The Collaboration Chronicles
RTR New Concept Proposal FASM 430 - Winter 2017
2 Olivia Brandt
Table of Contents
Concept Introduction 4 The Facts 7 Business Model 8 Customer Analysis 12 Competitive Analysis 14 Research of Fashion Collaborations 16 Collaboration Concept & Details 18 Collaboration Profile: Stella McCartney 20 Marketing Campaign 22 Web & Email 24 Social Media 26 In Store Advertising 28 Conclusion 30 References 32
In seeing the growth and recent success of the company Rent the Runway (RTR), I was inspired to use that excitement to concept something new for this non traditional company! The Collaboration Chronicles is a concept created for Rent the Runway to bring in designers and labels that their customers aspire to wear. Rent the Runway will integrate this idea into their business to enhance customer engagement and create exclusivity. For every collaboration there will be a capstone collection created by a well known designer or fashion house for the Rent the Runway membership holder. With the current success and growth of the company, this initiative is the next strategic move for Rent the Runway. Rent the Runway is a fashion company with a technology soul. Powered by a transformative business model, proprietary technology, a unique reverse-logistics operation and some of the smartest people on earth, we’re in a position to challenge old systems and rewrite new rules. By giving people access to remarkable luxury experiences, we’re changing the meaning of ownership — and revolutionizing retail in the process.
WE’RE NOT IN THE FASHION BUSINESS. WE’RE IN THE FASHIONTECHNOLOGYENGINEERINGSUPPLY-CHAINOPERATIONSREVERSE LOGISTICSDRY CLEANINGANALYTICS BUSINESS.
THE FACTS Rent The Runway To Hit $100M Revenues In 2016 Thanks To Unlimited Service -
A NETFLIX MODEL FOR HAUTE COUTURE. In some corners of the luxury retail world, executives have come to think of Rent the Runway as part of their ecosystem, not a threat to it. -
The company was forecasting $121 million in revenue for 2016. This is up from $44 million in 2014. -
I HAD STEPPED INTO MY DREAM CLOSET. -
Rent the Runway Is Aiming to Be the Amazon of High Fashion -
We’re constantly signing new designers to expand our evergrowing roster. To give access to remarkable luxury experiences, our team builds exclusive relationships with many of the world’s premier designers, always ensuring we have the most beautiful, in-demand items for every season.
All orders are processed through our 150,000-sq. ft. fulfillment center. Our proprietary high-speed reverse-logistics system allows us to turn items around in record time, usually within one day. No other company on earth has the infrastructure to process as fast. And no one else can do it with luxury inventory.
To help customers find the right dresses and accessories amidst nearly 65,000 items on our site and app, we leverage a huge amount of fit data. Engineering products like “Our Runway” allows women to be inspired by dresses worn by other real women like them — not models.
Each dress and accessory returns to our fulfillment center, where every item is inspected by experts, dry cleaned in an industrial-size machine and steampressed (we have the largest dry cleaning operation in the U.S.). A seamstress then re-inspects each item, ensuring it’s as perfect as it was out of the box.
With every click, delivery, return and step along the way, we gather an insane amount of data, informing every decision our company makes. Through the power of analytics, we’re perpetually tweaking our model to make everything we do faster, smarter, easier and nimbler.
Time Frame Perks
Pay As You Rent
Customer Analysis Shoppin
Wants luxury experiences Variety and newness Fast fashion and newness over brand loyalty Age: 18-35 Gender: Female Tends to find temporary value in clothing Relationship: Single & Married Looks for efficiency, convenience, and tailormade interaction Income: $15,000-$95,000 Education: College educated
s c i s a B The
The Rent the Runway Gal used to be not so easily attainable. It is hard on the wallet to dress to the nines everyday but now it is easier to channel our inner Carrie Bradshaw, minus the Manoloâ€™s. RTRâ€™s customer is a women that aspires to wear pieces just as strong and powerful as she is. Whether she is going to work, drinks with friends, or the wedding of the year, she is ready wearing the latest trends without breaking the bank. These experience driven women are ready to take on the world, always using technology to connect them to what is trending. When a new event pops up on their calendar, later that day they are on the RTR app looking for the piece to make that party more memorable... Without the guilt of buying a dress they will only wear once.
ent R u o Y s A Pay
Membership Status: Isabella Smith Age: 22 Occupation: Student / Intern Location: Orlando Income: $15,000 Relationship: Single Education: UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management Why RTR: Isabella is usually in class, attending greek life events, or working on projects at her internship. She always is wanting the newest styles and typically turns to fast fashion for her day to day looks. When her sorority has a formal or she attends a work event she finds that RTR is the most convenient way for her to splurge on a unique piece without spending her monthly allowance.
