Meet the Australian watchmaker with a unique marketing trick

Alex McBride Blog's picture
Alex McBride

Alex McBride, the director of The 5th, discusses how he grew an audience of over 400,000 social media followers and how running a business has changed his life.

Since its debut in 2014, The 5th has been all about making the most of every moment. Their business model is simple: they spend 5 days of the month selling limited-run lifestyle accessories and the rest of the time they spend connecting, collaborating and creating.

Q. We love the idea of having your products exclusively available for 5 days of the month. How did this idea come about?

A. Turning problems into opportunities has been one of our mantra's since day 1. When we launched the business we did $100,000 in revenue on day 1 and sold out of the majority of our stock on hand. When faced with the problem, we considered our options and decided to sell the remaining style for 5 days before closing the store. It was lucky timing but our next order was due in on the 5th of the following month, so we opened our store again and we had the same response. 

Q. What was the start up phase like for The 5th?

A. Crazy, but exciting. We were able to do what a lot of people dream of and we had overnight success. Our team didn't have the background or the expertise to put a lot of science behind what we were doing, but it all seemed to work. The first year of the 5th felt like we were constantly running, fast, to keep up with the pace at which the business was growing.

Q. You now have an Instagram following of over 400,000, what are some key things you've done to grow your audience?

A. Our audience grew as our sales did and as the buzz around our business did. Creating that buzz in an organic way is what worked so well for us. We didn't have large marketing budgets back then and we needed to stay very focused on what was special about our business, which helped us grow our social audience.

Q. How has running a business changed your life?

A. That's an interesting question. I feel like I wouldn't know what to do with myself without it now. But when I think about it, having the business forces you to take on a lot of responsibility and consistently rise to challenges that present themselves daily, whilst being a leader to a team of people. It's a constant challenge trying to find balance and not let it take over and my partner has been great at reminding me this.

Q. What are you most excited to talk about at New Beginnings Fair Sydney?

A. I can't give away all my secrets here. You'll have to drop in to the event. 

Alex McBride is an expert in design. Alex is presenting at New Beginnings Fair on Friday 2 June as part of Vivid Ideas.