Nov. 1, 2021

Sneakers Outperforming the S&P 500? With StockX’s Deena Bahri

Sneakers Outperforming the S&P 500? With StockX’s Deena Bahri

Trying to become THE online marketplace for Gen Z.


Deena Bahri is the first ever Chief Marketing Officer of StockX, the online marketplace for buying and selling trendy collectibles including sneakers, streetwear and trading cards. StockX authenticates its products at a 99.95% accuracy rate, thanks to their very in-depth process...which includes 100+ steps, because for Gen Z, authenticity is everything. Deena is telling us all about the company's first-class authentication team, the increased popularity of investing in StockX’s products as alternative assets, and StockX’s recent expansion into new markets. 

The complete transcript of this episode is available below. 

Transcript

 

Nora Ali: From Morning Brew. This is Business Casual, the podcast that gives you a front row seat to candid conversations with some of the biggest names in business, asking them the questions you wish you could ask yourself. I'm your host, Nora Ali.

Scott Rogowsky: And I'm your other host, Scott Rogowsky, a man who has been hoarding several generations worth of baseball cards to pass down to his nonexistent children. Nora and I are here for your ears, bringing you stories of how business shapes our daily lives now and into the future. Now let's get down to business.

Nora Ali: Sneakers have evolved from being a fashion commodity and cult obsession, and by the way, a personal obsession for me, to a long-term investment for many, and the pandemic only fueled that. But until recently, buying and selling collectible sneakers was kind of risky since traditional marketplace platforms like Ebay previously had no way of guaranteeing that the shoes weren't knockoffs or that they would ever even arrive. Enter StockX, an online marketplace for buying and selling collectibles, namely sneakers, but now expanding into other streetwear, electronics, trading cards, and other have-to-have, hyped items. StockX authenticates products at a 99.95% accuracy rate. And it offers shipping services for sellers. It's latest funding round earlier this year valued the company at $3.8 billion. So today we are hearing from StockX chief marketing officer Deena Bahri, who can give us a sneak peek into the world of sneakers and other collectibles.

Scott Rogowsky: The shoe must go on. Nora, you're a bit of a sneakerhead. Is that true?

Nora Ali: I am a sneakerhead and I tried to count in my head the number of sneakers I have to tell you. And I think I have maybe 15ish pairs, which isn't that much to call myself a sneakerhead, but I am obsessed with the ones I do have. Are you into sneakers, Scott? 

Scott Rogowsky: Nora, you're supposed to wear sneakers on your feet. Not your head. Don't make sense to me. Call me old school, old fashioned, but I wear my sneakers on my feet and I don't collect them for any particular reason other than to wear them because I'm a functionalist first and foremost.

Nora Ali: That's true to be clear. My relationship with sneakers is also that I wear them. I don't buy them just to store for their value or as an investment. Maybe I will after learning more about StockX. I collected a lot of things as a child: key chains, books by Roald Dahl, rocks, feathers, which by the way, doesn't make sense because I have a debilitating fear of birds. But for some reason I liked to collect their feathers.

Scott Rogowsky: Is that so? You collect bird feathers, just like peacocks? 

Nora Ali: I collected bird feathers.

Scott Rogowsky: Nora, have you checked out the latest bird feather drop on StockX? There's a new Kid Cudi black-throated loon collection that is sold out in minutes.

Nora Ali: I don't want it. Did you say the loon because it's the state bird of Minnesota or was that just a coincidence? 

Scott Rogowsky: Yeah. 

Nora Ali: You did. You knew that, but I collect a lot of things as I know you do, Scott. So if not sneakers, what is on your list of things that you collect?

Scott Rogowsky: I sort of went the other way in the pandemic. I sort of took stock of my life, looked at my collections, looked at all my baseball cards, and I really started kind of selling it all off, and trying to declutter my life. So yeah, the truth is my collecting instincts, my magpie instincts, somewhat eroded by a sense of impending doom.

Nora Ali: You're trying to Marie Kondo your life. I see. So I think you and I have a lot to learn about the reselling and collectible market. So let's get to our guest because she knows way more than we do about this subject. Our guest is Deena Bahri. She’s the first ever Chief Marketing Officer of StockX ex and she previously served as CMO at a bunch of places, including Helix, Birchbox, and Juicero. You remember them?