StylePas s Subscr
Gracyn Huffman Age: 25 Occupation: Jr. Account manager at Purple PR Location: NYC Income: $50,000 Relationship: Single Education: B.A. Journalism and Mass Communication University of South Carolina
Why RTR: Working in PR, Gracyn has found that like with any job appearance is important. When working events and meeting with clients she wants to do her best work while looking just as good. The Stylepass membership works best because she knows she won't have to worry about finding a dress for monthly events. Her favorite detail though is that she doesn't feel guilty or worry because if she doesn't need to rent a piece that month, it will roll over for the next time she needs it! Membership Status: Nia Rosemond Age: 31 Occupation: Senior Art Director at Fjord Advertising Location: Chicago Income: $90,000 Relationship: Engaged Education: B.A. Advertising SCAD
Why RTR: The unlimited membership is a life saver for Nina. With being recently engaged and promoted to a senior position at work, having the time to shop is out of the question. With lots of eyes on her at this new chapter in her life she stays on top of her appearance with conveniently renting whatever she needs on her RTR app. From engagement parties to board meetings, she is not stressing over what to wear.
Indirect Competition Rent the Runway is a company with a niche business model that in todays market, does not have many similarities with other companies. With this being said, in terms of competition they have competitors that reflect the rental model but are different in terms of the services offered and the way their subscriptions are set up. One thing RTR does differently that sets them apart from its competitors is that their customer has the freedom to chose the exact piece that she wants without being tied to a monthly subscription plan. I believe that it is this freedom within their model that keeps the consumer coming back.
Company Mantra: Buy Nothing. Wear Everything. The MS. Collection is a monthly subscription program that sends you three items per month based on your style results from taking an evaluation on their website. This company caters to the rental of everyday pieces that are a lower price point and Designer quality from RTR. One benefit from this program is if you like a piece you do not have to return it, keep it and they will charge your account at a discounted rate.
Company Mantra: Life is unlimited, Shouldnâ€™t your closet be? Le Tote is a womenâ€™s fashion rental service offering UNLIMITED boutique style apparel and accessories. Le Tote allows you to chose what items you would like or they will curate your tote for you. In each tote comes 3 garments and 2 accessories that you can keep for as long as you would like. When you are finished, you can send it back and your next tote will arrive soon after.
The traditional retail giants such as Target and H&M have always found great success with their designer collaborations. From Rodarte, Alexander McQueen, or Alexander Wang, the consumer always loves the opportunity to get a piece of their favorite high end designer. With Rent the Runway, the business model is much different than the average retailer but can they still participate and take advantage of these designer collaborations as well? With RTRâ€™s structure of having partnerships with the designers they carry and the acquisitions of so many brands, they are on the road to creating successful collaborations. It is no longer an industry that is limited by collaborating with the average retailer. Also, the RTR model will give more consumers the ability to actually wear the collaborations because they will not face the problem of the pieces selling out and being resold on Ebay, etc. With RTRâ€™s current consumer base at 6 million, the creation of a designer collaboration branch would not only be a great opportunity for RTR but the designers participating as well.
n o i t a r o b a l l o C e h T s e l c i n o r Ch
Collaborations will be EXCLUSIVE to the RTR BRICK N MORTAR locations. This is a strategy to bring foot traffic and customer experience to the forefront being that physical retailing is a new element to the brand. This will also utilize the stylists on the floor to their fullest potential. It will also test the market to see how successful the collaboration is before bringing it to the on-line channel.
Each collection will be 12 pieces that focus on RTRâ€™s top selling categories that match with the designer collection. RTR has such a wide variety of styles to fit all consumers. Each collaboration capsule collection with include pieces for all occasions. Whether you have an important day at work, your best friends baby shower, or a fun night out, the silhouettes will be a collection of the product categories that sell best for RTR.
Because these collaborations will be exclusively for one season, it will be executed by a contractual relationship.
The collaboration will be for the duration of the brainstorming, designing, manufacturing, and launching of the collection. The contract will state that when the collection goes on sale during the Semi-Annual clearance the collaboration will be finished.
iabilities LUntil the orders have reached our distribution centers the company in which we
are collaborating with is responsible for the merchandise as it is being produced by their suppliers and manufacturers. Also when the pieces are rented and damaged, that will be the responsibility of RTR and will be managed during the returning process. Damages and replenishment will also be taken into consideration when buying the assortment because they are exclusive collections they will be put into production only one quarter. Once sample approval is given by the collaborator then the buys will be made by RTR.
