Vinnie Lee, Matt RandConnor Rose, Robert Truglia
Moonpig is a UK basedWhat? e-retailer that sells personalized greeting cards
An Overview• Launched in 2000• Founded by Nick Jenkins• Considered the founder of the online greeting cards industry• Has expanded into other personalized products: mugs, flowers, wines & spirits, t-shirts, toys• Core markets in UK, Australia, and U.S.• A very successful company to emerge from Dot-com speculative bubble of 2000
Nick Jenkins: Making Pigs Fly• British-born entrepreneur• Started career in commodity trading in 1991 at Moscow-based firm• Developed strong managerial skills and drove more than $ 20 million in profit• In 1998, he returned to England and began work on his new venture
Greeting Cards Industry• Characterized by cheap, fast-moving products that are both a sentimental and luxury good to the consumer• Greeting cards are a cost-effective and feasible alternative for expensive gifts• Little room for innovation due to rigid product structure o Sound, pop-up, light-effects, e-cards, animated e- cards, personalization, interactivity, and brand partnerships• Differentiation is crucial• Categorized into Everyday Cards and Seasonal Cards• Pricing range for individual cards <$1.00 - $6.00
Industry Profile• Greeting card industry can be traced back to 1856 in the UK• 1990s internet boom revolutionized the industry with e- Cards and e-Greetings• Generates £7 billion of annual revenue o Growth from 2004-2007 o Flat growth since 2008• In 1995, 2.7 billion Christmas cards to be sold• In 2011, figure has dropped 44% to 1.5 billion• Largest publishers include Hallmark Inc., the American Greeting Card Association, Simon Elvin and Carlton Cards• Women purchase 80% of greeting cards
UK Market• While the U.S. is the largest regional market, the UK is known for its lead in design• The most successful greeting card industry in the world, with an average 31 cards being sent per person each year• Over 800 publishers, dominated by smaller businesses• Responsible for the jobs of 100,000 people in the UK• In 2001, 1.3 billion units Source: Datamonitor Report, “UK-Greeting Cards” being sold annually
Competitors• In 2000, there was little competition o Cybercard o Sparks.com• Now, there are various competitors to Moonpig o Funkypigeon.com o Hallmark.com o Cardstore.com o Etc.
Thinking about movingQ: the Greeting Cards industry online: where do you see opportunities to develop a sustainable competitive advantage?
Getting the Business Started Moonpigs First Steps
The Early Stages•What are the viable ideas for a new venture?•How to start forming the business? oWhere are initial start up funds coming from? oTotally committed, profitable, viable oPulling the pieces together oCapital, location, staff•Launching the business•How will outside investment be handled?•Is the business plan adaptable?
The Idea for the Start-Up•One year MBA course at university oGraduated September 1999 oBegan working on Splat.com•His First Ideas oUK humor card market •Where is the market niche?•The benefits of an internet based business•Name change to "Moonpig"
Executive Summary• Splat.com is an internet retail outlet for greetings cards that uses a new digital print technology to print each card to demand. A customer accessing our web site can choose from a large range of well known cards, personalize the message or caption and have the printed card delivered to them by first class post or direct to the recipient.
The Original Business PlanS Market Growth o UK £ 1 billion industry 5. Low FC & Scaleable o Online card sales from £ 0- £ o Paperlinks 300,000 customer 75 million in 10 years baseS Competition o Break-even at 75,000 cards o Not capital intensive o Online Physical Cards o Cybercard & Sparks.com 6. Financing RequirementsS The Product o Limited Company o Nick >50% o Customization o Card Publisher<50% o Convenience o E Exit through sale o Advertise through PaperlinkS People & Management o High wage high quality o Nick Jenkins o Robin Stevens
Forming Moonpig• Its all Nick o Who to turn to?• Paperlinks role o Initial Investment• December 1999 formed as a limited company o Facility o Capital o Staff
Launching Moonpig•Launch party oApril 2000 oCreate awareness and initial consumers•Coincidence and Disaster•July 2000 trading finally begins•Financial Strains o8 months of paid salaries with no operational business
The Need for Investment• Leverage o Credibility is a necessity• Environmental Advantages o Internet Boom o E-Commerce• Angel Investors and Networking o Friends of friends of friends...• Venture Capital Backing...at a price o Altergraphics o Share redistribution
Survival Funds• Taking advantage of current investing environment o Angel investors interested in the "internet boom"• Friends from MBA course invested o Both loans and equity• Nick had to increase personal investment
Pricing Policy• Need to cover costs became greater after failure to meet target sales figure in 2001 and 2002• Raised prices from £1.99 to £2.99 o Recognized the price was high o Had to make the change to keep company afloat• No decline in sales was observed
Product Confidence• Managing Director Iain Martin • “If you have a good product you have to be confident and price accordingly. The product was far too cheap and there was not enough margin to sustain the business.” • Similar to Dyson philosophy • “Have confidence in your product. Do the sensitivity analysis and make sure you have a pricing structure that enables you to operate long-term.”