Scott Rogowsky: Juicero! I love my Juicero I Juicero every morning.

Nora Ali: So Deena is here today to break down the meteoric rise of StockX and the collectible sneakers, streetwear, and electronics space for us all.

Scott Rogowsky: Deena, welcome to Business Casual. Let's first of all congratulate you on your two year anniversary at StockX.

Deena Mahri: Oh, thanks. Yeah, just about. Two weeks ago. 

Scott Rogowsky: Unbelievable. What a couple of years, huh? 

Deena Bahri: It’s like dog ears. At any startup, but especially at a hyper-growth startup, you know, surviving and thriving during the pandemic.

Nora Ali: What an interesting time to land at StockX. I mean, Scott and I have our own relationship with collectibles. I am a huge sneakerhead. So let's start from the beginning on StockX. We understand it facilitates these transactions between buyers and sellers. I know StockX collects a transaction and payment fee. So can you just walk us through what is different about the model of StockX from the traditional marketplaces we're used to like say, an Ebay? 

Deena Bahri: Yes. So we are the trusted global marketplace for current culture. We are, you know, in the middle between buyers and sellers, as you mentioned. And there are a few key things that happen when we touch a transaction. So we, we make listing very easy. So unlike other platforms as a seller, all you have to do is literally create an account and create an ask. You don't have to create a listing, take pictures of your item, write a description. All of that is sort of obviated by our single listing model, a single PDP. That's great for sellers. It's also great for traffic driving because that one PDP sort of aggregates all of the organic search demand and means that buyers are able to find that product and StockX easily. The other really key difference is around authentication. Now I know there are other companies that do this, but we did it first and we do it best. So we sort of invented this idea of authenticating an item and standing in between the buyer and seller as that sort of trusted authority who's going to make sure that this item is indeed new, authentic, in the right condition with the right accessories and a good clean box. And that there is no disappointment on either end. And then obviously the last thing is really around the positioning of the business and this idea of playing in a current culture space. So we are not the marketplace for absolutely everything and anything. You know, we're also not a high-fashion sort of exclusive and exclusionary marketplace. We are the current culture marketplace that really captures the zeitgeist of kind of what's happening right now and what's next.

Scott Rogowsky: And that zeitgeist, by the nature of zeitgeists, it constantly changes, right? It can be quite volatile. How does a company like yours keep up with the speed of culture, which I think has accelerated to such an insane degree with the internet, but now in this pandemic, even more so and now with things like TikTok where I remember when things would go viral and we can enjoy it for at least a few days, a week. You know, damn Daniel, the Harlem shake, you know, how long did that last? Now it's like every 15 minutes there's a new viral meme you got to keep up with. So are you just constantly adding new items to the marketplace? Just what, what's the process there? I'm sure the team as a whole to keep up with culture must be exhausting.

Deena Bahri: Yes, it is really fast. Things are very fluid and that makes it fun, I think, because it doesn't stagnate, it never gets predictable, customer insights and voice of the customer are two disciplines that we've built up over the last two years to help us. And then, you know, we have sort of this whole discipline around merchandising as well, to both analytically, and then more kind of instinctively go where the market is going to go, build out the catalog. You know, you may have seen over the past few months, we've added things like art prints. We've expanded our collectibles. Action figures was a recent launch and this is really again a by-product of just listening to the customer, seeing what is provoking their interest and what they're kind of demonstrating that they're being drawn to. And then of course we want to be there and be ready to help them engage.

Nora Ali: And you're, you're not just collecting data. You're also displaying data and making it available to your buyers and to your sellers on listings for certain products, you have the historical prices, the volatility, price premium, trade range. It really feels like you are buying equities and that's data that you often don't see for products. So what have you found buyers especially want to know and want to see when they're making decisions on which products to buy on StockX?