The roles and responsibilities for The Collaboration Chronicles will be a collection of previous employees and a new position to carry out the projects. The team members will come from RTRâ€™s diverse mixture of departments: Analytics, Customer Insights, Engineering, Merchandising, Finance, Human Resources, Marketing, Operations, Product/UX, and Retail. The employment opportunity that will be created will be Head of Collaborations. This title will be the core of decision making for how RTR conducts their exclusive collaborations. Each collection will include a campaign shoot, interviews with the collaborator, and behind the scenes videos to go with the collection that is done by RTR that will be utilized throughout the marketing campaign and launches.
RTR will decide on the types of garments that will be made in the collection based on the best selling product categories for RTR. Ultimately after creative concept meetings to make sure our collaborator understands the RTR consumer, the collaborator and their designers will have full creative control on the designs of the collection.
Due to the niche RTR business model, it proved difficult to find information on how to conduct revenues. For every rented piece at RTR, they charge 10% of the full retail price. With their projected revenues in 2015 being 500 million, the collaborations would only account for a small percentage of that.
Termination & Exit Strategy
Once the collection is produced on the collaborators end and all purchases have been made from RTRâ€™s buying team, the collection once available for a six month period just like other garments will be available for final sale during the Semi-Annual Clearance Sale.
Up Close and Personal.
! p U F irst â€‹
FOR THE CHRONICLES
With Previous Collaborations with companies such as Adidas, Gap and H&M, it shows that the companies previous behavior is open to the partnership. As a designer she has been known to Focus on changing the industry to become more ethically responsible, with RTR’s business model of renting pieces and getting full usage out of garments the two companies can merge their values of disrupting the fashion industry for the greater good. As a design house, Stella caters to the hip, young, trend forward women that looks for quality and style equally. Stella creates products that fit into the categories that RTR customers look for such as dresses, Jackets and Coats, and Jumpsuits (or as Stella calls the “All in Ones”).
“As a designer,” she says, “I have the
ability to celebrate my customers, embrace their differences and not just try to create cookie-cutter women. For the next 25 years, I would like fashion design to be more than fashion; for it to encourage people and challenge people to be socially and ethically responsible.
y g e t a r t S g n i t e k r a M
One of the most interesting tactics that RTR uses for marketing is their user generated content. They have a large community of loyal customers that take beautiful imagery of their RTR experience. Most of their social media content is either their customers images, reviews, or content of a product they sell from the designers campaign. For the new launch of this company branch, RTR will utilize their most used platforms as well as integrate their newest asset being their Brick n Mortar Stores. With the initial launch advertising will be done through all social communication channels. The 6 million RTR consumers will be eager to learn about the new collaboration initiative and get their hands on some of the products. The marketing campaign will be overall a digital campaign aside from in store signage promotions.
Pre Launch Pre Launch Media
LaunchPost Launch Post Launch
5th September 8th September 15th September 18th September 22nd October Media August 15th August August 15th 31st August September 31st September 5th September 8th September 15th September 18th September 22nd2nd OctoberCost 2nd
Youtube Youtube Snapchat Snapchat Email
In Store Signage In Store Signage Total
1,800 V 26,800
When strategizing the time line and roll out of this new initiative, it was important to factor in events that are relevant to the consumers lifestyle. With the Autumn season always full of excitement from Fashion Week, Back to School buzz, and Holiday events quickly approaching, I believe it is an appropriate time to launch The Collaboration Chronicles. Leading up to the official launch we will have hints and clues through email and social media that leave the customer curious and wanting to know more. The official launch will be the Friday after Fashion week has commenced so it will not take away from the spotlight of our launch. To prepare in regards to promotion and advertising, we will begin August 1st to start generating buzz on the initiative. The in store signage will consist of store vinyl decals on the storefronts and imagery and graphics throughout all the digital screens and technology displays implemented throughout the store. The post launch of the collaboration chronicles is just as important to keep up with content. We will be posting on Instagram and twitter to show how the customers are interacting with the collaboration to create more excitement about the exclusive pieces.
Web and Email The Collaboration Chronicles
HOW IT WORKS
The Collaboration Chronicles
Get your hands on the latest collaboration by letting us find a store closest to you!
