When global fashion and lifestyle brand IDEAL of SWEDEN wanted to expand its fashion offering and reach, it turned to fashion consultancy FashionNet/Anton Dell (FNAD) for help. to develop its brand in Europe and North America.
The partnership started in May 2021 in the context of a global pandemic. FNAD worked closely with IDEAL of SWEDEN to design a go-to-market strategy to translate the consumer electronics accessories brand into the fashion market and set up the brand’s wholesale business in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and France.
“One of FNAD’s goals was to work with IDEAL of SWEDEN to transform their CE business channel into new channels in the lifestyle fashion market,” says Jan Brabers, co-founder of FNAD. “Together we were able to grow the brand not only in North America, but also in France and the UK. One of the big successes is with Printemps in Paris, which opens a shop-in-shop of IDEAL of SWEDEN.
To learn more about the expansion and partnership with FNAD, FashionUnited spoke with Jonathan Belson, Director of Sales and Marketing – Americas at IDEAL of SWEDEN to dive deeper into the brand’s goals, challenges and its long-term strategy. term to move forward.
What prompted you to choose the FNAD as a partner?
Before FNAD became exactly that, it was FN, which at the time, was very similar to the setup of IDEAL OF SWEDEN in North America – just a few seasoned pros trying to carve out new business, all in the context of the pandemic. IDEAL, which is best known for its range of fashion-forward mobile accessories suitable for the consumer electronics and telecommunications space, had developed a comprehensive range of fashion accessories aimed at a completely different market. Our wholesale division knew we had retail gold, but were also aware that we needed outside advice to define a marketing strategy that was both pragmatic and sustainable. Enter Mark Boloton and Jan Brabers.
My colleague Rich had previously collaborated with Mark on Beats by Dre Headphones, so we thought FN was a good place to start. Needless to say, we didn’t pursue our research further and committed to following FN’s advice. Mark and Jan had the experience and expertise in precisely the areas we needed and knew that our collective approach would be one. This was essential for our team, because IDEAL wants to be practical in all businesses.
What were the objectives of the partnership?
Prior to engaging the services of FNAD, IDEAL OF SWEDEN already maintained a robust infrastructure with global distribution and 3PL partners around the world. Our online business alone ships to 100 countries every week, and in the social media space, few brands match our reach or our steady growth.
Our initial success with our online fashion retail assortment compelled us to break into wholesale and retail. We just needed to replicate our existing business to serve accounts that we hadn’t had the right product for our relationships with before. So the goal was quite simple: identify sales agencies in specific markets that IDEAL could partner with to penetrate fashion retail accounts.
While I can’t speak directly to FNAD’s methods, I can say with absolute certainty that the partners they introduced us to are the ones we are now doing business with.
Which countries/regions were you targeting for international expansion?
While IDEAL currently sells products all over the world, we collectively, and quite quickly, identified Canada, France, England and the United States as our main target markets. Although FNAD and IDEAL had the resources to expand their network, we felt that these regions represented the greatest opportunities on many levels. It’s not that hard to just sell a product to a distributor or retailer, but IDEAL isn’t a commodity-focused company – we’re a lifestyle brand and we’re now starting to see ourselves like a fashion house. As such, there is so much groundwork that needs to be ironed out before even approaching retailers. Now that we have built the framework to penetrate fashion retail, we will be targeting additional regions on a selective basis exclusively through FNAD services.
How has FNAD helped you achieve your goals/strategy?
FNAD is his people, and so for me, it’s Mark and Jan. When we first decided to work together, in the context of a pandemic, where fashion retail was virtually irrelevant, the groundwork that both parties invested in the relationship is now reflected in the new partnerships we have created.
Although we did not work as closely with Mark and Jan as in the initial phase, the business that has already grown from them, and the one that is born almost daily, illustrates how instrumental FNAD has been in achieving our goals. initials. The fashion industry works on a much more structured schedule than CE and now that we have integrated several accounts that live in this universe, IDEAL has become a more inclusive company. We continue to release phenomenal product lines, but now do so with a larger purpose. This allows us to maximize seasonal sales periods across multiple market segments and synchronize our marketing efforts to coincide.
Were there any difficulties with the expansion?
To begin with, we launched this partnership in the midst of a global pandemic. Although I now consider Mark and Jan friends, and not just business partners, we have yet to meet in person. I don’t see that as a challenge in itself, but no video conferencing platform will ever replace what face-to-face meetings can produce. Had we been able to meet in person, I would have mandated that we hold several early strategy meetings with FN in which our respective companies became experts on each other. Then a game plan was developed and physical visits to these targeted markets, as a team, were to follow. Now, having “done” business with our Canadian and US agencies that culminated in our work with FNAD, it is so clear to me how crucial it is to know your business partners.
I couldn’t be happier with the results, but I know video conferencing will never do what in-person meetings do.
What is IDEAL of Sweden’s long-term strategy moving forward?
Even though IDEAL OF SWEDEN was born 10 years ago, we still see ourselves as a start-up. Looking at the trajectory of our products since our inception, we see no limits to what we can create or even what kind of business we can become.
IDEAL OF SWEDEN continues to be the most original lifestyle brand that fuses function and fashion. For us, there is no limit to what that means, and as we truly understand, we are always ready, rather eager, to explore all possibilities. What is certain for the future of IDEAL is our commitment to sustainability, inclusiveness, equality and corporate responsibility. Sweden, as a country, has been at the forefront of these ideologies and so as a company, that’s just who we are!
For more information about FNAD, visit: www.fn-ad.co
Contact: Mark Boloton – firstname.lastname@example.org Contact: Anton Dell – email@example.com