Deena Bahri: Yeah. This data transparency and this visibility that we offer is another one of those key differentiators. And it's part of our DNA. It helps to really guide us to the next big thing, which we can talk about in a minute, but often buyers want to know and sellers as well, right? They just want certainty around pricing. No one wants to overpay for something. Some people really love the art of the deal. And so they engage very actively with the bidding functionality and they try to watch, you know, the movements, both on the buy side and sell side to get that perfect price point. Other people are pricing sensitive and they just want it now. And so they may engage in a different way, but we really believe fundamentally in keeping that data top of mind, making it really visible, easy to engage with. And for sellers, we think we can really help sellers grow their business and increase their profits by giving them tools to make intelligent pricing decisions.

Scott Rogowsky: So walk me through it personally, Deena. I might be maybe an ideal model customer for your potential customer, because like Nora mentioned, I am a big collector. I've got tons of sports cards here on my kitchen table that I'm looking at feverishly, but I've been on eBay. I've been an Ebay user since 1998 if you can believe it, and buying and selling on that platform. I am one of those people who, as a buyer, I love the bidding process. And the fact that, you know, I can maybe take advantage of someone who doesn't list an item quite right. Does that experience translate to StockX or you add stability to the prices with the way that you set your marketplace? I'm just curious as someone who is not quite familiar with it. 

Deena Bahri: Yeah. It's funny. I would say one of the top benefits is that we just reduce the risk on both sides. So even what you just described, which sounds like a lot of fun, it does create risk for that naive seller, right? They don't really understand what they're doing and they get, you know, taken advantage of by a savvy buyer. In this case with StockX, we do reduce a lot of that variability and risk, you know, risk around, is this authentic? Is this seller legitimate? Is the buyer legitimate, you know, as a seller on other platforms, if there's a customer service problem, it's really on you to chase that down and solve it. Right. Whereas for us, because we stand in the middle, we help with that. We create the standardization and consistent quality in the experience end to end. Doesn't mean we take all the fun out of it, but we do take the risk and a lot of the guesswork out of it.

Nora Ali: So I was watching the authentication video on StockX’s website. And I learned today that a smell test is part of authenticating sneakers, which I had, I had no idea that we had people sniffing sneakers.

Deena Bahri: Yes, like fine wine.

Nora Ali: Yeah. And it's not to smell for previous feet that have been in the sneakers. It's to smell for things like the glue that someone might use for Jordans. So what are some of the factors, Deena, that go into authenticating a sneaker or other products that might surprise us? 

Deena Bahri: Yeah, there are very extensive SOPs for authentication and I'm talking like a hundred plus point checklists that our authenticators are trained on for months. There's like a 90-day training program and there are various levels of authentication, you know, status. So as an authenticator, you sort of move up the food chain as you gain expertise. So it really is a trade of its own. You know, the sniff test was one that surprised and delighted me. There's all of these details that you would not ever anticipate, stitching on various parts of the product. The way the logo is printed on the box or the packaging, when accessories are, or are not included, even the way the logo may be placed. So it's not just like the colors they use, but the placement on a box that can be a tell for a fake. So it's honestly, I don't even have a command of all the things that our authenticators check for. And it's really a heart of our operation and the heart of our business, because it's the human aspect that ensures the trust that we get from our customers.

Scott Rogowsky: I imagine you're SVP of authentication being a very dapper bloodhound in a three-piece suit, whose got an army of other Basset hounds maybe. And, you know, when items get expensive and popular at the forgery market explodes, concurrently along with the actual goods. And so there's just tons of these counterfeit Jordan sneakers and Yeezys coming out of China. Is it mostly China? Is that the culprit here? 

Deena Bahri: A lot of it does come out of China. And it's interesting. It, too, is a fluid market, you know, I think the folks that generate these fakes have had to adapt as we have built up this authentication practice and been able to sort of weed out the fakes. So, you know, they have had to try to learn to outsmart us and hopefully we continue to be smarter than them and more nimble and identify the fakes. But there's also other things that we look for, right? It's not just fake product. It's also used product because everything that we sell is dead stock or new condition. And sometimes it's damaged, right? Like the box is crushed beyond an acceptable standard. Or there were two pairs of laces included in a box and one pair is missing. So there are a lot of details.

Nora Ali: I feel like we could talk about authentication and fakes and faux products forever, but let's take a very quick break. We'll be right back.

