If our PLANOLEADERS series has taught us anything it’s that planning, creating and amplifying content is in a constant state of evolution. Though in the case of today’s featured interview with Nicole Williams the Founder of brand marketing consultancy Breakfast with Alice and Head of Brand at Made Real Vodka, we’ve also learned that a little creative thinking can lead to big success… and an even bigger following! From Nasty Gal to NET-A-PORTER, the seasoned marketer has made a name for herself in the realm of both fashion and lifestyle. Needless to say, Nicole’s unique industry experience piqued our interest especially with regard to her current professional pursuits. So for this interview, we met with Nicole at her sunlit WeWork office in Dumbo, Brooklyn to chat more about her digital history, what role Instagram has played in Made Real’s growth and her tips for navigating social media’s rapidly changing landscape.
Please introduce yourself!
My name is Nicole Williams, and I am the founder of a creative brand marketing consultancy called Breakfast with Alice. Beyond that, I’m a New Yorker, a globetrotter, a foodie, fashion addict, and lover of culture. Always looking for the next adventure!
What is your digital history? Give us a brief rundown of your career and how it led to the inception of Made Real.
Well, for me, digital has been a part of my entire history. Whether it’s the first computer my mom brought home when I was five or my career working in-house at very cool digital fashion brands: NET-A-PORTER and Nasty Gal. More recently, I’ve had the opportunity to consult on the development of some very cool digital brands in the fashion space including LIVELY, Quiet Storms, and The 5TH; along with being a part of the development of Made Real, a digitally centric vodka brand created to connect with our generation of badass digital savvy women. Digital is where I live.
Made Real has an amazing mission of empowering its community and more specifically women. How do you hope this translates across social media and how have you and the team worked to craft the brand’s unique online voice?
In creating Made Real, community and collaboration were a key strategy from day one; so translating this into social media was a natural step. Throughout, we wanted to use the brand as a platform for celebrating the stories of amazing women out there and to create a voice that not only inspires and empowers but is also conversational – like talking to a good friend. With every brand, I’ve been a part of, I think it’s important to really know who your audience is and to establish a brand voice that they can relate to. This usually means being personable and engaging; but also knowing what words and phrases are and aren’t a part of your brand’s vocabulary.
“It’s important to really know
who your audience is
& to establish a brand voice
that they can relate to.”
As a seasoned marketer, what is your favorite aspect of creating/planning social content?
For me, the reason I went into brand development is because I wanted to be a part of ensuring that every touchpoint and interaction with a brand was consistent and memorable. With the introduction of social media, this has whole new meaning and has made my world so much more fun. I think the best part of creating and planning content is thinking about how we can push the limits, try new things and create content that will really ‘wow’ our following. Some of my favorite moments were social content brainstorms at Nasty Gal – coming up with off the wall ideas for content with the team. It was then a matter of grabbing whatever products, props, and people we could to execute on our ideas and make them into images, conversations and stories to share with the world.
With regard to content, what are some challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Keeping up with the constant evolution. There are so many new platforms and channels, it’s sometimes hard to stay on top of it all. But, to be honest, leveraging useful tools like Planoly can really help… it’s a matter of planning and scheduling what content you can in advance so that you can keep your eye open for spontaneous and opportunistic content opportunities and juggle between all of the different content demands.
In your opinion and based on your experiences why do you think Instagram is the premiere vehicle for telling Made Real’s story and how would you describe Made Real’s community?
For Made Real, it’s really been a combination of Instagram and YouTube. Instagram is where we engage on a day-to-day basis and drive the conversation and community around Made Real; whereas Youtube has been a great platform for showcasing the brand story. I think Instagram is the ideal platform due to how prevalent it has become in daily life and the quick, digestible nature of the format.
Are there are any individuals or brands who are doing innovative things in the content space that inspire you?
Absolutely! I really love what Frank Body has done with their voice; the curation and styling of @madewithmap, @nikelab, @julietzulu; and the storytelling of @humansofny and @entrepreneur. I also love some of the amazing and quirky images being created by people like @lizzie_darden, @meetkvell, @thecolorshift, @littledrill, etc. And to shamelessly plug a brand I work with, I really find the multi-account approach that The 5TH has taken to be very interesting and effective: @the5th.co / @thefifthwatches / @thefifthman / @the5thlocation / @the5thbags / @the5thview.
What would you like to see more of on Instagram and on social media in general?
I love a good macaroon shot and perfect street style moment just as much as the next person… but sometimes I just want to see more real people! ha. I love that everyone has these dreamy Instagram lives that are so fabulous and amazing but sometimes it’s nice to just get a bit more real and gritty. Not so pretty. Everyone once and a while.