IN FIVE: Customer focus, online brands and just do it!
Brands for whom the web has allowed them to define a unique business model and reach to customers feature heavily this week. For different reasons, the Dollar Shave Club, Etsy and TED have success born out of the way the web allows them to create a business not tethered to the challenges of bricks and mortar. That, and a helpful reminder to actually do what you say you do!
Second Generation eCommerce
This post on the online-only brand was shared internally at F+W and gives great focus. Primarily this is about the margin potential of ‘second generation’ eCommerce stores that build brands that are enabled by the economies of online selling. Importantly though, it highlights the potential of building a unique character, personality and voice can have in building your audience on the social web. Step forward the Dollar Shave Club – new to me but brilliant.
Product or Customer Focus
In much the same vein as the above, this post asks the question if your business is product or customer focused? I completely agree that you can really see those businesses that are in a “constant state of evolving the product” against those that have customer front of mind.
The power of Etsy
I enjoyed this infographic I picked up on the Mashable site, reminding me of the power and potential of Etsy. The numbers are impressive, 15 million members growing at nearly 700,000 per month, 875,000 shops, 13,000,000 products. For an aspiring handmade entrepreneur, Etsy can be hugely powerful and a way to reach a global audience. What’s more, you can launch your business with an Etsy shop and social media profile for free – allowing you to get out there and start selling, learning and building a community quickly and with little risk.
TED launches ebook store
I’m a big TED fan. I posted only this week on Start with Why, so naturally I downloaded the new TED IOS ebook app, and bought a book. TED is growing a community through making its core content free, and then naturally extends this into generating revenue through the ebook app. It’s a big enough brand, with a big enough following to do this. Smart move.
Just Do it!
This interview with Lisa Barone caught my eye with some good advice, but I was particularly drawn to her answer to the last question: “Don’t forget to actually do what it is you’re trying to be known for.” It’s true. I’m the biggest advocate of having a strategy, a usp and defining your ‘why’ – but ultimately talking about it and thinking about it are nothing without actually doing it!