Individual Expression on a Mass Scale: CASETiFY

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By Published On: March 29, 20190 Comments

When Gigi Hadid and Kylie Jenner post about your latest product, you know you’re doing something right. But remaining relevant on a global scale takes more than influencers and social media hashtags.


The following content is an exclusive excerpt from Power Retail’s ‘2019 E-Commerce Leaders Playbook’, which is available in both hard copy and digital formatshere! 

CASETiFY started as a simple idea—turning Instagram photos into custom phone cases. With the popularity of personalisation, the company soon developed further, finding its niche and tapping into its audience to develop into a custom studio for Apple Watches, phones, Macbooks, iPads and more. 

“I’ve always been an avid user of social media. Particularly, I loved photography as a medium of self expression and was an early adopter of Instagram,” Wes Ng, CEO and co-founder of CASETiFY tells us. “I felt the app was an incredible way to share what inspires you, but I also noticed the device we were using the app on — like my old iPhone, was quite lacklustre. People were proud of their pictures… so wouldn’t they want to show them off on their actual phones they carry 24/7? This is how we came up with CASETiFY (formerly Casetagram).”

The company built its first website in 2011 and launched an app in 2012 to turn customers’ Instagram photos into phone cases. “We started spreading the word to the community (early supporters include chef Jamie Oliver, Lionel Messi, Snoop Dogg and Pharrell) and today, we are the third-largest tech accessories brand globally, reaching one in seven millennials,” Ng adds.

In 2016, CASETiFY expanded its product offering from just custom cases to launch a custom studio. “We wanted to expand our custom product offering and noticed that there was always a demand in the market for monogrammed items,” Ng explains. “We wanted to take this traditionally bespoke or luxury experience to our millennial audience.” With this demographic in mind, it launched its Say My Name Glitter Case, as seen on Gigi Hadid, Kylie Jenner, Victoria’s Secret Model Elsa Hosk, Sarah Jessica Parker and other influencers and celebrities. It has also been featured in Vogue and is now the best-selling case in the company’s Japanese market. “Today, we have custom options across most of our device types – Impact, Glitter, Leather, Neon Sand, Luxe Pressed Flower, 24K Gold as well as Saffiano Leather Apple Watch bands,” Ng says.

The custom feature is user-friendly, requiring only a few clicks to select device type, font, colour, and initials, name, hashtag number or word. With Custom Photo Cases, there are pre-set templates, layouts and stickers for customers to choose from.

Taking something from idea to reality always has a few bumps, especially when dealing with custom designs on such a mass scale. “Design placement and new font implementation to ensure that the cases print as depicted on our website is always a challenge. As perfectionists, we don’t launch a product until we get it right,” Ng says.

For a brand that prides itself on creative self-expression, it had to take a moment to consider how it was actually expressing itself. After seven years, it recently went through a rebrand, changing its logo as well as the look and feel of the website to remain relevant, bold and playful.

CASETiFY tells us that it is the number one tech accessories brand on social media. Given its millennial audience, that’s hardly a surprise. “We’ve just hit 1,000,000 followers on Facebook and have over 712,000 followers on Instagram,” Ng tells us. “Social media is the window to our brand. It’s constantly updated with news and promotions as it’s where many customers find out about us — aside from ads and organic search.”

Awareness is key for CASETiFY products and it places a great emphasis on engaging content, working with KOPs (key opinion leaders), influencers and celebrities. “Content is really important to us, as well as getting the product on the right people,” explains Ng. “We spend a lot of effort seeding product in order to raise awareness for new designs, new product launches and product features. For example, we use Instagram to showcase designs through aspirational imagery and platforms like YouTube to showcase product features (like our 2x military grade drop proof cases).”

Shoppable feeds were also a great development for CASETiFY, given how many of its consumers discover the brand while on social channels. “Social shopping has been pretty exciting as many of our customers are following us on Instagram and Facebook – so with the introduction of shopping functions on these apps, the journey from discovery to purchase has never been easier,” Ng adds.

For a business built on how reliant people are on their phones, it’s no surprise that the company has a ‘mobile-first’ strategy. Ng tells us that almost 80 percent of customers discover CASETiFY through their mobile phones, which is why it always optimises the web experience for mobile. It also launched a CASETiFY App to help mobile users create custom phone cases, as well as to purchase ready-made designs. To date, it has been downloaded over 2.5 million times.

The company has also been looking at opportunities beyond the e-commerce space and in 2018 started selling to top retailers like Nordstrom and continued to launch pop-up events globally. Beyond its own site, it’s also started operating on marketplaces like Amazon.

“We’re excited that the trend continues to move towards e-commerce, and we’re ready for it,” Ng says. “From offering worldwide delivery to expanding our payment options with options like Cash on Delivery, we’re able to service more and more customers.”

So, what can other online retailers learn from CASETiFY? “Besides from having something unique to offer to the market, new brands need to think of ways to bring the customers into the website,” says Ng. “PR, partnerships, digital marketing, growth hacking and SEO are all equally important in generating awareness. Start small and scale where there are successes.”

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