Conversations: CASETiFY’s Wesley Ng on Creating a Successful Brand in the Era of Social Media
You’ve seen everyone from the Kardashians to Sam Smith with a CASETiFY phone case in their mirror selfies. We speak to the man behind the tech accessory giant for an insight into the secrets of building a brand in the age of social media.| February 29, 2020
We live in the age of Instagram – if you didn’t Instagram it, did it really even happen? Most of us are obsessed with the ‘gram, meticulously curating our pages and religiously scrolling through the feeds of, if not one, multiple accounts. Wesley Ng, just like the rest of us, was hooked onto the platform.
While for most of us, the hours spent on Instagram amount to hours of our lives we’d never get back, the copious hours Ng clocked in went on to inspire the birth of a tech accessory giant he coined CASETiFY. His initial idea: to create customisable phone cases from social media photos.
Since its conception in 2011, the brand has grown exponentially and evolved with the years. Today, it counts more than a million followers on its Instagram account and everyone from Sam Smith to the Kardashians amongst its burgeoning clientele. The brand has also expanded its breathe of offerings beyond phone cases to a wider range of accessories from AirPods to iPad cases and recently even a customisable sling bag for your gadgets when you’re on the move.
You could pin CASETiFY’s immense success to Ng’s prowess in navigating the social media landscape. Here, we ask the entrepreneur the secret to building a business in the world that we live in today.
You’ve been in the business for nearly a decade now and you started with a simple idea to customise Instagram photos onto a phone case. It was first called Casetagram , why did you rename it CASETiFY and where did you get that name from?
Wesley Ng: Just as the idea behind our company grew into something more impactful, our name evolved with it. CASETiFY reflects our brand mission. We’re a destination for creativity and self-expression, and it’s at the core of everything we do.
A big part of your clientele is female, as a man yourself, how do you understand what a woman wants?
There’s a saying, “creativity has no boundaries” and this is as true as it is for fashion, tech accessories and all other creative industries. Just as our customers look to us for trends, we source our inspiration directly from the people who wear CASETiFY everyday. Creativity is gender-less, and we’re making a case for all.
You also engage a lot of social media influencers for marketing. Beyond the numbers, what to you, makes an Instagram account worthy of collaborating with?
We often look at brands or accounts that we personally like and follow. If the topic of collaborating comes up, we then have to ask ourselves, are these ideas new and exciting? The last thing we want to do is slap a logo on a product and have it be a part of our creative program, CASETiFY Co-Lab.
CASETiFY, itself, has an impressive following into the millions. What is your social media formula?
As with most facets of digital marketing, the social media landscape is constantly changing. It’s important to adapt. Keep learning, trusting the next generation, and place a lot of value in your community’s needs.
There are a lot of people looking to make it big on Instagram. Any words of wisdom for them?
Today, it’s more difficult than ever to grow a following on Instagram. The space is overcrowded and everyone wants to be noticed. I think it’s good to start small and niche, and scale as your following builds. This is as true to Instagram as it is for your business.
CASETiFY has incredibly intelligent branding. What are some of the questions that people should be asking to build a brand as prominent as CASETiFY?
I want you to know that we didn’t always have our branding so pinned down. Our success comes from a place of learning and accepting the opportunities offered from many people we admire and respect. It’s about keeping a receptive mindset, and always remembering where we came from.
Are there any accounts on Instagram that you wish you had started?
Everyone from the Kardashians to Sam Smith use and endorse CASETiFY. Do you have any celebrities you have yet to work with but are hoping to collaborate with?
Billie Eilish! She’s not afraid to be herself, and I really admire that.
CASETiFY started from Instagram but what other social media platforms have you set your eyes on since?
It’s gotta be TikTok, which admittedly I know nothing about. Also, wechat, if you’re eyeing the China market.
From tech accessories, you have expanded to sling bags as well. What else can we expect from Casetify in the future?
Any product launch from CASETiFY channels our brand mission. So whether it’s a phone case or a sling bag, you can expect the CASETiFY treatment (meaning designer prints and customizable options). We don’t want to go the easy route and just release products for the sake of doing so. You can always expect us to stay true to ourselves and our fans.
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