Today I am excited to be chatting to one of my favorite brands. I have worked with YuYu bottles over the last few years and am a massive fan of their product (as someone with Crohn’s disease, a luxury wrap around hot water bottle is perfection). However, the reason I asked to interview Richard is that he is actively engaging with bloggers with chronic illnesses. As the bottles are stunningly beautiful, it would be easy to work solely with lifestyle or fashion bloggers but Richard has decided to select bloggers whose products make a massive difference to their everyday life. So, without further to do, let’s learn more about Richard and get in touch with him if you think it could be the right fit for you and your blog.
Q: Hi Richard, Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about the brand you work for- Yuyu?
A: In 2010, I started a journey to design the best made, earth friendly & most luxurious hot water bottle the world had ever seen. I love the heat aspect of hotties as I’m not one that likes the cold too much. I was tired of having to move my hottie from one painful or cold spot to another. It was important that the length didn’t increase so much that I’d have to wait to boil a second kettle of water, so the YuYu Bottle is still fillable with just one kettle.
In December 2012, I jumped on the tube to Knightsbridge and strolled into Harrods. I wanted the best shop in the world to sell my invention, and I proudly carried in my product. It was quite hard to miss me, as the box was and still is an 85cm long, very stylish gift box with a gold foiled mark on the front of the box which reads, ‘YuYu Bottle, The World’s First Long Hot Water Bottle’. The rest, as they say, is history.
Q. Wow, that’s amazing! Congratulations on being stocked in Harrods and I completely agree with you about loving hot water bottles. I’ve noticed you have collaborated with several health bloggers (including me!). Have you found bloggers valuable for your brand?
A: I always say that there’s no greater gift we can give another than our warmth! Health bloggers share incredibly valuable and quite often heartfelt experiences. Most have real stories and real conditions. The people that stay loyal to them, their “followers”, follow them because they feel a relevance and warmth towards them, they have empathy with their stories, or admire them and their honesty in one way or another. Or indeed all of the above.
The time spent taking pictures, writing stories, editing videos, researching new products or ideas and potentially helpful tips makes working with health issues incredibly hard work and takes great passion. Who wouldn’t welcome working with this kind of individual.
Q: What do you look for when working with a blogger?
A:We look for people who are genuinely interested in our product and brand. Of course it helps if they have researched us and, even better, used our product. If you spend 5 minutes on our website, you’ll see that the reason we’re so interested in health bloggers is because there’s a real benefit in using hot and cold therapies for a number of chronic conditions. We recently received a profoundly earnest letter from a user who told us that their life had literally back-flipped since receiving the YuYu as a gift. Only a few people behind the scenes, family and very close friends, know what we’ve put into creating our beautiful YuYu Bottle, so this story and others like it are the ones that are read out at our dinner table, they are the ones that have the most impact.
Q: Is it important for bloggers to have a niche? Would you be more likely to work with a health blogger than a lifestyle one?
A: If you’d like to review our product, tell us your story, spend some time on our website and share with us why you think the YuYu would benefit you and your readers. We are more interested in why you like our YuYu Bottle and how it benefits you, rather than if you usually have a niche. Are stats everything? What stats do you focus the most on?
Q: Are stats everything? What stats do you focus the most on?
A: Stats are important but they aren’t everything. We have worked with bloggers with less reach, as well as ones with an established, loyal following. A blogger whose audience is actively engaged – commenting, tagging people etc., can be great, even if the number of followers isn’t so high.
Q: Do you welcome pitch emails from bloggers? What makes a good pitch in your opinion?
A: Of course, if you’re pitching someone, we will initially look at your stats and want to read the style in which you write. If your strength isn’t your following then be honest and just tell us so. Writing that you have xxx amount of unidentified hits to your blog or website each month can’t be proved and doesn’t add up if the blogs posted there only have 1 or 2 comments. We are more interested in honesty, and empathy and passion for our product. Well written content is very important for all brands as they can use the content on their website if yours doesn’t have a huge following. Just be honest.
Q: Have you ever had bad experiences with bloggers? What do you wish bloggers wouldn’t do?
A:Lie. Pretending they’re big when they just don’t need to. If you’re genuine, then just telling your friends and family about a great product is important to us.
Q: So true. Sometimes bloggers do feel we need to rely on our stats but being genuine is just as important. Do you find us ‘micro’ influencers can be just as beneficial as big bloggers
A: Absolutely yes. Micro influences by nature are allowed to have closer relationships with their followers than the bigger bloggers who, for obvious reasons, can’t reply to every single comment. Although some try, which is pretty amazing really.
Q:How can bloggers get in touch and discuss working with you?
A: We welcome your correspondence and would love to get involved with some fun collaborations with you. Write to us and tell us your story, your idea. Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Yuyu on twitter and instagram @yuyubottle
If you enjoyed this, you can read my other brand and PR interviews here.