Mass Customised

This is a blog about the business of launching and running Evolvex by Luxmy (www.evolvex.com) written by co-founder Priyanka Rao.

Evolvex by Luxmy allows you to design your own furniture! Choose from a huge range of colours and sizes to make your ideal bookcase, cabinet, table, lounge or whatever you can dream up online and it get delivered to your door. It's open source and you can build it however you like it.

How to market through your customers - lesson from Blueflamme

Not too long till it’s Christmas and the start of the New Year! Hooray!

There have been quite a few ‘Design Your Own’ fashion start ups launch in the past few months and they all have a similar way of doing things - design via an app or configure on product page, get it made in China/HK at a similar price point to each other. The jewellery start up Stylerocks (our local version of Gemvara) is different as they get their goods made in Australia, like us! They launched pretty much the same day as us.

Bleuflamme is the latest in the ‘design your own shirt’ space and when I read the Techcrunch article I thought ‘How is this one going to be different to Blank Label or Joe Button?’ I really like both websites so not sure how you’d top ‘em. 

And then I read the customer testimonial page and gasped. They’ve smartly sent their shirts to key corporate executives and thus positioned themselves extremely well - a custom designed shirt for the very man who would be likely to get one tailored so would understand the savings received by designing online via Blueflamme. Now this is a business team that will go the distance!

So often a business markets itself on the press or awards it receives, and not enough on it’s customers. It’s amazing to see this one receive positive words from the people their target customer would aspire to be like - not film stars but ‘business stars’. 

Shoes Of Prey, an established company in this online ‘Design Your Own’ space regularly markets through the positive testimonials from it’s customers received on their facebook page and via email, and features examples of typical customers on their blog. I’m particularly excited about Shoes of Prey as I’ve met the Founders at 2 of their Friends and Family sales and getting the shoes I’ve designed for Christmas!

We’re still figuring out who the stars are for our target customers. Who are the ‘stars’ your customers would aspire to be like?

How to sell furniture to celebrities (via Salon.com)

Except from a brilliant article on Salon.com - http://www.salon.com/2011/12/13/how_to_sell_furniture_to_celebrities/

Peter Mountford spent the first eight months of 2004 in Los Angeles selling expensive furniture to rich people. In the center of the store sat a colossal white sofa, extremely uncomfortable, which could be purchased for $8,000. No one bought it. A full set of silverware would set you back something like $15,000. No takers. A mink throw – $7,500 – also did not sell. Another mink throw, available for $5,000, actually did sell. In fact, I sold it. My single biggest commission. A frosty rich lady once bought an entire set of handcrafted Italian dishes: my second biggest commission. On the whole, though, I wasn’t a very good salesman. I sold lots of tablecloths. Glasses, too. I sold a lot of glasses.

One thing I learned: Rich people like a little pushback. They enter a store acutely aware of their wealth and what it means in this context, and this knowledge, by definition, is tied up with their sense of self-worth, for better or worse. They want you to be serious and professional with them, but they also want you to be able to slap their hand when they go astray. Mostly, they want you to care, even if they’re talking about decorative pillows. They want you, in short, to be like Jeeves, or Bruce Wayne’s Alfred. They’re the boss, sure, but if you’re not in control, they’ll eat you alive.

Didn’t get the joke (via Seth Godin)

THANK YOU SETH GODIN for below words of wisdom.

The secret of good reviews and positive word of mouth is simple: if people get the joke, feel like insiders, finish the book, grow, learn, and are part of what you make, you win.

If they don’t, if your product or service makes them feel dumb or poor or excluded, they won’t talk about you the same way.

You don’t need everyone to talk about you. But obsessing about making a target group feel smart and successful is a great way to make those conversations happen.

The flip side: if someone outside of the target group doesn’t get the joke, don’t worry. That’s not why you made your art in the first place.

——-

Now for the most difficult point - how do you embody the people in your target group with the feeling of being ‘smart and successful’ so that they feel empowered to talk about you?

Merchandising for online furniture stores

A great article on the Wall Street Journal about how ‘One Kings Lane’, an online flash sales retailer for the homewares and furniture market actually convinces people to buy.

Read it here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204443404577052822968336142.html

We know from our consumer research that the purchasing cycle for furniture is longer than say consumer goods or apparel.

You’re more likely to buy a $60-70 worth of alcohol in one night out than one of our $60 storage cubes because furniture lasts a lot longer and the number of people you need to consult in that decision may be 1-2. You probably don’t go from pub to pub comparing prices of beer, but people generally would compare prices, read reviews and shop around to get the best deal on furniture.

One Kings Lane is contradictory to consumer behaviour because their sales last 72 hours, so what it did to gain consumer confidence was add really styled up photos. This way the consumer feels like they are buying into a designer lifestyle, rather than one piece of furniture.

We’ve started to do this and will increase our efforts our merchandising definitely needs work.

Some glowing reviews

Huge thanks for these online publications for their support. 

Reblogged via the Evolvex blog

Evolvex is a new, Australian-made flat pack alternative to the obvious flat pack solutions we all know. But this offering is certified environmentally sound, and is customizable, interchangeable, and delivered straight to your door. Bonus. Lost At E Minor

“I LOVED finding EVOLVEX FURNITURE the other day. This simplistic, stylish and super affordable range of self-assemble furniture is a BREEZE to put together.” Sydney On A Shoestring

There are plenty of good reasons to buy Evolvex: it’s family-run, Australian-owned and better for the environment. But despite the altruism, we’ve discovered our interest in Evolvex is embarrassingly superficial –it looks nice and we want. The Agenda Daily

Besides being of a high enough quality to withstand my shenanigans, Evolvex furniture is also aesthetically pleasing; the panels and cushions come in a variety of colours and because each part is meant to be interchangeable, the design is sleek and minimalist. A Caucus Race

Evolvex furniture is modular and minimal and they probably have something very practical that you need in your house right now. The Thousands 

LOVE LOVE LOVE! Thank you to all our supporters on Facebook and Twitter.

This is going to change the way we order food. Wow. How inspiring to see a big company like Dominos translate the mass customised design trend in such a user friendly, delicious way. In the words of Veruca Salt ‘Don’t care how, I want it now!’.