[AD BREAK]

Scott Rogowsky: So this right here is a basketball signed by Michael Jordan, David Robinson, John Stockton, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley. This is a dream team. What you're saying, this is fake?

Deena Bahri: No. I said it's amazing. I am not authorized to tell if it's fake or real.

Scott Rogowsky: Well, it is fake sent into PSA DNA. And got this letter back saying for seven reasons, atypical letter slant, excessive pen pressure, poor line quality, sizing of letters disproportionate or exaggerated. So, you know, this is, yeah. These authentication services. 

Deena Bahri: And this is why you buy things on StockX. 

Scott Rogowsky: This is exactly why. You know, sometimes I always thought about this: fake and authentic. The line can be so fine sometimes. And if you think it's real and others think it’s real, that it's real, right?

Deena Bahri: Yeah. I guess it all depends on your perspective. I think, you know, if you are in this to invest or sell, it really matters because of course you don't want to propagate fakes. You don't want to go on and pass on a bad product that will come back to you. Right? So that's for one group of our stakeholders and customers, that's really important. And I think for others, even if they're just in it to consume the product, there are some like a badge of honor, right, around only wearing and embodying the authentic thing. And in fact, in current culture, I think authenticity is one of those values. It can obviously mean a lot, but for this next-gen consumer, who is our core consumer, the idea of authenticity is really core. 

Nora Ali: Speaking of the next-gen consumer, Deena, you've said recently that StockX has seen a really huge growth in female buyers in particular, buyers and sellers on the platform. What do you think is driving that growth? And what, what do you hope brands will do with this growth in the female consumer?

Deena Bahri: Yeah, it's been so cool actually to watch over the last 18 months to two years, the increase in participation in this space by creators and collaborators, as well as by consumers. And so we're seeing, for example, more women's exclusive styles of footwear and apparel in this current culture space. We're seeing more female influencers in skate and gaming. And I think on the customer side, part of it is a response to what's going on in the industry. Part of it is a response to our marketing efforts, we have made some really intentional moves to be more inclusive with our rebrand, with our messaging, and all of our creative to try to appeal to that female consumer. And I think the other thing is that we're seeing more kids be interested in this space, which means mom is responsible for the purchase. And so we also hope to capture mom's heart for herself and for the other people that she’s purchasing for. 

Scott Rogowsky: And StockX X is considered a secondary marketplace, right? So people are buying a product on a drop somewhere else and then bringing it to StockX to sell. 

Deena Bahri: Right. 

Scott Rogowsky: Are you looking into having your own drops and exclusive releases?

Deena Bahri: We are. It's really interesting. I think for the consumer, you know, it's almost irrelevant primary or secondary market, like that blurs to them. What they care about is getting their hands on the products that matter. Right. And for us, we realized that it's probably been about a year and a half, that we've been building this business around DropX, which is our kind of proprietary mechanism for brands and creators to bring product to market directly on our platform. So these are usually in quite limited quantity. They're usually pretty coveted or desirable. We've worked with brands like Revlon and Megan Thee stallion when Megan launched her first makeup palette. We launched some very cool headphones, sort of like the next-gen version of the AirPod with a French brand named Nothing. Same thing, sold out in a few hours. We've sold toys with Mattel. We've sold a whole host of apparel items with various creators and influencers. So this is a key sort of imperative for us going forward because I think it's a great way for us to participate and shape the current culture conversation and tie it back to the product experience in our StockX ecosystem.

Nora Ali: You mentioned a few different motivations for people to buy or sell products on StockX, whether it's people trying to stay on trend, buy limited edition cool products, but also helping them economically, whether it's for investment or from the sale itself. I imagine there's plenty of overlap with those kinds of people, with relatively young, new retail traders who are trying to sort of game the stock market. We saw plenty of that in this last year with the meme stocks.

Scott Rogowsky: Stonks.

Nora Ali:  Game, stonks, exactly like GameStop, AMC. Is there any risk of market quote unquote manipulation in the collectibles and resale market, or is it not real-time enough? It's not high-volume enough to see the massive swings that we saw in some of those meme companies?

