It’s a designer bag, and she got a hefty discount. Former Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia CEO Susan Lyne recently announced that she will become CEO of Gilt Groupe, by far the best in a growing breed of members-only online sample sale sites (other include ideeli, Editors’ Closet, Top Secret, and Rue La La). In January, Gilt Groupe entered a savvy partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), which led to the CFDA’s endorsement of the site’s ability to “distribute excess inventory and overstock in a discrete and efficient manner” and sales of CFDA member-designed merch from seasons past, with some of the proceeds benefiting the CFDA Foundation. Earlier this week, amidst financial market floundering of historical proportions, Gilt swiftly sold out of last season’s Chloé (departed designer Paulo Melim Andersson‘s sailing-inspired spring collection for the French house). Our sister blog, FishbowlNY, talked with Lyne about her transition from MSLO to Gilt. What’s the common thread? Branding!
Every great consumer-facing company starts with a brand promise to its customer: this is what we will deliver; this is how we will make your life better, or easier, less complicated, more fun. Each job I’ve held had a different core customer and a different brand promise. The key is never forgetting who you serve and what they count on you for.