Wie angekündigt, waren die SkinnyCorp-Gründer in der letzten Woche auf Europa-Tour. Am Rande der CustomerMade-Konferenz in Kopenhagen war Jeffrey Kalmikoff ein gefragter Interviewpartner.
Ein hörenswertes Podcast-Interview widmet sich den sozialen Aspekten von Threadless:
Welche Rolle spielen Blogs, wie öffnet sich Threadless künftig für Flickr und MySpace, was ist der Unterschied zwischen einer Community und einer Userbase.
Alles in allem lässt sich das Erfolgsprinzip auf ein Wort reduzieren: Respekt. Der respektvolle Umgang mit der Community ist ein wiederkehrendes Thema.
35% bis 40% der Threadless-Bestellungen kommen inzwischen von außerhalb der USA. Deshalb braucht Threadless auch niemanden, der ihnen international auf die Beine hilft.
Ein weiteres lesenwertes Interview findet sich auf der Seite der CustomerMade-Veranstalter. Darin erläutert Jeffrey Kalmikoff das Erfolgsprinzip und warum es für andere so schwer kopierbar ist.
Hier ein paar Auszüge:
"Why are companies such as skinnyCorp, companies that empower and integrate customers in design and product development, increasingly successful right now?
Our feeling is that more and more recently people get turned off when decisions are made for them. For example, popular music seems to be less and less accepted by people. People like to go out and discover new, independent music on their own.
By making it easy for customers to really have a part in figuring out what it is they want in a product or service, it makes the decision to actually purchase or use that service that much easier.
In fact, it does more than that. It gets the customer excited and proud of the discovery - so much so that they want to share the feeling with their friends. This is why companies like skinnyCorp are so successfull right now.
What do you see as the customers main motivation to participate?
The main three reasons are ownership, pride and rewards. (...)
What’s the first thing a company should do to involve customers in their business?
They should become the first members of their community. In our case, the 20 Threadless employees are simply 20 members of our 300,000 member community. We participate on the site and are real people that the community are familiar with.
What have you done to create communities around your business? Which have been the biggest challenges in getting a site like Threadless.com to take off?
The hardest part in creating a community is realizing that it's a slow, steady process that cannot be forced. We've seen many companies try to copy our business model without realizing that the company wasn't created yesterday. Many companies copy Threadless without realizing that it's "model" wasn't a preconceived idea.
We built Threadless in a way that made sense to us, and have made moves in regards to its growth that have felt right to us. The misconception is that adding community aspects into your business will equal profit, yet most don't realize that its not a quick or guaranteed payoff."
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