India Knowledge@Wharton, November 17, 2011.
Would you trust a computer to design your wardrobe? The co-founders of Stylitics, a start-up that combines fashion with the burgeoning field of analytics, hope the answer is yes.
But the company's strategy is as much about attracting corporate clients as it is about building a community of fashionistas. Stylitics employs an analytics platform to track and gain insights from users' clothing choices and purchase behaviors. Customers are given incentives, such as reward cards, to log what they wear each day; meanwhile, Stylitics uses that information to help retailers track trends. "This proprietary tool is the first of its kind to surface real-time trends and behavioral analysis, helping our clients to make smarter business decisions and stay current in an increasingly fragmented marketplace," says Rohan Deuskar, who founded Stylitics with Zach Davis.
In return for staying active on Stylitics, members get information about trends and style recommendations from experts. They can also be tapped for targeted marketing campaigns. "Members get rewards and discounts based on participation," Deuskar notes. "This could range from silk scarves ... to gift cards to experiences like sitting down for lunch with their favorite designer."
According to Deuskar, once user participation crosses a certain threshold, the data the community produces will become of use for businesses, which have traditionally had to rely on fragmented and often out-of-date market research from customer surveys or polls. As the winning team in the 2011 Wharton Business Plan Competition, Deuskar and Davis said Stylitics had a potential market of 50,000 prospective clients in the U.S.