OUR PROVEN METHOD blends creativity with deep analysis about the customer, competitors, and processes, while assessing the strengths of the team. We uncover customer-driven macro fashion trends, and white space, that will have a dramatic impact on the business. We form the vision and strategy with a clear game plan to execute, commercialize, and drive results beyond expectations.
Success Story: Direct-to-Consumer
Growing revenue by shifting focus from sub-brand to customer needs.
CASE STUDY RESULT: 47% growth in 1 year, doubled business in 3 years
CHALLENGE: A lingerie brand’s swimwear division revenue was stable at $75MM, but flat for 5 years in a row; efforts to move the needle weren’t working.
REQUEST: Deliver a strategy that would double the swimwear revenue in 5 years.
OBSERVATION: The category had been merchandised by sub-brand collections that intentionally mirrored the company's lingerie sub-brands. The #1 swim sub-brand was down trending - the team felt the label name was outdated and they were not giving it the same focus. Silhouette and color "formulas" had been established and followed for several years running.
STRATEGY: 4 Big ideas, excerpted from the comprehensive strategy:
Modesty level (claim space): a customer pain point that was not being addressed; claim market share in the two extremes – skimpy and fuller coverage.
Emerging macro trend (claim space). A new macro trend for feminine/flirty swim had been missed that was an opportunity for all sub-brands to claim market share.
Own a "best-at" product feature (own space). The #1 sub-brand was down-trending but its best feature, "push-up", but was not being called out. Product was re-vamped with fashion-forward color and print, and marketed to “Push-Up” as a selling feature as opposed to the "Miracle Bra" label.
Untapped customer (white space) – Created a new sub-brand for this younger Spring Break customer that no one was marketing swimwear to; unconstructed styles, with delivery timing shifted to early spring.
Merchandising team was restructured to maximize strengths. Associate designer was added to focus on younger customer. All others partners were engaged
(Planning, Product Execution, Marketing, Digital). The 4 Big Ideas were EXECUTED seamlessly.
Success Story: Wholesale Brand
Reversing declines at retail and at wholesale.
CASE STUDY RESULT: 37% brand growth; 10% wholesale revenue growth
CHALLENGE: A dress brand’s revenue had begun to down trend after several years of dramatic growth, and the sub-brands were starting to cannibalize each other.
REQUEST: Deliver and execute a sales and merchandising strategy to reverse the trend, better differentiate the sub-brands, and deepen customer intimacy with retail accounts.
STRATEGY: 3 Big ideas, excerpted from THE STRATEGY:
Explode the “signature” aesthetic for the mega brand, identify it, own that market share and grow it - allowing for different versions of the signature-type million dollar styles in each sub-brand. Differentiate the three sub-brands with the balance of styles for each sub-brand to be focused on very different aesthetics: a special capsule for “luxe and sophisticated” sub-brand vs “wide-appeal” sub-brand vs “free-spirited” sub-brand.
Invest in white space opportunity: fast-growing macro trend (30% of market) - grow total customer base by assorting 30% of collections to meet this new customer segment. Re-vamp free-spirited sub-brand with newly identified direction in fabric, silhouettes, and necklines. Utilize new insights to assort all collections with new attributes by customer personality to address all segments.
Transform wholesale structure and process. Grow wholesale revenue by a.) launching flagship program and plus size program, b.)improving customer intimacy with new sales team structure, and c.) developing technology for seamless and efficient service.
New assortment architectures for all brands based on new personality attributes; new processes, hindsight presentations, and collaborative meetings. One example: Identified new embroidered fabric direction leading to $3M incremental sales in first year.
Success Story: Vertical Retail
Growing profit, conversion, and sales
CASE STUDY RESULT: 10% improvement in profitability, 10% improvement in e-commerce item conversion and sales. Plus size achieved 60% market share.
CHALLENGE: Vertical brand’s sales and profitability were declining. Store traffic and website traffic were down even though marketing spend was consistent. Inventory and overstocks were increasing, but Plus size customers did not have enough options to try on.
REQUEST: Deliver a short term and long term strategy to course correct sales and profitability, reduce overstocks, and satisfy the needs of the plus size customer.
OBSERVATION: New collections had been added at double the price points; purchase orders had been placed and markdowns taken using the same metrics/standards as the lower priced collections. New competition had entered the market and was taking market share. Update to website was causing digital sales to decline.
The 3 Big ideas, excerpted from THE STRATEGY:
Significantly increase profitability with new buying formula launched. Immediate change was made to buying method, product life cycle, and turn expectations for luxury collections, to preserve best sellers that were being marked down too soon and minimize units buys of luxury styles. Shifted dollars to new plus size initiative.
Invest in white space opportunity and re-claim business lost to competition : (claim space). A thorough analysis of customer insights, reviews, and competition, led to uncovering a top reason for the declining market share. Product was fast-tracked to address the customer demand for two macro trends. Assortment architecture and product was revised for future seasons.
Digital improvements and site re-design (own space). Deep e-commerce experience led to improvements and immediate wins in conversion; website innovations to drive traffic, deliver story-telling, and improve inclusivity.
Partnered closely with planning to execute new buying process.
Formed special committee with marketing, e-commerce, and IT for website re-design.
Created merchandising assortment architecture based on million dollar core styles and new macro trends; Partnered with design teams and production to fast-track new product.