start ups

Why The Lingerie Industry Can’t Compete With Victoria’s Secret

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/victorias-secret-will-beat-competition-2013-9

victoria's secretVictoria’s Secret is facing a deluge of competition from lingerie start-ups that seek to challenge the brand.

Brands like AdoreMe, Intimint, and True & Co. are trying to seduce Victoria’s Secret customers with lower prices and more tailored selections.

AdoreMe offers direct-to-consumer lingerie at about half of Victoria’s Secret prices.

Intimint asks customers to take a quiz and sends them new lingerie selections every month, based on their preferences. True & Co. sends women five bras a month, giving them the option of keeping what they like and sending back what they don’t.

While these brands are consumer-friendly and creative, their business models ignore exactly what makes Victoria’s Secret so successful.

In the ’90s, Victoria’s Secret used to focus on value. But the brand floundered because there was nothing to set it apart from other price-friendly brands like Hanes and Maidenform.

Victoria’s Secret didn’t start dominating lingerie until it stopped being cheap and began focusing on the customer experience.

Stores were redesigned with soft, pink wallpaper and inviting fitting rooms. Friendly, attractive associates were trained to greet customers and measure their bra sizes.

Women were willing to pay $50 for bras because the luxury experience made their lingerie purchases feel like investments.

This attention to customer service helped Victoria’s Secret overtake competitors like Frederick’s of Hollywood and ! post rec ord sales even during an economic downturn.

AdoreMe CEO Morgan Hermand-Waiche told Business Insider that “people are so tired of high prices and slow-fashion from Victoria’s Secret.”

But Victoria’s Secret’s sales suggest differently: The brand recently reported a 6% increase in the second quarter, on top of a 10% increase last year. That’s among the best in the retail industry.

Women don’t line up at Victoria’s Secret because it’s cheap or has an ever-changing assortment of merchandise.

They trust the brand and feel like a trip to a Victoria’s Secret store is a treat.

Victoria’s Secret offers an experience that e-commerce retailers simply can’t compete with.

 

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Monday, September 2nd, 2013 news No Comments

What You Need To Know About The Technology Driving Advertising Right Now

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-technology-driving-advertising-right-now-2012-3

 

your ad here, advertising, marketing

Media buying today is no easy task – it has to be simple, effective, and relevant.

Ask any buyer and they will tell you there are seemingly infinite choices available to them in selecting media for their clients.

How do they reach a final decision?  Price? Relationship? Brand? Environment? Big idea?

All of these are good reasons, but I’d postulate that information or insights that can be learned from the partner are increasingly an important part of the final buying process.

Buyers want and need to learn more about what is and isn’t working for their clients across all media channels in order to best optimize existing and future campaigns.

Many vendors and start-ups are trying to apply new technology to media in an effort to make inventory more valuable and effective for publishers and advertisers alike.

And, ideally, they are trying to use technology to fuse data with inventory, not only to differentiate themselves from the crowd pre-sale but also to generate post-campaign “learnings” to share with the client.

Top media and technology companies have long been optimizing campaigns from the start (the day the campaign goes live) to ensure clients get the results they are looking for.

Additionally, they are working with an array of technologies and partners, such as Compete and Dimestore, to provide actionable “learnings” during the campaign and afterwards.

By integrating post-buy reports with most branding programs, these companies are able to give marketers a view of their audience they rarely see and, more importantly, work hand and hand with them to build repeatable programs that work for clients.

Using data and technology to improve media effectiveness can be very rewarding – often clients see a tremendous lift in key brand measures.

But the application of technology takes patience, experience and a bit of art to find the right mix of capabilities to work for each client.   When media meets technology the impact can be impressive, but don’t assume just because you apply data or technology to media that you will get the desired result.

You need to work with a partner that has the people, platform and knowledge to apply technology appropriately and deliver the insights and results you expect.

What do you think?

The views expressed here reflect the views of the author alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of 24/7 Real Media, its affiliates, subsidiaries or its parent company, WPP plc.

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Wednesday, March 7th, 2012 news No Comments

There’s Only One Way To Make A Ton Of Money And Be Happy Selling Your Start Up

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/theres-only-one-way-to-male-a-ton-of-money-selling-your-start-up-2012-1


Venture Capital Ad

There is a common belief that venture capital has become a necessity to get start-ups off the ground.

The seemingly endless flow of funds is very appealing to the up-and-coming company looking to sling-shot themselves to instant growth.

While VC funding can give an important vote of confidence and is absolutely necessary for large infrastructure projects, there’s another side to VC funding— it can actually become a huge hindrance. As I’ve discussed before, skipping venture capital can leave your company with the freedom to grow in a sustainable way, creating more value for all stakeholders.

This means when you do sell – as my company AdoTube did recently— you are able to reap all the rewards of selling a healthy profitable company while being a big part of its future. Read below for the 5 reasons why skipping the VC can leave you with more money and probably more importantly a better company legacy.

1.       VCs just want their return

Venture capitalists have a portfolio of investments consisting of multiple start-ups, and therefore only care about average portfolio results. On the other hand, founders have all their eggs in one basket. Not only is this company their brainchild, but it is also their savings on the line. While founders are interested in the eventual payout, providing a product or service that consumers are excited about can be even more important. This focus on the long-term can lead to a greater eventual pay-out as well as a better company legacy.

2.       It’s easy to waste VC money, diminishing overall value

It is easy to overspend when it is not your money. When a small company comes across millions of venture capital, a lot of that cash can get thrown out with the bath water. Keeping the company small and growing it with your own sweat, blood and hard earned cash can lead you to be thriftier in your decisions. When AdoTube started, we made sure every purchase would earn us back revenue, otherwise why waste the money? Ultimately, this allowed us more value for our investment and helped us get a better return.

3.       VCs go big or go bust

Multiple rounds of VC can put founders in a situation where the company either becomes extremely successful or goes bust. Venture Capitalists’ are looking for the big payday, and if the instant pay-out is not immediately apparent, the company can come to a screeching halt. Founders, on the other hand, can take their time building the company up growing it organically. Without venture capitalists looking for their end return, there is still a lot of middle ground available to time a company’s growth spurt with the market.

4.       VCs don’t care about company culture

VCs aren’t incentivized to make deals that are best for the company and the founders. They are incentivized to sell for the most money. The problem is that while every founder dreams of retiring to the Caribbean after they sell, the reality is that their role with the company is often far from over. Founders are often needed to stay on board to steer transitions or integrations are also often the best person to run the newly acquired company. Culture is paramount in making sure all of this happens smoothly and benefits everyone.

5.       VCs don’t know what’s best for the company

Venture Capitalists don’t understand your business like you do. They study revenues and look for synergies with other companies. VCs can even value companies differently depending on how they might merge with another. Valuing a company based on this can take away from the goals of founders, forcing companies to work more like a widget factory than a company. A simple sale could also mean the instant death of your company, destroying all the value that you created (just talk with the guys at Foursquare). While the VCs walk away with a pay-day the company that you spent years creating is gone in an instant.

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Thursday, January 12th, 2012 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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