Having a space for the collaboration to live on all channels is important even though it will only be sold through stores. The RTR App is widely used by the core RTR customer, with over 6 million users the app and website are necessary for the target audience to gather more information about the new initiative. RTR is an avid user of email with an average of 4 newsletters per week sent to subscribers. These for emails will be specific to the initiative and sprinkled in between regular posts leading up to the launch.
The Collaboration Chronicles
Let the Chronicles Begin! HOW IT WORKS
FIND A STORE
We are over the moon to be launching a branch of exclusive designer collaborations! We will be launching annually collections from design houses we love to create collections exclusively for RTR. On Friday, September 15th you are invited to come see and rent our first collaboration within our retail stores! We are keeping the designer a secret just a bit longer but we think the pieces are to die for... Or at least rent worthy!
Social Media Top Secret
Something is brewing at RTR HQ. Can you guess what it is?
Something Beautiful is Coming... Top Secret Top Secret Top Secret Top Secret Top Secret Top Secret Top Secret Top Secret Top Secret et Secr Top et Secr Top Top Secret Top Secret
RTR is heavy on hash tag usage so they can see and use their consumers posts and experiences. To follow their existing strategy there will be a specific hash tag for the initiative.
#R T RCC
RTR has Instagram and Snapchat story takeovers typically twice a month with either employees renting for a night out or a blogger coming in to the retail store. During the launch we will have our NYC flagship store take over on our Instagram and Snapchat platforms to show live footage of the collections and how the RTR stylists and customers are reacting to the pieces.
For The Collaboration Chronicles
Check out the launch of The Collaboration Chronicles in our stores all day this Friday, September 15th! We want to know what your favorite pieces are from the collection! #RTRCC
The Collaboration Chronicles Coming to Stores
On Twitter RTR is highly interactive with their consumers. From retweeting consumers rented looks to responding to any questions tweeted, their customer service is well developed. With this high interaction rate, the background hero image on twitter is a great showcase to create curiosity for the new launch.
Happy Launch day! Take a look behind the scenes and see how The Collaboration Chronicles were brought to life with our exclusive Stella McCartney collection. #RTRCC
One platform that has been neglected in the past by RTR is their Youtube channel. With this new branch of the company I believe their is an opportunity to reinvent their channel and create beautiful footage from the photoshoot, behind the scenes action, to showing the collections arriving at the retail locations, the stylists opinions on the collection, and coverage of consumers interacting within stores.
Within the retail environment, advertising will be used throughout the stores through vinyl signs for the windows and digital posts for the multitude of screens used throughout all the RTR locations. The screens will allow different advertisements, not just the stationary graphics that will be displayed on the windows. With this integration of technology within the stores the customer will be able to learn more about the collaborations and see behind the scenes video footage during their shopping experience.
Through the creation of The Collaboration Chronicles, I have utilized research and content creation skills to produce something new to push this non traditional retailer to the next step of success within their company. In my studies I have found that it is companies like Rent the Runway that set the bar for the industry and turn the typical business structure upside down. This is a way of thinking I try to strive to reflect and is why I found passion in the creation of this new initiative. With the conducted research and innovative thinking, I believe that this can be one of the next strategic steps that Rent the Runway takes.
References http://brandandcommercial.com/articles/show/brand-building/61/collaborating-for-fashion-legal-considerations http://www.stellamccartney.com/us/online/stella-mccartney/women http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenbertoni/2014/10/28/rent-the-runway-nears-end-of-series-d-round-valuation-could-top-600-million/#67ed775c2192 http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregpetro/2013/02/28/retailerdesigner-collaborations-the-missing-link/#4fdd2ab656ef http://www.huffingtonpost.com/juliet-carnoy/why-millennial-women-crav_b_8832614.html http://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/rent-the-runway-flagship-store-new-york-city https://www.fastcodesign.com/3066183/rent-the-runway-opens-its-first-flagship-store https://nrf.com/news/dream-closet https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237876 http://www.businessinsider.com/rent-the-runway-eliminating-bonuses-and-raising-salaries-instead-2016-9 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2016/11/16/why-rent-the-runway-isjoining-forces-with-neiman-marcus/?utm_term=.53c82a6001b4 https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/27/rent-the-runway-raises-60-million/ http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2016/06/15/rent-the-runway-unlimited-women-founders-revenues/#256dc40a49e4 http://www.glamour.com/about/rent-the-runway https://www.fastcompany.com/3067197/innovation-agents/the-uneasy-truth-behind-amazons-hiring-blitz-and-what-startups-are-doing-t http://www.signazon.com/window-decals/clear-window-decals/