How Controversial Marketing Tactics Garnered Widespread Visibility For This Startup
Candice Galek and Yola Robert

Earlier this year, Bikini Luxe stirred up quite the controversy on social media by posing the question, “Is this appropriate for Linkedin?” in conjunction with a booty shot of a bikini clad Miss Universe contender, Natalie Roser.

The online swimsuit and clothing retailer’s CEO & Founder, Candice Galek, could not have paid for better publicity. Her tactics have made Bikini Luxe go viral on social media, with fashion influencers and the media. With a bit of help from the provocative post, Galek has hustled her way from working off of her coffee table in Miami to owning several warehouses with over 40 employees.The publicity has attracted attention from Forbes, INC and the Huffington Post and Candice Galek has become one of the most viewed people on LinkedIn (while also having her account suspended at one point). So how has all of this newfound attention affected Bikini Luxe? TechDay caught up with Galek to find out.

1) How does LinkedIn compare to other social media platforms?

This depends on what we're trying to accomplish. Platforms like Instagram or Twitter are good for direct sales, as it's normally a product related post. Facebook and LinkedIn are great at gaining traction for both sales related posts as well as content such as blog posts or news articles.

2) How are you adjusting to fast growth following the controversy?

Keeping our team on the same page has been a struggle, but thanks to apps like Basecamp and Freshdesk we stay informed on the task at hand. We're also adding new team members to aid in the growth process which is nice. We are no longer spread too thin.

3) How have sales changed since the infamous LinkedIn post?

Our male clientele has definitely increased, that's for sure! Summer is a busy time of year despite that, so the growing pains are in full effect. We have taken on a number of new staff and interns to help ease the workload, the learning curve is sharp when it comes to knowing how to order for different seasons. We are constantly analyzing our marketing efforts and sales to see what works the best!

4) What is your best advice for e-commerce businesses to drive traffic back to their sites?

Maintain a personality, don't be too worried about always coming across as "professional". It's not real to always be politically correct. Build a lifestyle that people enjoy and want to be a part of and they will flock to you. Perhaps creating interesting blog content that fit this style would help build a loyal following.

5) Did you expect this big of success through controversial marketing?

Bikini Luxe has always marketed differently than our competitors and we've seen the results that we expected plus some. Not every post goes viral, but when we sit down and put our minds to it results will follow.

6) Is there an app in the future for Bikini Luxe?

If Bikini Luxe turns into the Amazon of bikinis ­the answer is yes. We're working on adding exciting new content to the website, and have been doing more photoshoots than ever before. An app, absolutely stay tuned for more on this.

7) What’s next for Bikini Luxe?

We're keeping our eye on the prize, and buckling down to provide better customer support and experience. We're manufacturing our own exclusive line of cover ups and clothing. Expect to see lots of new brands, top fashion bloggers, and spicy new swimwear styles for 2017.