Principal Consultant at Executive Partners
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Vice President - Merchandising - Digital Firm (8-15 yrs)
VP of Merchandise needs to be innovative, be well-connected in the industry with suppliers etc, have a decent background in logistical planning, and also have a good sense of branding/marketing. Here are the various sectors that he/she would be heading, and overseeing post-execution.
1. On Demand Fulfillment (Tee Spring, Fan fibre etc)
This is the immediate plan of action. The company needs to set up a merchandise store that would fulfill on-demand orders of customized T-shirts, hoodies, mugs and other such goodies.
The company prospective employee would need to study all such cases above, and come up with a niche system that would not only be attractive to the company partners (i.e. it would be seen as a high end, good-quality option versus competitors selling cheap knockoffs), but also be marketed as such to customers.
2. Subscription Service (Ipsy / DSC)
This is the company most ambitious project, but the company will need to implement the others before they get to this. If anyone checks Ipsy and Dollar Shave Club, they have a subscription-based model that follows a very basic principle. Essentially, if a set of products cost $50 in the market, the user can get it for nearly half the price through them, delivered to their doorstep every month or quarter (or can decide frequency in certain cases). Ipsy follows a more traditional referral based system, where they ask existing customers to advertise the product/service, and every time one of their friend subscribes, they get some extra money too (a onetime reward) or some goods for free.
The VP would need to come from a background that would enable them to -
a) come up with a list of products for this system (everything from organic hand wash to probiotics)
b) have the contacts to source them from reputable vendors
c) have the logistical know-how to be able to come up with a flawless delivery and return system.
3. Optional Ventures
Two things the company would like to try out are
a) A "Support Rural Villages" subscription model and
b) A comedic loot box subscription model. These are obviously not at the top of the priority list, and will be visited when #1 and #2 are implemented.
a) The company would advertise India's rural offerings (everything from hand-made souvenirs, to organic honey and other such things) online through the influencers and paid ads as well, and tell people to subscribe to a "Support Rural India" initiative. For a monthly/quarterly fee, the company would surprise them with a bunch of such products, including a few heart-warming stories of the families/villagers they helped support. By cutting off several middlemen and also getting international prices for their product. The fonder feels that they could help out thousands of people in this initiative, while keeping a reasonable margin for themselves for spending on ads etc.
b) Comedic Lootbox
The company would be offering customized funny items like plushies, cushions, and other really tiny apparels on a quarterly basis to Creators' fanbases. The idea would be similar to the one above - pay x $ per month, and every 90 days the creator will surprise you with a lootbox. The only difference here would be that this wouldn't be a social enterprise unlike the above :)
And again, any additional ideas that the VP of Merchandise comes up with will lead to a share of the profits in that vertical, which would eventually get converted to stock options so they actually start to grow with the company.
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