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Innovation Partner: Stitcht

July 23, 2023 By Peter John Waine

Carat’s Global Innovation Partner, Peter John Waine works with the strategy and partnerships teams, always searching for the latest and next exciting thing that we can work with clients on to help create better, more engaging, and ultimately more effective campaigns.  

  In this blog series, Innovation Partners, Pete will meet and chat with new providers and potential partners in the global media and creative advertising industry to find out more about how our teams at Carat can work with them.   

The single biggest influence on the choices we make as consumers is still, and perhaps always will be, the perceived opinions of other people.  The challenge to its potency has been the assault of inauthenticity stemming from “opinions for hire” and review bots. For opinions to matter trust is everything. For trust to exist, we must know what we are seeing and hearing is genuine. In walk Stitcht... 

 Please contact me for further information.  

Stitcht: Genuine customers humanising your brand 

Pete Spoke to Mike Christensen, CEO (Chief Executive Officer) & Founder of Stitcht 

PJW: Tell me about Stitcht – who are you, what do you do?   

Stitcht is a startup innovating in user-generated content (UGC) to help brands connect with their customers and source hyper authentic video content that can be turned into digital assets for brand storytelling.  

We take a conversation-based approach to marketing where we design questions and topics aligned to brand messaging and provoke customers to reply to them with a video on our own platform.  Many brands struggle to understand how to bring emotion, personality and cultural relevance to their content; we help them do this through the voices of their community.   

We strive to humanise brands by connecting them with their communities. Our marketing message is to put the customer at the centre of everything we do. 

PJW: How did you get started?   

We originally started out as an iOS app (think Gogglebox meets Twitter) where consumers could interact with each other and brands through video.  Our app used the term ‘Reels’ before Instagram launched theirs, which we then rebranded as ‘Threads’ (pattern emerging!).  

People and brands would raise topics and questions in these threads, that others could reply to with video.  On our journey we quickly learned about the power of customer content for brands and the problems they had sourcing and using it.  In 2021 we pivoted to focus purely on serving brands to source content from their genuine customers that we turn it into high performing content for a brand’s digital channels that delivers greater engagement, acquisition and advocacy.  


PJW: How are you innovating to solve problems we face in the modern media landscape?  

Building brand trust isn’t necessarily new as an objective, but in an era where consumers are increasingly savvy to things like influencer marketing and look to have more transparency from brands about what they stand for, their ethics and placing more value on the consumer it means organisations need to take a more human centred approach to promoting their brand. 

By engaging with our client’s existing customers through conversation, we use the power of their community to develop content that shows emotion, humanises the brand and builds trust with consumers.  We literally centre genuine customers in their narrative. A brand’s best asset is their customer base and so we help them to maximise the value they can get and give to their community. 

PJW: Who are your target customers, who do you work with currently, tell us about any case studies you want to bring to our attention?  

 For the last 18 months our prime customers have been D2C brands with products in health, wellness, lifestyle and mindfulness.  We’ve helped these clients reduce customer acquisition costs by up to 50% through sharing genuine customer content in their channels that is emotive and believable.  

 We aim to bring our approach to larger D2C brands in FMCG, sports and entertainment who have large communities with untapped potential to drive engagement at scale and create content that will deliver increased brand equity and trust.  Last year we proved this approach by working with Flora to provide a digital activation around their ‘Be a Natural’ TV campaign.  This generated over 18 hours of engagement and brought to life their TV advert through members of the public uploading their own kitchen trick shots.  

PJW: What are your growth plans – what do the next few years look like for you?  
Stitcht went to market in October 2021 having operated purely by investment from the founder Mike Christensen. In 2022 we raised a pre-seed round that really helped us to refine the business proposition, develop the sales pipeline, extend the functionality in the platform, and grow the team to service new clients. 

 At the end of 2023 we aim to close a seed investment round that will enable us to accelerate the growth of our team, our technology and put resources into launching a schedule of PR campaigns to educate the market on the power of Genuine Customer Content.  We would love to develop a partnership with Carat to bring this new approach to your client base and together pave the way on customer content strategies that humanises brands. 

 PJW: Do you have any thoughts or predictions on the future of the industry you want to share?   

 The term ‘authenticity’ is being increasingly devalued by the rise of UGC agencies using paid creators who make claims to the authentic nature of this content – consumers are increasingly able to differentiate between paid and unpaid content. For this reason, we’re designing a new sub-category of content that sits under UGC.  We’re calling it Genuine Customer Content.  We believe every brand will in future need to have a customer content pillar in their strategy.  One that enables them to build greater trust with consumers and drive advocacy.  Through our technology we’re working with our clients to build automated customer content collection into key moments of their customer lifecycle that delivers content that reinforces the brands messaging. 

 With the rise of search engines indexing social content, I believe we’ll also see a shift from brands focussing heavily on performance-based metrics and placing greater value on the role organic plays in discovery and brand awareness.  Through Stitcht we can help brands to scale their content production through authentic genuine customer video content. 

PJW: Tell us about big wins and big learnings you have had since setting up?   
The single most important thing I have learned from setting up a startup is to fail fast and generate sales as quickly as possible. You can quickly validate your offer by finding out if anyone is willing to pay for it.  There is a temptation to want to continue to refine your offer before you take it to market, yet there is so much value in getting your product or service to market quickly, so that you can learn what your clients really need.   

 When raising our pre-seed investment, we thought that we had found product market fit, but the more sales we did the more we learned exactly what clients needed.  For example, we initially focussed on the sourcing of content for clients and would provide them access to all the raw files received from their customers.  But we noticed that our clients were overwhelmed with the amount of content generated and lacked an understanding of what to do with it.  This meant that we decided to pivot the business to not only focus on sourcing content but also deliver the final video assets that would be shared in the digital channels and become experts in what content performed best and how to curate that into a multitude of formats from social, programmatic, DOOH (Digital OOH) and many more. 

 PJW: Do you have anything else you want to add?   
A key factor in the success of Stitcht is our ability to educate the market that something new exists.  It’s easy for brands to deploy creator and influencer-based strategies because they have greater control, and it can be fairly quick to deploy.  However, while this content works well at the top of the funnel, as consumers explore a brand, seeing content that speaks to the diversity of the community, their customer needs and believable genuine customer stories around the brand will do more to increase acquisition, engagement, and loyalty in the brand.  We’re really excited about the opportunity to partner with Carat and work with Carat brands to bring genuine customer content to exciting campaigns and build customer content into a brand’s content marketing strategy.   

 Finally, here are some examples of content we have created featuring genuine customers who have replied to our clients via our threads.