Case New Balance:
Quick launch of UGC for the brand
New Balance is one of the market leaders of sport shoes sales in the world. Since its foundation to the present days, the brand continues to position itself as a footwear for everyone. Personal attitude to potential customers distinguishes the company since its inception: the first New Balance products were not sold in stores, the founder of the brand went around potential buyers, explaining the advantages in person. NB is known for not paying celebrities for ads, they advertise it for free, that can be seen in social networks by the amount of user-generated content.

In a joint project with the official distributor of the NB brand in Russia, the online store, we laid down the brand's values - a personal appeal to site visitors and "shoes for all" positioning - and achieving the business goals for the online store.

What problem we solved

Retail researches show global changes in consumer behavior: the criteria for choosing a brand and the process of searching and products selection change. People are focused more on getting a unique user experience than on brand status.

By implementing the user-generated content (UGC) on the site pages we set the task to provide a new level of interaction for site visitors:to convey the emotion of buying products from real buyersto show the experience and real cases of using newbalance products told by real peopleto give an additional visual line on how the shoes look like in different angles and in combination with different clothes.
Content from real buyers of New Balance on Instagram. The asset that already exists.
Buying something is not an easy process. Of course there are people who 100% know already what they want and just go to buy it (they are the minority, as the conversion statistics on the market shows). But still there are a lot of people who have not made a choice yet. They are thinking: compare brands, products, prices.

They walk from shop to shop as have not made a decision yet, in general.Such doubters are always a growth point. And it is precisely this very audience that user content acts on.


Here we needed a quick start. The Frisbuy team studied Instagram on the brand-related hashtags. It appeared that there is a huge amount of content on the New Balance already exists in the network, generated by customers around the world, including Russia.

Therefore, the first step was aimed at selecting the most vivid and rich content, and the second step was to decide on the rights to use the selected content in the online store
To solve the second question, they took advantage of the standard feature of Frisbuy - an automated request management system for using content.
The essence of this system is that it makes a request for selected content units automatically (writes a request in the comments to the content) and monitors the response from the author of the publication.
When the author agrees, the system automatically publishes this photo or video on the site.

Since there was a lot of content, especially for the classic models, there was invented the solution that allowed us to disclose better the experience of using the product.
Photos for galleries were selected to reveal the basic values of the brand: sport, lifestyle, excessive physical activities and reliability.
mug shot

prof photo
sport look
Selected UGC and brand content categories for the New Balance 574 Classic
prof photo

sport look
mug shot

sport look
Categories matched by UGC and brand content for New Balance Furon 4.0 Otruska Pack
In addition to photos from the brand fans, the official high-quality content was mixed into the gallery: both photos and videos, which made it possible to prolong the effective life of the content and increase its ROI, plus reveal more fully the ideology of the brand and the particular model.
We extend the life of branded visual content, mixing into user galleries
Site integration
There were chosen two key points in placing the collected user content in the online store product card and gallery on the main page.

The gallery with visual UGC and branded content in the product card gives a potential buyer an independent product assessment and helps with many questions when choosing: how it looks like, in what conditions sneakers can be used, best look combos and so on. These are the important questions to answer. As a rule, people are much more focused on the actual experience of real users than on any handouts.

The gallery with visual UGC and branded content for new Balance Summit Unknown

Desktop script
Multi-marking example
Branded content

UGC content example
The gallery on the main page of the site is designed to engage visitors deeper into the site, to inspire and set a certain mood for those users who pass through it. And shows the brand proximity to users, customer orientation, their importance for the brand.
Gallery on the main page of the site: desktop and mobile versions

Results of implementation
After analyzing the influence of galleries from user and brand content on the buying process, we recorded an improvement in both behavioral metrics and a positive impact on sales.

The influence of UGC galleries on behavioral metrics

Visitors who interacted with galleries on average:- had a 20% lower bounce rate (Bounce Rate),- the average time spent on the site increased by 46.86%,- the number of viewed pages increased by 29.3%.The data speaks about the interest of site visitors to the content and that additional visualization of the product, emotions and specific examples of the application is necessary in the process of choosing the product.

The influence of UGC galleries on sales
Conversion increased among users who interacted with galleries amounted to 163.62%, which in general brought additional 14% to the total conversion on the site.

Users went through UGC galleries, showed:
163,62% conversion increased

20% lowed the bounce rate
46,86% Average time
29,3% Page/session
Conclusions and plans
Visual content from customers (UGC), integrated into decision-making points on the pages of an online store, is vivid, rich and native for visitors of an online store. And this is reflected in behavioral metrics and sales - site visitors view this content and stay longer on the site.

New Balance Russia plans to increase interaction directly with the customers of the online store and the network of offline shops throughout Russia to manage the process of generating user-generated content (direct, frame, inspire, and to cover the entire catalog as well) and further embed visual reviews on the site.

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