you Athar. I like their brand and marketing exposure strategy. I was amazed when I revived a R150.00 Voucher after registering for my wedding gift registry. This automatically made me fall in love with the brand.
Posted on 11 Sep 2013 11:49
Peter Roos
Theri service is beyond comparison; whether you order for local delivery or a gift for someone upcountry. The gift is wrapped and they include a basic Yuppiechef greeting card. The website and newsletter are brilliant and easy to navigate.They have almost made "regular" shopping for kitchen gadgets and equipment redundant.Great job!
Posted on 12 Sep 2013 10:15
brandon xbrandonx
However.... apparently Yuppiechef are not yet 'profitable' according to marketing director and part owner, Paul Galatis: See:
Posted on 16 Sep 2013 15:28
Alison Tucker
I love this brand, both as a consumer and a marketer. They have a character that they deliver to across all touch points that really resonates with me. They made an 'oops' once on a gift order of mine and certainly knew how to turn lemon into lemonade too. Instead of alienating me, they scored massive brownie points. Long live, Yuppiechef.
Posted on 16 Sep 2013 15:41