Startup News

3 Minutes with Wrapp: Is ‘Friend-to-Friend Marketing’ the Next Big Thing?

August 31, 2012

Wrapp is a social gifting platform that drives in-store traffic and sales for retailers and brands through something it calls “friend-to-friend marketing.” The concept is simple: give people the chance to enhance their everyday communications with friends by adding free (or paid) gift cards to their messaging. All users need to do is sign into the service via Facebook, select a friend and then pick the partner retailer they want to send a gift from.

The platform was first launched in the UK, Norway, Sweden and Japan, but as of April this year Wrapp is now available in the United States, too. And with big name retaile partners like H&M, Gap, Fab and Sephora, marketers are beginning to take notice. We caught up with Lisa Enckell, Head of Marketing at Wrapp, to learn more about the startup and to hear about some of its recent success stories.

What business problem is Wrapp trying to solve?

One of our main objectives at Wrapp is to help marketers bridge the gap between online and offline. Many brands have had a social media strategy and presence for years, but for offline brick-and-mortar stores, it has been difficult to transform online engagement into in-store foot traffic and sales. Using Wrapp, brands can leverage the power of peer recommendations and their existing social media presence to drive consumers to offline stores.

For consumers, we make it easy and fun to celebrate friends with casual gifting. You can surprise friends with an offer from a brand they like, or purchase a valuable gift card for a friend that lives far away. We believe that we can make greetings on social networks richer if it’s as easy to send a valuable gift card as it is to make a social network update. With Wrapp retailers can reward users who share their brands the most, and that’s great for both the brand and of course the users, who love getting gifts from their favorite brands.

What is “friend-to-friend marketing?”

Friend-to-friend marketing is essentially word-of-mouth. Instead of pushing messages and offers to consumers, Wrapp lets friends recommend a brand by giving a gift from that brand. Our platform leverages the essence of social media – the universal ability to share and spread a message with friends. Rather than relying on influencers to make a campaign “go viral,” we give everyone an easy tool to use instead, so they can share brands or offers they like with friends. As a result, brands get a lot of premium exposure on social media free of charge simply by virtue of appearing in the middle of conversations among friends.

Wrapp has several brand partnerships in place currently. What are some of the biggest success stories you’ve seen so far?

One of the most interesting things with Wrapp is that every retailer can have a different objective when using Wrapp. Some brands want to reach a new target group. Others want to drive sales and high transactions in the stores, while some want a mobile strategy to monetize social media. Wrapp can also be used in brands’ advertising.

A great success story from Sweden is the DIY-store Clas Ohlson. They used Wrapp to drive consumers to a newly opened store. They delivered targeted Facebook ads to people living in the city of the new store, and welcomed people to their store opening by giving them a gift card via Wrapp. This was so successful that they’re now using Wrapp to attract customers every time they open up a new store in Sweden.

Another example is McDonald’s, which used Wrapp to introduce a new product called the McWrap. The campaign originally allowed Wrapp users to give a McWrap to just women in their mid-20s to early-30s around Mother’s Day, but it was so successful that McDonald’s quickly opened the offer, allowing Wrapp user to give a McWrap to any friend.