Designing a channel strategy for a cash constrained start-up
Context In 2013, Leila Rose, a medical doctor by profession but a fashion designer at heart, launches The Kameleon, a unique piece of convertible clothing. Locally sourced and ethically produced in Madagascar, the garment was designed to appeal to the 16-year-old backpacker as well as to the 30-year-old business women, as it could be adapted to become fifty two different outfits. However, customers did not take to the product as quickly as expected.
The big question Taking limited capital into account, how could Lelia adapt The Kameleon's value proposition in a way that would kick-start sales?
Approach Marketing for Impact conducted a series of in depth qualitative interviews and focus groups with users and non-users, - people who had expressed an interest for the product but did not want to buy it - , distributors and dealers.
The aim of the research was to try and understand:
Criteria women take into account when purchasing clothes
Criteria women take into account when purchasing travel clothes
How women pack and what criteria they take into account while packing
Struggles that women experience when packing
The perceived likes and dislikes of the Kameleon
The experienced likes and dislikes of the Kameleon
What criteria they take into account when traveling
Result Firstly, the research revealed that women place a high value on the functionality of an item of clothing when selecting it to take on their travels. Moreover, it was discovered that preferred functional characteristics included non-creasing, light weight, easy drying, dark colours to prevent seeing stains and neutral, easy to combine colours. Secondly, it was found that women were fond of the idea of convertible clothing, but only on the condition that an outfit’s style was not compromised due to its design.
Therefore, based on these findings, The Kameleon repositioned itself as The Ultimate Travel Dress, focusing only on four outfits instead of fifty two. An all-in-one sexy dress, romantic skirt, classy top or baggy trousers. Recognising the need functionality, a number of changes were implemented to specifically match the feedback of customers. These included a rolled up packaging and changing the material to Tencel, which is durable, breathable and non-creasing and the use of stain proof easy to match colours. Currently the the product is sold in a number of outdoor retail stores in Europe.