In the course of business, I applied the project guidelines during the past few weeks. My employer, GreenSpring Ventures, is currently considering an investment in Webfill.com, Inc. There are several similarities between this candidate company and another of our investments, Interactive Apparel. After hearing the Webfill.com ‘pitch’, another Associate and I determined that Webfill was not “thinking big enough” in their original proposal to us, so I used the Product/Market Growth Options diagram as a starting point for some brainstorming. NOTE: This document is actually a “presentation-ready” PowerPoint slideshow – the first three slides were used to educate Webfill and we worked collaboratively on the content and supporting material represented on the fourth slide
This slide was created to provide the context of the individual project. Since the instructions were intertwined into the example diagram in the project description, I felt it best to reconstruct the “product/market growth options” here. I presented the original grid above and followed it with a fully fleshed-out version of the next slide. We arrived at a blank slide for Webfill.com and proceeded to work up the “answers/ideas” for their company. The focus of this paper for market opportunity, market share, and competitors was put on Webfill.com, Inc. Interactive Apparel was used as a springboard and catalyst for determining the options for Webfill.com. Therefore, this type of information for Interactive Apparel is not provided in the context of this paper.
Interactive Apparel’s business model is that of an e-commerce company… they have a warehouse of trendy clothing and a website through which the clothing is sold. HOWEVER, two very key things are missing from their operational costs… inventory and marketing. They aren’t actually B2C even though they’re selling clothing to consumers. Since they don’t own the inventory (all items are on consignment) and the clothing manufacturer promotes the website and encourages sales, Interactive Apparel’s focus is on signing up new manufacturers (leveraging extensive existing relationships) and servicing its customers’ customers. In this project, I have incorporated some natural progressions of their business model. Their new CEO intends on pursuing the “catalog sales” model this year. We also see a huge opportunity encouraging a clothing manufacturer to install kiosks in boutiques to offer the full line and give a boutique a small cut of in-store, but on-line, sales. Because the boutique doesn’t carry an entire line in inventory, the customer gets better selection and Interactive Apparel gets incremental sales. New clothing lines are also important in order for Interactive Apparel to avoid being totally dependent on FUBU and Volume.com for growth.
Webfill.com mirrors Interactive Apparel in the sense that they too have strong relationships with their current customer base and they have created a web fulfillment product private-labeled, but for local television properties. They have typically sold station-developed videos and local merchandise (i.e. local sport franchise or zoo items) and are expanding offerings into cross-branded products and services (i.e. weather radio with Home Depot and local TV station branding). In the chart to the right, we addressed the market opportunity, market share, competitors, and barriers for three “related” and “altogether new” options.
Strategic Options For Growth
Strategic Options for Growth <ul><li>Review of “Product/Market Growth Options” concept and details </li></ul><ul><li>Growth Options for an existing portfolio company; Interactive Apparel </li></ul><ul><li>Growth Options for candidate portfolio company; Webfill.com </li></ul>Curtis V Palmer
Product/Market Growth Options What altogether new capabilities will it need to succeed in this box? What related capabilities will it need to succeed in this box? What altogether new capabilities will it need to succeed in this box? Core Business What related marketing capabilities will it need to succeed in this box? Related Markets/ Customers Altogether New Markets/ Customers Current Markets/ Customers Current Products/ Services Related Products/ Services Altogether New Products/Services Current operational and marketing capabilities What related operational capabilities will it need to succeed in this box?
Interactive Apparel Product/Market Growth Options Storage and inventory turn will be a potential issue… warehouse needs could differ from that of clothing This starts to compete with established retailers for these expanded lines… will need to work closely with manufacturers to determine/retain uniqueness Determine kiosk vendor and willingness by boutiques/mfgs to adopt; Integrate with fulfillment via current processes Core Business Expansion of company’s corporate image beyond that of just handling “ urban” and trendy lines Willie Esco; Bobby Jones; etc. Non-Apparel offerings FUBU and Volume.com Fulfillment of web and phone orders Catalog Sales Kiosks and in-store Boutique ordering Distribution, Fulfillment, and Customer service for manufacturers of apparel/accessories Acquire management talent that has experience in the print medium of catalogs; Product photos will have to be film, not just digital
Webfill.com, Inc. New sales and marketing programs will need to be developed and may be significantly different due to structural makeup of these verticals Cross-branded products and services can be created due to the inherent partnerships between some radio and TV properties A vendor will have to be selected; Beta accounts identified and sold to prove validity; Usability will be a key issue; Revenue model is a concern Core Business Webfill.com will likely need to attract more experienced talent to command the attention of the national networks, but radio and cable are already within their reach Radio, and national Networks and cable TV channels Non-media affiliates; e.g. B2B, organizations, end Events Local TV stations and syndicates, plus some cable TV TV-station videos and local e-comm inventory Data Mining and Sales training Wireless Expansion Sales and Marketing solutions for media affiliates including design, Fulfillment, and support Webfill.com has the in-house expertise, but will have to develop turnkey training to keep costs down; Data Mining will require new technologies Product/Market Growth Options