Deena Bahri: I don't think there is any real risk of that. Certainly there are fluctuations, like meaningful fluctuations, but I think for those like stonk moments to happen, you really need sort of this aggregated effort from a small group of actors. And here, we're not seeing that happen on the platform. So you might see, you know, this crest in price premium just after a release, when something sells out at retail and everyone wants it desperately and they can't get it. And there's this flurry of activity. And then, sure, that price premium settles, but it's not coming from an organized effort on behalf of a group of actors. I think your question though really speaks to some really fascinating trends that we're seeing with this Gen Z consumer. One is this desire to participate in the economic opportunity created on secondary marketplaces and the explosion of sellers that we've seen in the last year. As we dig into that and talk to our sellers, our, especially our new sellers, we just hear so many interesting thoughts about how these consumers want to take control over their own economic destiny. And we are providing them a way to do that. I think the other really interesting trend is we're just seeing the beginning of it, but this idea of looking at consumer products as alternative assets, of course, physical products, but also digital products, right? And these consumers on our platform are looking at these items and saying, yeah, this is a great investment. You know, your Jordan portfolio has outperformed the S&P 500 or your trading cards portfolio has outperformed the NASDAQ. So it's a great way for me to grow my assets, which is very interesting.

Scott Rogowsky: I'm sniffing a veer into NFT territory. So before we go there, which I would rather not, let's take a quick break. And when we come back, we'll keep talking with Deena about how StockX exploded during this pandemic and how they're expanding beyond. 

[AD BREAK]

Scott Rogowsky: So, Deena, I've observed as both a buyer and seller in the past couple of years, how markets have seem to be irrationally exuberant around so many things, but trading cards, specifically for me, was growing up in the late eighties, early nineties, the first quote-unquote boom in the market with the expansion of product offerings and that boom led to the subsequent crash, of course. So now all this investment in companies like yours are exploding in this recent growth, but when you're tied to these markets that are sort of, again, tied to the way the larger economy goes up and down, is there a worry that, you know, if this market just bottoms out, then StockX is going to bottom out?

Deena Bahri: Well, I think, you know, that's one reason that diversification of our catalog is a smart strategy. Of course, if you're all-in on one space, one category, there's risk around that. I think the beauty like we were talking about earlier of our current culture positioning is that it does create room for some dynamism and fluidity. And so if training cards is right in the bullseye of the current culture discussion, as it is today, great, we're going to spend time there and energy and invest, but we're not going to exclusively invest there. And diversification of our catalog has been a big initiative. You know, you saw us adding sneakers to apparel and accessories, to collectibles, trading cards, electronics, and more, and we'll continue to do that as we, again, watch the customer and see where customer wants us to go.

Nora Ali: So you've had to adapt and pivot plenty by nature of what StockX is, but especially during the pandemic. So for these activations, these marketing activations that normally happen in person where it's fun to have these in-person events, where you can touch and feel products and, you know, try things on, how did you translate that enthusiasm into digital events? Basically overnight during the pandemic?

Deena Bahri: We had to quickly adapt, as all marketers everywhere did. And, you know, we learned a lot of really interesting things, some of which I think we'll take forward when, and if, we ever go back to life as we knew it You know, as an example, we took a lot of these events that were destined to be offline and brought them online. Like a film preview, for example, with a streetwear creator that we partnered with. Rather than premiering in LA, we had to pivot and premiere online. And we figured out that by doing that, we were able to include so many more people, people who are global, who couldn't be in LA. People who maybe couldn't afford to fly there and stay in a hotel and so on. And so in that sense, it really went back to one of our core drivers, which is the idea of access and allowing people to participate, even if they don't have the hookup or plug, they don't know the right people, they don't live in the right city. So that was a really great finding that we've been able to translate into future planning. We also, you know, we launched a bunch of new markets during the pandemic. We launched Tokyo, we launched Canada, actually. We launched into Australia. So lots of new country launches. And historically what we would have done is gone into the city, the most culturally relevant city in that market, and done a cool lunch party. So instead we've created these digital excursions, we're calling them. So their online content guides done through partnership with local influencers that talk about all of those influencers’ favorite places in that city, and it lives on, right. Anyone anywhere can consume it. It doesn't expire when the party's over. So it's again, a nice way to adapt strategies that have high impact, but maybe limited reach. Truth be told, we do look forward to going back to in-person events, but we will probably end up doing the best of both as we move forward.

