This may sound like an odd title, given that StyleRocks is an internet based business, selling customised jewellery online – how does direct sales come in to that?
Last week I had the good fortune to be invited by Blue Chilli to speak at ‘From little things’ – an event hosted by Pollenizer and Mi9, as part of the Vivid Festival. Bjoern Hermann, one of the founders of the Startup Compass, had been flown over to Sydney to present on the DNA of a Startup. What are the typical patterns and threads among all the different kinds of startups? Where are the clues to whether they will succeed or fail?
After the ‘fireside’ chat part of the evening, we then all moved into the other room for the startup profiles. Apart from StyleRocks, there was GetListed and YoungRepublic: all 3 companies are at different stages of the startup journey so the idea was that Mick Liubinskas from Pollenizer and Bjoern asked each company about its learnings and experiences at different parts of the startup stage.
The interview – filmed and broadcast to the other 100 people in the room – went well and there were some useful insights Bjoern provided that will certainly help inform my thinking going forward.
After the event, like after any event that I attend or present at, I notice more Facebook likes and Twitter followers. I attribute this to effectively being my own best brand ambassador for StyleRocks: people can see the quality of the jewellery that we offer, can hear me talk authoritatively about the business and so on. While it’s not a direct sale in itself, it’s certainly more fans/likers – which of course may lead to sales.
What I also found intriguing is that without a website, I can talk to what is possible on StyleRocks in terms of designing: create your ring, design your necklace, customise your own charm bracelet…what would be really interesting is to do an experiment one day where I describe the capabilities first, and then demonstrate the website – would people’s expectations of the site be less, equal to or more than how they had visualised?
Long story short: the human touch, despite being an internet business, cannot be underestimated!