It seems that running a successful business in today’s extremely competitive retail market is about building an incredibly resilient brand and being responsive to consumer feedback.One of the hallmarks of the ever elusive millennial consumer that some large companies seem to be failing at is understanding that these consumers want an experience and to feel as though they can trust the companies that they are spending their hard-earned money on. One of the reasons that athleisure wear is predicted to grow as a market while other parts of the retail industry are suffering is because they have an emphasis on lifestyle, something that is important to a group of consumers whose buying power is only slated to grow as they years go by. These consumers are interested in lifestyle, are responsive to strong brands and expect to be able to speak their minds. The masterminds behind the successful ecommerce company Fabletics seemed to recognize this and seize upon it.
Fabletics is a fitness apparel company that was birthed from a collaboration between actress Kate Hudson and the founders of the ecommerce giant Techstyle Fashion Group Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg. When Adam Goldenberg and Don Ressler came up with the idea to start another brand they reached out to Kate Hudson to help them build the company. That decision turned out to be an excellent strategic move as Kate Hudson embodies the ethos that defines Fabletics and draws in new customers. Hudson is invested in living an active lifestyle, empowering women and in being authentic in a way that translates well to Fabletics’ target customers. Even though Hudson is the face of the company and appears often in its marketing materials she is far from hands off. One of the many secrets to running a successful company that Hudson shared with CNBC involved being actively involved in one’s business. Hudson keeps track of sales numbers and is aware of which pieces of Fabletics clothing are flying off its electronic shelves and which pieces aren’t.
Another key to running a successful ecommerce company that Hudson shared in her CNBC interview is the ability to identify what is known as white space opportunities. White space opportunities refer to business opportunities that have yet to be identified. There was a need for athleisure wear that would be accessible to consumers at lower price points and Kate Hudson and the team behind Fabletics recognized this. For instance they were willing to recognize that plus size customers were looking for affordable and fashion-savvy athleisure apparel and made sure to develop options for this market segment. Customers can take a survey that allows them to select their size and body type.
Fabletics is also succeeding in an incredibly difficult market place because it is leveraging the power of the crowd to its benefit. Nowadays the reviews that customers leave about businesses online can shape potential customers’ decisions about whether or not to give their business to a particular company. The saying goes that the key to a stable retail business is getting repeat customers and referrals. Fabletics understands that repeat customers and referrals will likely be driven by the quality of its online reviews in this new retail environment. Fabletics also uses online reviews as a valuable barometer for understanding how customers are responding to its brand and tries to incorporate feedback from reviews into how it manages its company.