Today we launched www.truereligion.de – not with a bang, but a solid soft launch. It is the second project that we have launched with our client(s) UNIFA Fashion and TRBJ Germany (True Religion) within half a year.
The extraordinary thing is that we launched this second site on the same multi-site platform; essentially using one central warehouse and multiple front-end (shop) designs.
It is great to see things come together; venture building projects that encompass both IT-development, logistics infrastructure, operations management as well as direct sales and marketing are a challenge for any team. I am proud that we pulled it off.
Transition True Religion From B2B To B2C
When a distributor (Business-to-Business) makes a bold move along the value chain to become a B2C-player and deliver goods directly to the end consumer, this should give retailer something to think about.
The evolution of e-commerce opens up new possibilities along the value chain. “Anyone” can sell goods online, but the main differentiator is not just the website; the product portfolio needs to be something special, exciting, exclusive and new. Essentially, the availability of goods is vitally important.
Different Retail Approaches In Europe And The USA
For decades, the distinction between distributors and retailer has been substantial. The former specialized its business model on maintaining a strong network of partners (and importing goods from abroad), whereas the latter is all about marketing and communication (and closer to the end consumer, great at customer relationship managment).
The new True Religion E-Commerce Platform offers products from Europe as well as exclusive US-goods
In mainland Europe, the situation is somewhat different from that in the United States. In the US most retail brands generally own/run their stores and sell directly to the end consumer. Whereas in Europe, brands often times use distributors to market their products to a larger target audience. Regardless of the lower margins, the operational scale is key in the smaller, more scattered (international) European landscape.
Change In Consumer Behavior
The nature of shopping for brands and products on the internet has evolved from branded campaigns to convenience shopping. Established brands have the possibility to build up a direct customer relationship, more than ever before.
One essential part of the equation is the way in which consumers search for products. The largest differentiating factor is that consumers actively look for branded products, not just product categories.
Technical performance marketing paves the way to the end consumer with relative ease. As an example, we see that consumers more actively search for: “True Religion Jeans”, “True Religion Denim”, or “Jacket True Religion”, instead of “Blue Jeans”, “Denim Jacket”, etc. Marketing tools such as Google Shopping (product listing ads) and the fact that one can purchase goods directly on Instagram, facilitate a more direct consumer approach.
The number of brand-related product searches has risen substantially for the True Religion brand. This is both a testimony to its strong brand image and consistent marketing efforts, as well as a change in consumer-mindset. It is the perfect time for traditional brands to give direct consumer marketing a go.
What is next
We will continue to develop the platform to add omni-channel consumer services – click and collect, integrate the retail- outlet stores with the platform and improve the overall customer experience.
Furthermore, the GANDT Ventures team is responsible for the digital marketing operations of the platform. With a data-led and contribution margin driven marketing strategy, we aim to reach as many True Religion fans in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands as possible.
Further Inquiries (Venture Building)
If you would like to find out more about our venture building as a service and our approach, please contact us directly using the contact form and find out more in our venture building section.
For questions regarding True Religion, you can find the contact information here: TRBJ Germany GmbH.
Note: True Religion is a registered trademark of Guru Denim USA – www.truereligion.com.