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Rule Your School

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04 September 2010

We continue our rotating Startupbootcamp blog series - our ten teams take turns sharing their thoughts and experiences.  This entry is by Anu Adedoyin of T.M. Revolution


Proof of concept. Value. Positioning. Re segmentation. These are the things my mind is struggling with at the moment. At Startupbootcamp you get everything thrown at you. Some people compliment your idea, some hate your idea, but they all challenge your idea and make you dig deeper into it. We sit in front of mentors giving us great advice and we try to sound engaging but to be honest, sometimes my mind is just blank. What on earth do all these things mean?

What is your value proposition?  I mean seriously, we are a company that makes tailor made jeans. The value is pretty clear – the jeans fit! But no, this will not do.

What is our positioning?

Us:  ‘Well we sell to women in the ABC1 socio economic group, ages 15 – 35.’

Mentor: Yeah, but what is your positioning?

Us: We want to be a strong brand providing affordable quality

Mentor: Ok, but what is your positioning? What makes you different? Why are you the one who solves this problem and not any other company?

Finally, it clicks – our positioning is that we are THE brand that provides jeans that fit to women on a cool (if nothing else, cool comes naturally to us) online platform in a unique way that makes it easy for them to order.

This may sound vague but the devil is in the detail. Our brand makes us unique. Our online platform is our channel of communication and making it easy to order makes us the go to guys. Easier said than done, but at least with this we know where we need to be. From this point you can go further. For instance, how does your brand make you unique? Here one begins to go into marketing.  Our marketing will involve this and that - I cannot tell you our brilliant marketing strategies because Sarah our marketing guru (@sarahbreilmann) will kill me and also, they are so good you will want to use them ;). In the same vein, how do you make your online platform cool? I already answered this – we are naturally cool. So the better question is, how do we translate our innate coolness to our online platform? According to Jonas (our cool tech boy @jonasnielsen), it has to have our consistent voice – great customer experience, ease of use and so on. This also translates to our branding. This takes us to Hampus Jakobsson’s (@hajak) point, ‘accept you are the bottleneck of your own business’. For our coolness to translate, we have to funnel everything else out. This means that we are certain that we rule our school.

The mentors are great. And I mean really great, but it is our business. And this means we make the decisions. So this is what we are learning at Startupbootcamp: you take all the advise you can get. You dig in as deep as you can. You rip your ideas apart and question all your assumptions. You feel like you are tearing apart everything you’ve built up (in our case a 60 page business case), and despite this you keep at it. You find flaws in your concepts and so you pivot but in the end you make all these decisions yourself. We have met great people, we have gotten amazing advice. We have acted on it and our better for it, but T.M.Revolution is still our baby and so we must take the ultimate responsibility in directing our ship.

Anu Adedoyin (mindofnunu.com) for Team T.M.Revolution


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