Fashion Forward

The Iconic

“We always try to be very fashion forward and recommend the right trends and looks of the season to customers,” says The Iconic Director Finn Haensel. The good news is that there’s no need to start the car because The Iconic is fashion at its finest minus endless crowds and long checkout queues. “Even if you haven’t tried online shopping before, just try it out with us and if you don’t like it you can return everything for free so there is no risk for you.”

Style Icons

The co-founders of The Iconic recognised that there was a gap in the Australia market for a major online shopping outlet. Imagine an online fashion store offering free overnight delivery. One where customers can return anything they are not completely happy with, free of charge. “We thought that there was nobody offering this kind of service so we invented The Iconic,” says Mr Haensel. Together with Rocket Internet, the company co-founders worked tirelessly to make their vision a stylish reality.

When it comes to shopping, there are two types of people – the addicts and the people who wait outside bored. “We don’t have all the negative factors that normal shopping has. It makes it much more enjoyable,” explains Mr Haensel. Forget the hassle of the usual shopping experience with crowded shops and wailing kids. Check out The Iconic instead with a choice of 25,000 products from 500 different brands available at the click of a mouse.

The Iconic takes everything consumers love about fashion and shopping and makes it even better. Still finding it hard to choose between those fabulous pairs of shoes? The Iconic has customer style dilemmas sorted. “We have a live chat on the website to help people with their shopping decisions. It’s actually making a big difference. We can guide people as to what they should buy depending on their taste,” says Mr Haensel. The Iconic employs experienced buyers with strong market knowledge to bring the best fashion finds to customers. This season is all about having fun with bold prints, crazy neon colours and safari inspired accessories. The sporty luxe look is also back, but if sequins and spandex isn’t your cup of tea, try the fabulous fifties pin-up girl style instead. Flaunt feminine curves with a beautiful peplum dress then cool the vibe down with sorbet soft pastels. ‘Funky Cool’ sums up the season and The Iconic is at the forefront of new trends as they happen.

Glittering Occasions

Being a part of 30 Days of Fashion and Beauty was an incredible experience for The Iconic team. “It was awesome!” exclaims Mr Haensel. Several popular magazines were present including Cosmopolitan, Cleo and Grazia. “Just two weeks ago, we had our 30 Days of Fashion show in Town Hall.” Along with the fashionable ACP titles, The Iconic was busy highlighting the most sizzling trends of the season on the catwalk. Customers could go to the website and view the video of the catwalk live and shop for the items on the catwalk in real time. “So that was a huge success. We had over 500 people watching the fashion show in Town Hall and then another 500 watching live on the screen so that is actually opening fashion up to a broader target than you would normally have if you just do a fashion show.” The Iconic stars at many glittering events to celebrate fashion and success, and connect with key partners like Famous magazine; customers can now even shop The Iconic on the Famous shopping app.

11th October marked the first birthday of The Iconic and from all accounts, it was a night to remember. Approximately 300 guests enjoyed the star-studded event held at the Blue Hotel in Sydney. Staff, celebrities, magazine editors and designers including Tony Bianco partied the night away, enjoying live music from Guy Sebastian. It was a truly glamorous night celebrating all the success that The Iconic has had so far.

The Iconic is passionate about supporting homegrown talent, with 75-85 per cent of its brands being Australian labels. An eclectic mix of covetable labels including Camilla and Mark, Ladakh and the famous Sass and Bide make The Iconic, well, iconic. “These brands are all very fashion forward,” says Mr Haensel. He believes that Australian brands are quite different from European brands. “I think the Australians take more risks with fashion than the Europeans would.” While Europeans favour more classic styles, Australians tend to be more adventurous, particularly with colour.

Mr Haensel agrees that Australian fashion is relaxed, especially when it comes to men’s fashion. Surf brands like Billabong, Quicksilver and Rusty encapsulating an unpretentious, street-smart vibe dominate the market. “That’s actually why the Iconic just launched a surf and street section on the website,” Mr Haensel explains. This has provena significant project for the Iconic and a positive step forward.

Whether it’s a mini or a maxi, skin tight or floaty, Australian women love dresses. “Floral print dresses and colourful summer dresses are selling particularly well at the moment,” reports Mr Haensel. “On the shoe side, definitely high heels.” The racing season has been driving significant growth in the dress and shoe categories for The Iconic. “Fashion and racing are just two things that are tied together.” The company is proud to be sponsoring Melbourne Cup Day this year, the main event of the racing season. “We took over this sponsorship from Myer, so Myer in the past organised a racing day called ‘Mad About The Hat Day’ which is pretty popular in Sydney. We took over the sponsorship and it will be called ‘The Iconic Fashion Day’ on 29th Oct in Rosehill Garden.”

Smart Shopping

There really is something for every shape and size at The Iconic. “We have just recently launched a new range called ‘Curvy’ which is actually running really well – because we want to make sure that everyone who comes to The Iconic finds the right product.” There are plans to expand the gorgeous range to provide even more options for full figured women. Going forward, providing more fashion related categories like beauty, hair care and perhaps even fashionable furniture for lifestyle living is of interest to Mr Haensel. “These new areas could be a market for us going forward,” he says.

The Iconic is proud to have been awarded Best New Online Retailer in 2011. “I think we did a lot of good things for the Australian market in the beginning that put us one step ahead of the competition, and it was mainly our convenience and service promise,” remarks Mr Haensel. “We want to be the one stop sales shop for fashion and fashion related products. And we want to deliver the best convenience and service to customers in these categories.”

At The Iconic, social media is more about staying connected with customers and the fashion community than generating sales. Educating customers about the advantages of shopping online – aside from the cheaper prices – is a key focus. There is a popular misconception that everything available online is guaranteed to be cheaper than in traditional stores. While in many circumstances this may be true, it is not always the case; instead, the sheer convenience is often the biggest advantage to customers.

Despite the sluggish retail climate, The Iconic is growing rapidly. The company enjoys a good deal of what Mr Haensel calls “couch commerce,” with customers able to look up The Iconic on their mobiles or iPads from the comfort of their home. The Iconic detects where web traffic comes from, and can see a massive jump in mobile traffic happening when its television commercials go to air – definitely another advantage of the online retail model.

“Channel 7 news ran a piece mentioning the fact that Myer has experienced a drop in profits this year,” points out Mr Haensel. The response was that a poor retail environment was contributing to a drop in profits. “Then they ran a piece highlighting the fact that The Iconic is doing well growing at 30 per cent per month, and is hiring like crazy, already having 300 people.” JP Morgan has invested a significant amount of capital in The Iconic and, having confidence in the company’s sustainable business model, wants to develop a long-term partnership. “With that money we are investing in customer service, marketing, improving efficiency and managing warehouse stock.”

The Christmas season is just around the corner. Why not go shopping a little differently this year? “We’re actually thinking about having a campaign for Christmas in December called ‘Stop the Madness’ and we want to show people standing in buses, running from shop to shop completely exhausted, spending their whole weekend going shopping and being completely stressed about it [that there is an alternative]. We want to stop the madness.”

Who needs the traffic, parking tolls and screaming kids the season’s mad rush can bring? Avoid the last minute shopping dash on aching feet. Get online and check out ‘The Iconic’ instead. “I would like everyone who never even thought about shopping online just to try it out and give us a chance; give us a chance to impress you.”

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September 19, 2018, 2:06 PM AEST