Nominees: Trade Me, Whittaker’s, Moustache, Allbirds, Lonely Lingerie, GoodFor, 2XU, Air New Zealand.
The popular cookie bar is well known for its social media presence, with the casual humor of owner Deanna Yang coming through in each post. With 70,000 followers across Facebook and Instagram, the milk bar’s well-known cookies are plastered throughout. Posts are often dedicated to collaborations, special events, and the brand’s unofficial mascot, Snorlax the Pokemon.
Competitions are regularly held on the company’s platform, with many customers getting involved by sharing and commenting on the content, therefore growing the platforms reach even more.
Moustache’s distinctive online presence is down to founder Deanna Yang, who strives to celebrate the humble cookie and its many adoring fans in every post.
What are the most important things about reaching your customer base online?
Always be creative and try new things. Even when things turn into flops! One time, we were playing around with a chilli hot chocolate recipe but I accidentally bought barbecue chilli so the hot chocolate ended up tasting like a barbecue. I still posted about my mistake on social media and offered them for free to anyone who was game. I think it's important to bring your customers on the journey with you. Whether that's the good, the bad or the ridiculous.
How do you try to stand out, compared to other cookie or dessert shops?
I just try to be as genuine as possible. I don't really like comparing myself to other competitors because at the end of the day, we can only be ourselves and I think it's our quirkiness and unique characters that makes Moustache distinctive. Maybe the reason we stand out is because we don't try to stand out at all - we can be really ordinary at times. Even our product, the humble milk and cookie kind of represents who we are. Simple and ordinary yet that makes it all the more comforting, cute and accessible.
Why do you think the Moustache brand works so well?
Only doing one thing allows us to focus and become extra creative in our field. This is why we've created some whacky products such as creme brulee cookies or cookie candles or edible cookie dough. Basically we make things we love ourselves. I love how something as simple as milk and cookies has brought together such a cult following of fans. It's like a little cookie community.
What exciting things do you have coming up this year?
We have been trialling lots of new exciting products that we will bring to market soon. We love incorporating cookies into everyday life - even if that doesn't mean cookies itself, like with our cookie candles.
How important are brand collaborations to your business model?
It's always important to align yourself with like-minded individuals and businesses. We've had a lot of fun collaborating with brands such as Garage Project where we released a cookie beer and a beer cookie.
What is your favourite cookie?
Hands down, my favourite is the peanut butter cookie. It's got peanut butter and Whittaker's chocolate piped into the centre and it is so gooey and moreish. I have it most days for breakfast with a glass of cold milk… because peanut butter is technically a breakfast food right?
Judges’ comments from James Blackwood: Fun, slightly nuts and always with a personal touch, Moustache has a passionately engaged fanbase. Can’t argue with that.
This story originally appeared in NZ Retail magazine issue 756 June/July 2018