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The Brands that Instagram Built

We shine the spotlight on five brands that built a customer base via Instagram.

We all have to start somewhere, and for an increasing number of emerging brands, that place just so happens to be Instagram. Young companies are building a tribe of loyal followers via strong visuals and playful campaigns, ensuring posts continue to resonate with users long after they’ve finished scrolling. Dan Flay rounds up the five Insta-famous brands you need in your feed.

1. Glossier

@Glossier | Followers – 238k

When Into the Gloss founder Emily Weiss launched Glossier, she shunned an elaborate advertising offensive in favour of a low-key Instagram launch. Weiss teased a carefully-curated selection of photos, with no mention of products until several weeks after the online debut. This calculated move added to the mystique surrounding her secret new venture and drove her follower numbers even higher.

Behind the scenes, Weiss gifted influencers - including Karlie Kloss - with Glossier-branded goodies, generating further exposure.

2. Axel Arigato

@AxelArigato | Followers - 264k

Born on Instagram, Swedish footwear brand Axel Arigato would be nothing without its loyal follower-base. The brand began gaining popularity for its quality, street-style product shots and tagged image posts from influencers including Oliver Cheshire and blogger Mariano de Vaio.

Instagram is the place where the brand shares information on re-stocks and product launches, and these are the posts with the best engagement.

3. Lonely Lingerie

@lonelylingerie | Followers – 272k

Instagram has become a key platform for feminism and body positivity, and Lonely Lingerie have harnessed that. The lingerie brand's mantra is, 'For women who wear lingerie as a love letter to themselves', and their feed reflects this.

They know the power of influence, too, teaming up with online influencers such as Paloma Elsesser and Karley Sciortino. Plus, they make sure to share photos of their customers to empower and engage their vast tribe.

4. Triangl

@triangl | Followers – 3m

From the beginning, Triangl’s feed has effortlessly alternated from image to image, captivating users and establishing a clear brand identity. Triangl’s distinctive use of branded content – combining sea vistas with beach babes – has attracted an impressive following.

The company used this momentum to transform likes into sales with the help of selfies by small-time bloggers. Just three years after launching, the likes of Miley Cyrus and Kendall Jenner were Instagramming the colourful bikinis.

5. O Mighty

Followers – 671k

Hipster favourite O Mighty built its impressive 652k Instagram following with a little help from its fans. Excited customers – and influencers who had been gifted product – headed straight to Instagram to share snaps of themselves wearing the brand’s tongue-in-cheek designs, all whilst tagging @omweekend. Tagging is a great way for brands to connect with their most engaged users, generate user-created content, and raise brand awareness.

Words by Dan Flay

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