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From Japan with Love

LeTAO is a leading Japanese confectionery establishment based in Hokkaido, Japan that focuses on premium products, utilizing the freshest and best ingredients from around the world to produce unique confectionery delights. Their breakthrough freezing technology enabled them to store their confectionary goods for an extended period of time without sacrificing moisture levels and taste quality. This allowed LeTAO to expand beyond the Asian market where they chose Toronto, Canada as their first establishment in North America. Their freezing technology allowed products to be flown from Japan to Toronto allowing Torontonians to experience an authentic Japanese confectionary experience.


BIRD & RHINO became a part of LeTAO’s Canadian expansion 6 months prior to their store launch to help build its digital foundations. By communicating with their Toronto store operative and its corporate office, BIRD & RHINO  took charge in designing a strategy that the store can take advantage of upon its opening. A blend of social media and early email marketing served to enable an operational e-commerce store for customers to order online weeks before the official store opening.


What We Did

  Analytics & Reporting
  Campaign Management


Establishing the New Settlement


  • 650 new email subscriptions in 30 days
  • 20x Instagram audience growth: +2228 followers; 10.8 website clicks/week; 783.4 profile visits/week; 510.8 reach/week; 1547.4 impressions/week; 10.52% engagement rate
  • Established revenue stream from e-Commerce sales
  • 21% average conversion rate from email campaigns to online purchase



It begins with a website – the central hub where all marketing channels are connected. Considering the premium quality and price tag of LeTAO products, it was important to establish LeTAO’s web design with a clean and minimalist look and feel. Since the website was launched before the store officially opened, it was crucial to communicate ongoing updates of the official launch date.  There were lead generation modules integrated within the design for users to enter their contact information to be notified when the store is open as well as receive exclusive offers. 


We used the About page as an opportunity to educate users that may not be familiar with LeTAO’s rich history and ongoing pursuit to create exceptional confectionary delights.  The central themes that were important to emphasise were: LeTAO’s origin, it’s dedication to use premium ingredients from across the globe and its breakthrough freezing technology. 


BIRD & RHINO established LeTAO’s very first ecommerce store to accommodate customers living in the Greater Toronto Area. We designed the layout to feel light, clean and easy to purchase products. With a healthy volume of ecommerce sales, we were able to harness the power of AI and automation to personalize marketing touchpoints to previous buyers to generate more sales which gave LeTAO a predictable source of revenue outside its storefront sales.


The results of BIRD & RHINO’s efforts lead to consistent high volume of daily traffic, a responsive experience with fast average load times, a resource to educate users on LeTAO’s brand and one that generates daily revenue.


Product Photography

The photography behind LeTAO’s e-commerce was to maintain Japanese minimalism while extenuating texture as much as possible. Slicing and breaking of the products were frequently used to achieve this, and using simple props and negative space to create a clean, minimal aesthetic.


Email Marketing & Paid Social Advertising

After we collected a considerable amount of emails from interested customers, we launched various email marketing campaigns to reinforce exclusive offers, new products and special announcements. We were able to track customer purchase behaviour by connecting LeTAO’s ecommerce store with our email marketing platform to personalize and automate a sequence of promotional emails which increased conversion rates by 21%.


We leveraged Facebook and Instagram to create campaigns to get the word out on store launch, weekly promotions and generate more email leads to push them through the purchasing funnel. Personalized content was created to retarget select demographics to increase attention and engagement with these ongoing campaigns.


Instagram Growth

Since most demographics outside of Asia was not aware of what LeTAO’s brand represented, the strategy for LeTAO’s initial Instagram growth was to realize where the fanbase stemmed from: Japan. By propagating channels with content announcing the first LeTAO store in Canada was coming soon -all the while geotargeting potential followers in Japan, Bird & Rhino were able to grow 769 followers over the first 2 months. From there, other Asian cities with LeTAO stores were gradually added into the mix until local Torontonians were spotted inquiring about LeTAO’s Canadian launch. The final 2 months of the Instagram growth campaign saw a complete shift in geolocation to Toronto, Canada, and NYC, while targeting specific niche demographics that interacted with certain keywords. Influencer collaborations and giveaway contests were also a big part of Bird & Rhino’s final few weeks, where giveaway contests and carefully selected influencers in Toronto & NYC were able to get an early taste of LeTAO’s signature Double Fromage cheesecake. The final results were an increase in 2228 followers; 43.2 website clicks/month; 10.52% engagement rate; and helping customers connect to the email list.