Two up-and-coming West Coast players on the influencer marketing scene are joining forces—and one of them specializes in jewelry.
Iconery, the innovative Venice, Calif.–based jewelry manufacturer and retailer we profiled in the November 2018 issue of JCK magazine, has been acquired by Heartbeat, a marketing technology platform that connects brands with millennial and Gen Z audiences (also based in Venice, Calif.). The financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
Iconery founder and chief executive officer Ivka Adam, who will remain CEO of Iconery and also become chief marketing officer of Heartbeat through the deal, says Heartbeat’s expertise in connecting with Iconery’s target audience made the sale an attractive one: “Heartbeat’s platform bolsters a key part of our business model,” she explains. “We built Iconery to be an incredible jewelry brand builder and highly efficient supply chain as a service, relying almost solely on our influencers and our loyal customers to spread the word about the collections. Heartbeat provides the technology and expertise to accelerate the growth of our influencer brands.”
Adams and Heartbeat CEO and cofounder Kate Edwards met through a venture-backed female founder network in Los Angeles over four years ago. And Iconery became an early user of Heartbeat’s technology “as a way to amplify brand awareness and customer-based word-of-mouth marketing,” says Adam.
“As a marketer at heart, with an intimate view of the influencer marketing space, I was extremely impressed with Heartbeat’s mission,” she adds. “Not only are they creating a world where every voice has value, but their technology is also closing the gap on attribution for Instagram-based influencer-style campaigns.”
Heartbeat has more than 200,000 influencer “ambassadors” who’ve executed online campaigns for brands including Toms, Drybar, Bose, MVMT, Sweat, Le Tote, Dunkin’, DSTLD, The Bouqs, OneHope, Suja, and, of course, Iconery. What makes Heartbeat unique is that it’s redefining what an influencer is—the platform turns everyday people with an average of 2,000 followers and 4–10 percent engagement on Instagram into “citizen influencers.”
The company then curates campaigns that match brands with the audience they’re looking to target. Then it generates scalable, trackable content “using real people who love the brand,” according to company literature.
Iconery launched in 2015 and has executed a number of high-profile jewelry collaborations with influencers and brands including Rashida Jones, Michelle Branch, Jen Gotch, Pia Arrobio for Revolve, and Nordstrom x Nike. Iconery developed an algorithm that “can predict purchase behavior based on an influencer’s audience,” according to the company.
Edwards says Iconery will help Heartbeat “establish its presence in customer-driven e-commerce,” and adds that she was “personally inspired by Iconery’s CEO, Ivka Adam, and am eager to learn from her expertise in brand building, marketing, and e-commerce.”
Edwards said in a statement that Heartbeat has “a deep conviction around supporting female founders—nearly 30 percent of the brands we work with are female-led—so it was only natural to add Ivka to our leadership team.”
Adam says Iconery may be branching out into other categories at some point: The leadership team is “selectively exploring additional categories, driven by influencer need and alignment with our commitment to quality and design.”
The Iconery team will be moving into Heartbeat’s “beautiful beachfront office,” where it will host a series of events and pop-ups this summer, says Adam.