Original Marketing Plan• Direct mail and online marketing o £1 per customer• Direct mailing = £8• Banner ads = £100• Buying email lists = £33• Customers only spent £20 per year• Marketing costs were crippling the company
No More Marketing• 2001 marked a philosophical company change o Without direct marketing, customer growth rate reached 150% o Speculated to be viral growth from word of mouth o Good PR coverage• Business to business marketing o Vodaphone o Microsoft Hotmail.com
Results from No Marketing• By March 2002 o Amount of customers increased from 15,000 to 30,000• 25-36 age group is strongest sector• Factors: o Broadband technology o No serious direct competitors o B2B sales increasing o Valentines Day 30,000 unique visitors in single day
Cost Cutting Decisions• Expanded use of software team o Almost able to pay for themselves• Anti-dilution clause in investor contract reduced ability to receive more funding o Had to wait until April 2002 for clause to expire• Venture capitalist firm announced they would not invest in further rounds of investment o Created opportunity to find investor who would buy out the VC fund and add new money
Cost Cutting Decisions cont.• Price dilemma o High enough for the current VC fund, low enough for new investor• Nick still had £260,000 in loans outstanding o Planned on capitalizing them at new share price o Meant to keep his share holding power in company• July 2002 o Needed £300,000 to keep business running
What is the Last Push?• Nick revised business plan and financial projections• Believed that revenue would surpass fixed costs• Needed a profitable year in 2003• Needed to price the shares correctly for the next round in order to get the necessary funding
Survival Fund Raising 2002• Because of the internet boom, Angel investment had been at a rate of £25 per share, theoretically valuing the company at nearly £5 million• The fundraising process had diluted Nick’s 70% share capital ownership to 41% o Average investment cost of £3 per share• New round of investment in September 2002
Survival Fund Raising 2002 cont.• The VC was disillusioned by other investments in the sector o Sold their 35% at £3 per share, wrote off nearly 75% of their original £720,000 investment• New investors agreed to buy at this same price o Raised £120,000 more than the £300,000 needed• Nick maintained share ownership by capitalizing his £260,000 loan o At same £3 price
Survival Fund Raising 2003• The extra financing allowed for an increase in sales o Wasn’t at same rate that Nick had projected o B2B sales sector was lacking• Design of company structure and business plan had to be altered o Nick needed to revise his direction
Third Business Plan• More general greeting cards o Increase customer spending and retention• Redesigned website• Alternative postcard sizes• Photo upload facility
Reaching a Profit• More modest projections for 2004 and 2005• First planned profit in 2005 o Raised further investment• The 2004 and 2005 projections were correct• Moonpig had turned a profit
Customer Demographics• In 2005, UK customer based had reached 137,000 o 1,500 new customers each week• Average age: 33• 55% of customers: female o Accounted for 75% of sales
Soaring Profits•Currently, Moonpig accounts for 90% of the UK online cardmarket•In 2011, Moonpig ranked third in the London Sunday Times listof the UKs fastest growing companies•Moonpig Finance director Paul Lantsbury: "The business hasreached a certain stage in its growth and is kind of ready to getto the next phase." Source: Hinks, Financial Director Journal
Expansion Across the Atlantic?•U.S. market potential is eight times larger than the UK•In 2010, Jenkins establishes an American-managed team inLondon to create a Moonpig U.S. website•After the 1 year trial, the American team estimated that 20million pounds of investment would be necessary to fullydevelop Moonpig USA•Jenkins did not want to use nearly two years of profits toestablish business in the U.S.•Bad memories from companys beginning, shareholders standin the way
Photobox to the Rescue •French company, with focus in online photo albums and personalized gifts, such as mugs, puzzles, and calendars •Operates in 15 European countries •Served 8 million more customers and generated 34 million more pounds of revenue than Moonpig in 2010 •Looking to expand into Moonpigs product line
The Merger•Photobox buys Moonpig for 120million pounds in July 2011•Jenkins walks away with his34% value share in cash, agreesonly to work as an advisor•Moonpig investors receive a payday ten times their initialinvestment•Moonpig will remain a separatebrand
What do you Think?• How will the merger • Resources? affect Moonpig? • Profits? • Expansion?
