After 20 years, Kelly and Michael Terwege took a leap of faith when they decided to leave their previous careers and launch “House of Jack Co.”, a men’s leather wallet brand featuring unique handcrafted designs.
“We were both raised in family businesses, and it felt natural to do something on our own. We were ready for a new challenge.” Kelly said.
Starting out, the couple knew the fundamental basics of selling on Amazon but they were eager to learn more.
“We handled our own Amazon advertising for several years and thought we were doing a pretty good job until we realized how much we didn’t know after participating in a 30-day trial software program through another company. At this point, it was evident there was a scientific approach to targeting customers and the use of keywords.”
Last month, we spoke with Kelly to learn more about “House of Jack Co.” and what their ecommerce experience has been like so far:
Q. Tell us about “House of Jack Co.” – What does the brand mean to you?
The name House of Jack Co. was born from a combination of two Jacks we know well, Papaw Jack and our son, Jack. Both Jacks are just “good ole guys” with unique characters and big personalities.
Literally, the brand name arrived one day in thought and just like that, we never turned back. The name felt masculine with a hint of a vintage vibe and was filled with branding opportunities. After all, everyone knows someone named Jack.
The brand story is a combination of our lives and experiences, our loved ones (both past and present) and our hope for our children to find possibility just about anywhere.
Thus, the storyline …
Proud to say, this Jack is a regular, all-American guy — a dreamer, a doer, a thinker. If there’s a will, I’ll find a way. That said, I’ve always found the possibility just about anywhere.
So far, I’ve built HOJ on the core values of dedication, integrity, hard work, gut instinct, and unbeatable customer service.”
With previous careers in creative fields, and Kelly’s career path in production and sourcing, along with their desire for change, all factors summed into House of Jack Co.
We’re a guy’s guy wallet brand: graphic, conversational, individualistic, functional. It’s a carry-every-day genuine leather wallet … the more you carry ‘em, the better they look.
We’re not the highest retail, nor the lowest retail. However, we live and breathe quality at an affordable price for guys who are like our two Jacks.
Q. When did you start selling products on Amazon? What were some of the challenges at that time?
We began selling our product on Amazon in 2015 starting with merchant fulfilled orders. During the same year, we received an email from Amazon to try FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) which was proven to increase sales by 25%.
We thought – What have we got to lose?
Looking back, every day was a different trial and tribulation to get our product uploaded and understand all facets of selling on Amazon.
Challenges were navigating Amazon, speaking to a different Amazon help desk associate daily only to receive different information than the day before, and knowing the right questions to ask.
Along the way, we committed ourselves to become students of Amazon, reading hundreds of articles and watching YouTube videos constantly about selling on Amazon.
There’s usually one morsel of info in each article/video we find we didn’t know previously, or that warrants research.
Q. Why did House of Jack Co. decide to outsource advertising efforts to CPC Strategy?
In August 2018, House of Jack Co. teamed up with CPC Strategy’s [now part of Elite SEM] Amazon Team to manage their paid advertising.
“We knew the investment in true expertise was necessary to reach the next level of business. After researching and speaking with a list of agencies, we felt CPC Strategy was the best fit for House of Jack Co.”
They represented the one agency who could build our Amazon Store, create and manage an Amazon advertising strategy and also create and manage a separate Google / Facebook advertising strategies.”
CPC Strategy’s Growth Plan for “House of Jack Co.”:
Design and build Amazon Store:
- In March 2018, CPC Strategy’s Amazon Creative Team worked directly with House of Jack Co. to design, develop and deploy a customized and responsive Amazon Store site map with multi-level category & product pages optimized to promote an immersive shopping experience.
- Our team worked directly with House of Jack Co. to select the best hero images, graphics, and verbiage to educate visitors on the unique benefits of their wallets and leather goods.
- Our Amazon Store experts designed and built an “easy to navigate” curated collection of House of Jack Co.’s entire catalog. We identified the optimal catalog and ASIN infrastructure to improve product visibility & sales volume.
- We also established Sponsored Brands campaigns to capture and drive traffic directly to their Amazon Store.
Create and manage Sponsored Products campaigns:
- CPC Strategy optimized House of Jack Co.’s Amazon Sponsored Product Ads, and used data from their automatic campaigns to build out manual campaigns.
- Manual campaigns allow us to fine tune House of Jack Co.’s product targeting based on the relevancy of the keyword(s) and set bids on individual keywords that target relevant searches. As a result, House of Jack Co. products became increasingly discoverable and buyable to customers.
- CPC’s software and oversight allowed us to grow sales volume while constantly updating bids for thousands of keywords. The objectivity of our bidding tools in CAPx has enabled us to make gradual adjustments for the entire advertising catalog.
- As a result of our partnership, House of Jack Co. has also been freed up to invest in other marketing endeavors, such as new product development including new leather good designs, and the creation of a new website to launch Spring 2019.
Since the CPC team started managing their Amazon paid platforms, House of Jack Co., Q4 sales increased by 101% from the previous year (2017 vs. 2018).
“Today, House of Jack Co. and CPC Strategy communicate and review ad performance reports on a weekly basis to ensure campaigns are continuing to grow and remain profitable. Amazon is a fast-paced and constantly changing environment so we are always identifying new tactics to test and expand on.”
– Casey Flynn, Marketplace Channel Analyst at CPC Strategy
Q. Creative has been a big focus for your brand. Why was it important to create an Amazon Store for House of Jack Co.?
We knew the creation of an Amazon Store would allow the opportunity to communicate the brand through creative photography and design as well as communicating the entire breadth of our assortment to Amazon customers.
Our Amazon Store communicates the brand visually in a matter of seconds rather than the customer finding our product on an Amazon basic product page.
It’s the same concept as meeting a new person and forming an opinion in a matter of seconds. Also, the Amazon Store is advantageous as landing pages (tabs) were created to highlight product categories, novelty collections and personalized wallets which are merchant fulfilled.
Q. What’s top of mind for you today?
Top of mind today is optimization of our listings whether on Amazon or our website. We are our own sales associate and know our product best, so our continued challenge is to refine the purchasing experience.
Other 2019 goals are centered around further development of our online presence.
Q. What is the one thing brands need to know to be successful in 2019?
Listen to your customers – they tell you what they want and are in search of.
We take time to speak with customers who reach out, either by email or phone to understand their requests.
Some requests are truly one-of-a-kind and not possible; however, when we hear the same request multiple times, we know we’re missing a style in our assortment. Product reviews and customer feedback remain invaluable to keep a pulse on your business.
Want to share your brand story with us? Email [email protected]