How D2C startup La Fourche leverages UGC to build its community and deliver results for its partner brands

A disruptive startup on a mission to help people eat better, for less, and with the least possible impact on the environment; online organic supermarket La Fourche is a force to be reckoned with.  

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About La Fourche

What if you could offer consumers hefty savings on the weekly shop, while at the same time helping them reduce their carbon footprint and eat food that is better for their overall health?

That’s the mission French start-up La Fourche set itself five years ago. Today, the online organic supermarket has 100,000 loyal customers, and has saved more than 40K tons of CO2 emissions and stopped nearly 1m plastic bags from entering circulation. 

La Fourche’s groundbreaking retail concept asks customers to pay a yearly subscription in return for 20% off products store-wide. By sourcing organic products locally, offering them in bulk and with zero waste, La Fourche is able to significantly reduce its margins while still paying suppliers a fair price for organic and ethical products that are more expensive to produce than industrial competitors. 

La Fourche’s business model relies on disrupting the market on every level, including keeping advertising costs to a bare minimum. That being the case, how has it achieved so much success in such a short space of time, we hear you ask? Keep reading to find out how La Fourche has harnessed the disruptive power of influencer marketing to drive positive change. 

Challenge #1: Convince shoppers it’s possible to eat well, reduce one’s carbon footprint and save money at the same time

Although the European market for organic products has been growing steadily over the last decade, it continues to wrestle with one major barrier to uptake: the cost. Increased labor overheads associated with the production of organic foods mean prices can be 10% to 50% more expensive than conventionally produced products. 

La Fourche’s innovative business model enables it to save costs and reduce margins,allowing it to offer organic products at accessible prices. But how to get the word out when business savings also apply to its marketing and advertising budget?

The answer lies in La Fourche’s sophisticated influencer marketing strategy, which  enables it to reach its target audience in a qualitative and authentic manner. 

Instagram, YouTube and TikTok content all feature in the brand’s strategy, with video and stories content giving consumers the opportunity to judge for themselves the added value offered by La Fourche. 

“YouTube allows you to be relevant and to get across your most important messages, because you can reach a more engaged community. When you watch a YouTube video, you actually want to watch that video. As a brand, you have a better opportunity to reach people and convince them of your added value. It can be very powerful and you'll reach people who are much more alert to your product. It can be more risky because it’s more expensive but it lasts over time,” comments La Fourche Influencer Marketing Manager Anaëlle Antigny.

The Solution: Find the right influencers and develop long-term relationships with them

While La Fourche’s subscription model allows customers to make savings over the long term, it also presents a significant barrier to recruitment, especially in an inflationary context. How does one convince consumers to spend €59,99 before they even begin to shop? 

“We try to work on a message repetition mechanism to reduce the obstacles one by one in the communities and develop confidence in the brand. This way, they will be more inclined to subscribe than if it was a one-shot collaboration,” comments Antigny.

This is where high quality, relevant influencer content is crucial. For La Fourche, this means using Kolsquare’s powerful search function to find and extensively vet KOLs.  In addition to searching by #, keyword, mention, emojis, and (soon) content, Kolsquare lets Antigny verify the location, interests and quality (% of real versus fake followers) of influencer communities, and to check which brands KOLs have previously worked with. 

La Fourche’s strategy relies on comprehensive influencer prospecting and testing to check if their community is the right fit for the brand, and vice versa. KOLs are invited to participate in a month-long trial period, after which they will be offered a long-term partnership if results show their community is responsive to the La Fourche message. 

“Higher prices for influencer collaborations make it much more important to vet influencers first. Kolsquare comes into play here because it allows us to verify the origin and quality of the influencer’s community. It’s also very important to us to check the collaborations an influencer has with other brands. As an ethical company, we can't afford to work with an influencer who collaborates with brands that are not consistent with our values,” comments Antigny. 

Challenge #2: Build community by generating a flood of organic content for La Fourche and its partner brands

As a D2C startup, community is built into La Fourche’s DNA. And with an already powerful community of brand ambassadors that is its subscriber base, La Fourche nonetheless needs to keep growing that community if it is to succeed in its mission of democratizing access to organic food and help save the planet. 

In the hustle and bustle of today’s social media landscape, generating relevant and organic content is crucial for a brand's success. That’s why, several times a year, La Fourche sends a select group of its core influencers a personalized food basket. Although there is no obligation on the influencer to post, the hope is they’ll be so thrilled with the product that they will do so spontaneously. 

In the summer of 2022, La Fourche sent 51 of its regular influencers a ‘Summer Picnic’ basket of more than a dozen goodies, personalized to take into account each influencer’s tastes and priorities (vegan, parents of young children, etc.). 

And the bet paid off: 41 of the 51 influencers selected for the campaign posted a massive 192 pieces of content on Instagram and YouTube.

But from selecting the influencers to creating personalized gifts for each one, such a campaign can be a serious time-eater; and that’s before the KOLs crank into gear and start producing content. 

The Solution: Centralize content tracking and reporting in one place, and WOW partner brands with the results

Influencer gifting campaigns can be unwieldy on several levels. In La Fourche’s case, there is the added complication of the multitude of brands involved; influencers receive the gift basket from La Fourche, yes, but included in it are products from several brands, which KOLs may or may not tag. 

It means the gift basket offers influencers a number of different angles around which to create content, whether it be an unboxing, a Story to thank the brand, or a product test. Influencers have the option of tagging La Fourche, the partner brand, both or none at all, if so preferred. For Antigny, keeping track of all the content delivered by surprise gifting campaigns would be nigh on impossible without Kolsquare. 

“We use Kolsquare to collect all the content we are tagged in. We also search for and add to the reporting all the content that is more organic. For example, if a person talks about a beer that they received in the food basket, that’s good content that we wouldn’t normally see,” comments Antigny

Using Kolsquare to manage the Summer Picnic campaign, Antigny was able to find all the content it generated, regardless of how it was tagged or posted. By setting time period filters on content of individual influencers in the campaign, she could find and collect all the content generated by the campaign. 

“Kolsquare allows us to centralize the fallout from the giveaway. It gives us visibility over the action as a whole and enables us to give feedback to our partner brands about who spoke about their brand and how often. With Kolsquare, we can prove that the campaign delivered good results,” says Antigy.

Want to find out how Kolsquare can boost your UGC influencer marketing strategy? Feel free to book a demo with one of our influence experts.  

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