Impact of the Merger•Jenkins says the merger will allow us to, "take our core greetingcard product to countries which would be difficult to access as astandalone business." Source BBC News•Partnership with Photobox equals:•IT expertise•More contacts and larger consumer base•More capital•Greater investment opportunities•Diversified product line in Europe- (mugs, wine, stuffedanimals, T-shirts)•The logical next step....
Expansion: Take II •Merger with larger company= reduced risks in expansion for Moonpig shareholders •Renewed enthusiasm for expansion to the U.S. •Photobox is currently exploring expansion options for Moonpig in continental Europe
Moonpig USA Challenges•"There is such a culturaldifficulty to greetings cards." -Jenkins Source: Moules, FT•Competition- Hallmark andAmerican Greetings have bothadopted Moonpigs strategy ofselling personalized cards•They are one of Hallmarks"fastest growing products."Source: Byron, WSJ
Staying Ahead•Moonpig has not attempted to undercut prices of Hallmark andAmerican Greetings: 5x7 personalized cardMoonpig $3.99Hallmark $3.49-4.29American Greetings $2.99•Moonpig distinguishes itself by offering a wider range oftemplates: School exam, drivers test, new job promotion, andMuslim, Jewish, and Hindu holiday cards
Marketing in U.S.-FacebookMoonpig USA•COMPETITION: Love the Keep Calm Mantra &posters from the UK? Make your own cards withyour own text. Make your version here and share apic of your slogan on the card with us and wellgive the funniest one a prize.Make it here: http://bit.ly/y9dirr
Facebook (Cont.) •Moonpig USAValentines Card of The Day! Put Your Face and your loved ones face in the center of this Twilight card!: You can make your own here:http://bit.ly/x4jDBC Well print and mail the real card with your photos to you or your recipient as we do all for all our cards! xoxo
Facebook (Cont.)•Simply spreading the word...Moonpig USA COMPETITION! Want to win amystery prize?! Share on your wall the following:Moonpig makes great personalized cards! & Tag afriend! Post the same message on our wall so weknow youve entered! Will be a good prize so go forit!!!!! xoxox MoonpigLike · Comment · January 31 at 3:13am ·
What do you think? •Will Moonpig be successful in the United States? •What should be the companys course of action?
Our Recommendations•Embrace expansion opportunities in continental Europe•Utilize Twitter in addition to Facebook as a customerservice and marketing tool•Exploit Moonpig’s recognizable name and logo throughguerrilla marketing in the U.S.•Target that guerrilla marketing towards women inMoonpig’s core demographic: 25-36 years-old
Takeaways•Consumer satisfaction comes naturally when consumerscreate the product•People like to customize things, so marketing should playinto imagination and creativity•Persistence while in the red can pay off in the long run•Once profitable, selling out can be beneficial to thecompanys future growth
Sources-Anonymous. “Moonpig set for extra categories and European launch after sale.” RetailWeekly, July 28, 2011.-Byron, Ellen. “Making Cards Cool Again.” Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2011.http://ezproxy.library.tufts.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/872421887?accountid=14434Hinks, Gavin. “Bright Future on the Cards.” Financial Director, September 2011.http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.library.tufts.edu/docview/879722541/134EE2AD6BE5A8D47-Moules, Jonathan. “With best wishes from the chairman: A business plan devised duringan MBA has become an international online greetings card company.” Financial Times,October 21, 2009.http://ezproxy.library.tufts.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/250240114?accountid=14434-“Photobox announces merger with Moonpig.com” BBC News, July 25, 2011http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14275632-“About the Industry.” Greeting Card Associationhttp://www.greetingcard.org/AbouttheIndustry/tabid/58/Default.aspx-- “Global Greeting Cards Market to Exceed US$30.4 Billion by 2015” PRWeb. October 29,2010http://www.prweb.com/releases/greeting_cards_everyday/birthday_seasonal/prweb4695304.h.