- The Perspective
- The Perspective #36
The Perspective #36
📈 Gantri Founder Talks Social Media, Entrepreneurship, and Tech in Our Latest Founders 5
Welcome to the 36th edition of The Perspective 👀 – this week we’re taking a Fresh Perspective with Gantri’s founder Ian Wang as he shares some brilliant business insights and strategies in a Q&A.
(less than 3-minute read)
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Top Business Insights & Strategies From Ian Wang In An Exclusive Founders 5 💡
Founded in 2016 by Ian Wang, Gantri is an innovative brand that’s all about cool, modern lamps made using 3D printing technology. By collaborating with a diverse range of global designers, Gantri offers a collection of lighting designs that blend beauty, functionality, and sustainability together. Today, we dive into an exclusive chat with the founder in our latest "Founders 5" segment, unpacking their journey and wisdom through five engaging questions.
Question 1: With over 100k followers on Instagram, how critical has your organic social growth been in growing the brand? Are there any strategies would you recommend for brand owners looking to grow their organic social presence?
Ian’s Response: Instagram has been our primary organic social channel since 2017. We’ve been able to leverage our presence to connect directly with customers, influencers and designers, so it’s an incredibly valuable tool for us. In the last few years, we’ve found it more difficult to grow organically as Meta is increasingly focused on pay-to-play. So in terms of new customer acquisition, we see our Instagram as more of a “landing page” for customers who saw our ads and want to learn more about who we are through an aesthetic lens. We’re pivoting our organic social growth strategy to TikTok, although that’s a bit of a wild west for young brands still.
Question 2: What’s one key lesson you’ve learned as an entrepreneur that you think every business owner should know?
Ian’s Response: There’s a lot of content out there saying that so and so is successful because they do x. I spent many years trying to emulate “patterns of successful people”, feeling a lot of self-hate for failing to live up to these standards. Over time, I found that I’m the happiest, most creative, and most performant when I show up as myself and not as someone else. Ultimately, even as entrepreneurs, we all have different physicalities, backgrounds, and values. So incorporate them into your approach.
Question 3: In what ways has technology played a role in Gantri’s success, and besides 3D printing what tech tools or platforms do you recommend to other brand owners?
Ian’s Response: Technology is critical to all aspects of Gantri. We build them and we have a bias towards adopting new technologies for anything. Tools I recommend: Notion for docs, Asana for projects, Thoughtmetric for MTA, Figma for designs. Lately, I’ve been using Chat GPT to do sales data analysis, which is just incredible.
Question 4: Gantri’s lights have been showcased in major publications like Hypebeast and Architecural Digest. How have these features influenced your brand, and what’s your approach to getting such media attention?
Ian’s Response: I think of PR as a critical piece of social proof. Even though the media landscape is quite fragmented nowadays, we find that customers still look to experts for guidance and validation. So it’s an important consideration when we’re drumming up new products or brainstorming a new campaign. Our approach to PR consists of two things. 1) Choose outlets that align with our customers. 2) Treat editors with kindness and respect. Not only because it’s important in general but also because transactional PR simply doesn’t work.
Question 5: What role has mentorship or external guidance played in shaping your business journey?
Ian’s Response: I believe that how I show up as a leader directly correlates to the successes of my team members and Gantri as a whole. So I take my personal growth quite seriously. Outside of mentors and advisers, I also work with a leadership coach and am part of a leadership training group called Leaders in Tech. These amazing people and programs are truly transformative. They have helped with everything from process-building and goal-setting to empathy and emotional communication.
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