Nora Ali: And with people stuck at home, we saw a big rise in e-sports while traditional sports were put on pause. I know you guys tapped into that market as well. We obviously associate sneakers with, you know, real-life athletes and traditional sports, but what are the sneaker needs and curiosities from e-sports gamers and audiences and what is their relationship generally with StockX?

Deena Bahri: And it so happens that sport and gaming, sit side by side, and very much almost equal as key passion points with our target consumers. So it makes perfect sense that you would start to see us offering current culture products in the electronic space. And specifically the gaming space. These gamers are often wearing Supreme apparel or Jordan brand sneakers. And I think it represents this crossover medley of various brands and passion points in the current culture space that we really thrive on. So, you know, it speaks to the multi-dimensional nature of this consumer and the segment of the market. You know, they're not just about one thing, it's sort of the multihyphenate mindset.

Scott Rogowsky: Multihyphenate. We're all, multihyphenates these days. 

Deena Bahri: Yeah. That's a new way to say Renaissance, you're a Renaissance man or women, right?

Scott Rogowsky: Yeah. The expansion to other categories and other markets has to be exhilarating, but maybe a little daunting. StockX was first making these inroads into other categories, but StockX did start really primarily as sneakers and only sneakers. Is that correct?

Deena Bahri: That's right. We'd launched as a sneaker company back in 2016, about a year later added apparel, and then next were handbags and watches and then collectibles, trading cards, electronics, comic books, art prints, action figures. And you're right. You've identified something that really does happen. Every time you look to expand into a new territory, we sort of go through this thought process of like, are we doing the right thing? Like, do we risk diluting our current positioning? Are we going to alienate our core consumer? Does this even make sense? Right. We have this sort of framework around current culture, which is fluid, but it doesn't mean everything is in bounds and it's not because it's not black and white. It means that you really are using your best judgment. Of course, we have an analytical approach to choosing these new categories, but there's also a more qualitative approach. And it does feel scary every time, but we are a startup at heart, even as we scale and become a big company. We’re a startup. And that means we believe in testing things and learning, and sometimes we're not going to get it right. You know, and, and that's okay. And if we are wrong, we are going to be able to name that and pull back and redirect those resources to a better initiative and opportunity.

Scott Rogowsky: Have there been any misfires that, that you care to share? I'm just, you know, we talk about successes, but also failures are part of success here. Have there been categories that just didn't work for whatever reason or international markets that haven't caught on? 

Deena Bahri: I'll give one example that I think is really interesting because it speaks to how important it is to be true to your, your own business truth. So when we went into handbags, there were expectations in the industry, right? So there are many handbag resellers, online resellers, and there were norms around condition, right? We at StockX only had sold dead stock or new product, but the handbag retail industry had an expectation around used. And so when we launched handbags, we conform to that norm. We had new, but we also had used and like new. And what we learned is that, that created a lot of complexity in our system because our system is optimized for new condition. And so making these exceptions just added a lot of new steps that were costly or slow, or, you know, hard to trust, like the idea of creating trust with the consumer, because the standards for authentication are very clear. That gets fuzzy when you introduce different conditions, and so after about a year and a half operating in that more kind of normed-to-industry environment, and we said, you know what, we're going back to who we are. And that means only new condition as it relates to handbags. And since we made that change, the business has exploded because we were able to really focus our energy on, you know, gaining supply, clarifying the value proposition, and so it's been a really great reminder of how important it is to stay true to who you are.

Scott Rogowsky: By doing that, you signal to the, the other resellers of the industry, oh, well, that may have been your norm, but we're actually setting a new standard, a higher standard for what it takes to resell. 

Deena Bahri: Yeah.

Nora Ali: Yeah. I mean, do, you know, there's so many layers that you have to get, right if you're launching new products, new categories, new regions. I know that one of the things you guys leaned into during the pandemic was this digital travel series called Excursions, where you explored cultures in different cities around the world. So it's this kind of complimentary piece of content as you're launching in new markets. What are some of the biggest learnings or different motivations for cultures around the globe when it comes to resold products or collectible products that you found particularly interesting?

