The Fancy & Your Brand

January 30, 2013
Find your customer where she is. That’s one of the valuable takeaway lessons from What Women Want: Strategies for Reaching the Female Market, a  Cocktails & Conversations event NYWICI hosted last winter.
Observing that lesson, it’s likely some of our customers, readers, and colleagues are on The Fancy. In fact several weeks back I created a profile on the site, but that hardly makes me an connoisseur of all things Fancy.
So I invited the experts at Digital Brand Architects to answer some questions that could help a brand or organization decide if and how to use The Fancy. The DBA team shared such thorough and instructive insights that I’ve chosen to pass them on to you nearly verbatim.
* * * 
Please describe The Fancy and what sort of brands that this site is well suited to.

•The Fancy is a social network focused on fashion, design and style. The platform is similar to Pinterest since it encourages users to purchase products they are “fancy'ing”. However, the distinct difference between the two platforms is that The Fancy actually purchases popular products from merchants and then sells those products directly within the Fancy e-commerce framework. Therefore, the consumer NEVER has to leave the platform to make a purchase, creating a much more robust user experience.

•Companies best suited for The Fancy typically have a lower price points ($5 - $300). Also, flat product shots do not do as well, so brands that play with their aesthetics have a better shot of engaging users and driving sales. During our AMEX New York Fashion Week partnership, we observed that products that performed the best were truly unique and had an interesting design element that was eye-catching and piqued further interest. 
•The Fancy also skews younger then Pinterest and has a more robust audience overseas. If you’re a brand looking to make headway with affluent consumers in Europe and Asia this might be the right place to be.
•It’s also generating strong buzz across mobile.
Describe a successful campaign on the The Fancy? 

•Playing to a specific theme is...a driving force when deciding on length of usage and investment. Also brand recognition will give some companies a distinct advantage over newcomers without the same insider cache. Oscar de la Renta immediately comes to mind.  After debuting their 2013 Resort Collection in NYC (and online), the company made a sequined baseball tee for $2,490 available for purchase on The Fancy the following day. Within 24 hours, they sold 5 of them…. with just a runway stock image. Obviously this isn’t the norm, but it demonstrates that THEIR consumer was invested in the platform despite the lack of bells and whistles used to promote their product.

Why would a company choose to use The Fancy over another image-based social site, like Pinterest or Tumblr.

•The Fancy buys product directly in bulk from the merchant. Therefore, The Fancy becomes the merchant and handles fulfillment.

•It’s a more focused solely on ROI, conversion, and sales with a direct link to purchase [than platforms like Pinterest and Tumblr].
What kind of content should a brand focus on? Are there any image-ownership concerns?
•Content depends on the brand – naturally the content should be what brands want to sell. You can align this with new launches, collaborations, holidays, seasons, etc.
•There aren’t any image-owned concerns as the brand is supplying images which they own and have the rights to. The Fancy does not take ownership of any images created by other brands that live on the platform. (This approach is also utilized by Pinterest.) 
What functionality would you improve about The Fancy?
•It’s a great platform, but there’s always room for improvement when it comes to functionality. There are several functions on The Fancy that users really don't take advantage of. For example, I don't think the "I Own It" feature is utilized as frequently as it could be.
•In addition, the ability to sort/filter product (seller) by geographical location. This has worked extremely well for Ebay and would really help streamline the user experience if implemented.


What level of curatorial and engagement time is required?

•As much or as little as you want depending on your investment proposition. Much like Pinterest, if you want to get the return you have to invest time and spend energy on the curation process itself.

How is ROI best measured for The Fancy? What percentage of “Fancys” or “click-throughs” result in sales.
•While the company was reporting about $200,000 a week in sales at the end of October, it’s an individualized process that means working with their team to determine your own ROI (while taking into consideration that user engagement can be a very fickle thing). 

With thanks to Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Digital Brand Architects


Posted by: 
Deanna Utroske

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