BUSI­NESS LESSONS

FROM JAMES TOWNSEND-ROSE:

Finweek English Edition - - ENTREPRENEUR -

EM­POWER YOUR “TROOPS” re­lated is­sues, which are writ­ten by mid­wives, nurses and “mommy blog­gers”. The com­mu­nity that the com­pany has cre­ated on Face­book is in­cred­i­bly ac­tive and dis­cusses a wide range of top­ics.

Baby­Group’s web­site is laid out with al­most mil­i­tary pre­ci­sion, but with mom­friendly aes­thet­ics. One can search or browse through cat­e­gories like Cloth­ing, Feed­ing, Chang­ing, Safety, Travel or Books & Mu­sic. There’s even a spe­cial sec­tion for Mom. Within these cat­e­gories one can search by age group, price and brand. One of the spe­cialised searches is “Eco-friendly”.

Townsend-Rose in­sti­tuted a sys­tem of “land­mark pur­chases”, mean­ing that for the first, fifth and ev­ery sub­se­quent five pur­chases, the pur­chase is gift-wrapped. Hand-writ­ten notes ac­com­pany these and other “spe­cial ” pur­chases. This all hap­pens in a self-con­tained mini­ware­house in Wood­stock, Cape Town, where of­fices ad­join the des­patch area. A small of­fice has been turned into a stu­dio where prod­ucts can be pho­tographed for the web­site.

Baby­Group has grown into a thriv­ing busi­ness that is now di­ver­si­fy­ing by pro­duc­ing its own line of cus­tomised baby-wear. By fo­cus­ing on look­ing af­ter ex­ist­ing cus­tomers, it has been able to con­sol­i­date and grow its cus­tomer base us­ing so­cial media and word of mouth as driv­ers.

Grow­ing an online brand is all about fo­cus­ing on the things that mat­ter most to cus­tomers, like pay­ing at­ten­tion to de­tail and adding a per­sonal touch.

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