Deena Bahri: Well, one of the things that has been really illuminating in our global strategy is that while a lot of our strength comes from being a global platform and providing access to global supply and global demand, there's still a lot of value placed on local product, local creators, local moments. And even though we're a big global company, to be relevant in market. So we'll use Japan as another, as an example where this is an incredibly influential country in current culture. And the customer has a lot of expectations about us as a brand. And I think any brand really knowing and respecting their own culture, their local creators and brands, their local holidays, the local calendar, and so on.And so what we've done in response to this learning is in every market that's a priority market for us, we sort of blend the global center of excellence teams with the local, on-the-ground teams. And together they're able to provide that right balance of sort of horsepower and scaled learnings with the local intuition, the local relationships, the local cultural understanding. I think, honestly, any company that is, has hopes of being global and being successful in an authentic way, needs to take a hard look at that. And that's true for our marketing. It's true for our customer service. It's true for our authentication and supply chain experience. And of course our core product experience.

Scott Rogowsky: How much has content marketing play into your business, Deena, as someone who's, you know, Nora and I are both in the content space. I know you have the magazine, which features news of the industry, exclusive interviews, are there podcasts? Or are you doing more live streaming? And do you see that having an effect on bringing new customers onto the platform?

Deena Bahri: We see content as a key way to both bring new customers in, but also to engage our existing customers. You know, we've had a bunch of success with video series. We have a lot of written content. Social obviously is a huge channel for engaging customers. And we are experimenting into new formats as well, like podcasts. We've also done some great sponsored type of content, like this year, we sponsored With The Hype on HBO Max, where we were sort of their presenting sponsor and the official resell platform for the apparel designers on that show. And we will continue to try new things with content. I think being able to tell stories and engage with the customer in a more contextualized way is really important. You know, ads are great for maybe introducing a customer to the notion of you as a brand, but to build that deeper emotional relationship, which is for us a big priority, I think you need to be able to go deeper and tell a deeper story. And content helps us do that.

Scott Rogowsky: 3.7 million followers on Instagram. That is uh...

Deena Bahri: Yeah, we were, we were early on Instagram and we've been really religious about publishing cadence and the content types. And it's one of our more important channels.

Scott Rogowsky: Yeah. Well, Deena Bahri has been a pleasure speaking with you and really learning all about StockX because I'm a new a newbie to it. I've heard a lot about it over the years, and now I'm feeling more confident, maybe giving it a shot on my own here. Deena is the CMO of online marketplace StockX. Deena, thank you so much for joining us at Business Casual.

Deena Bahri: Thank you guys. Take good care.

Scott Rogowsky: And now, BC listeners, we want to hear from you. Do you think StockX is worth the hype? Are sneakers a worthy investment? Do you hoard vintage T-shirts like I do? Send us an email at businesscasual@morningbrew.com or DM us on Twitter at @bizcasualpod, that's B I Z Casual pod, with your stories. 

Nora Ali: And also leave us a voice memo on our website if you so choose, businesscasual.fm, or give us a ring and leave us an old-fashioned voicemail. Our number is 862-295-1135. As Business Casual grows, we're excited to get to know our listeners old and new. Drop us a line, and don't forget to leave your name and where you're calling or writing from, so we can hear from you in a future episode. 

Scott Rogowsky: Business Casual is produced by Katherine Milsop and Bella Hutchins. Additional production sound design and mixing by Daniel Markus. Alan Haburchak is the director of audio of Morning Brew. Sarah Singer is our VP of multimedia and Jessica Cohen is our chief content officer. Music in this episode from Daniel Markus and the Mysterious Breakmaster Cylinder. If you liked what you heard, please follow Business Casual on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you go for ear candy. And we'd love it if you would give us a great rating and a review.

Nora Ali: Thanks for listening to Business Casual. I'm Nora Ali. 

Scott Rogowsky: And I'm Scott Rogowsky. 

Nora Ali: Keep it business. 

Scott Rogowskyi: And keep it casual.