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What problem does your solution solve?
The reason our product sells so well and the reason a tie company run by teenagers is able to be competitive in this dominated market is because we have found a niche of people and individuals that look to express their creativity in a fashionable way. Many believe the tie is dying out and people just don't wear them anymore, but NovelTie is adding a youthful spin on an age old product. In other terms, we are reinventing the tie to shift perception of what ties are for. Kids hate wearing ties because they are forced to wear the stripes and polka dots, but we realized that if we give people a design they'll ENJOY wearing, they'll do it much easier and with a smile on their face.
What’s the market potential for your solution?
I hope to expand our presence in Sam's Club and hopefully expand to Walmart.com. The partnership we have forged with them excites me as the opportunities with this billion dollar company are limitless. Also, NovelTie has just acquired a national license for a fraternity. This is hopefully the first of many and depending on our ability to deliver, we hope to expand to more fraternities. The current license we hold as over 65k members (alumni included) and over 50 chapters across the country.
Who are your customers?
The need for fun, fashionable, and dashing ties is very large. Almost all teen boys between the ages 10-22 need to have at least one tie, if not many ties for the events that do require ties. Potential customers like the idea greatly because it solves one problem they all have; finding a tie that actually has some character and flavor is very difficult because there are no ties geared specifically for teens. In 2008, annual tie sales were $677.7 million dollars. The tie industry is dying because it refuses to adapt to the changing market. The market is becoming more edgy, more fun, and less formal.The market size doesn’t just include private schools because every boy in America needs at least one tie. They need it for various things such as weddings, banquets, concerts, and family events. It's feasible for adults and college students to buy ties because they see it as a chance to express their youth or creativity, a perfect example of how NovelTie is ready for a variety of markets.
How will you reach your customers?
NovelTie aims to have a strong social media presence because after all, the market they aim to target highly uses social media outlets like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. At school, NovelTie hopes to market by having people post on social media posing wearing the tie and whoever gets the most likes will receive a NovelTie to wear at school and also get business cards to distribute when people ask them about it. This will garner lots of attention and publicity for the company. We plan to market to organizations looking for customized ties by sending them a sample design and promising that if they are interested that the company will send a consultant to work with them to create the best design. This strategy will invest time, but if the organization does decide to contract NovelTie, it will be worth the time invested.
How will you make money?
The profits from sales. Margins and profits are undisclosed.
What kind of partners will you need to make, support and distribute your solution?
There are many opportunities that stem from the CEO’s connections and his contacts that are potential customers. There are many alumni and organizations from his school that are potential customers; including a boutique owner, CFO of the 76ers (who could possibly help power a deal with the 76ers), owner of Season’s Pizza (who could want ties for the workers), and all school clubs that require a tie for events such as the school Band, Mock Trial Team, and the Model UN Team. Shreyas is also been a big part of the Scripps National Spelling Bee and has many contacts with their corporate organizers. He hopes to make a tie for their judges and possibly partner with them to sell a spelling bee tie.
What will your expenses include?
Who is your competition and how do you differ?
There are competitors that include large tie companies such as Zazzle.com, Tie.com, and big fashion companies such as Jos. A Bank or Croft’s &Barrows. Their success is derived from scale and accessibility. They are built on such a large scale and make their products a bit more expensive for larger margins because they are mostly in retail stores. The online tie sellers don’t really aim to sell to kids, they all just have many designs for a relatively cheaper price than the luxury ties sold for executives and businessmen. NovelTie’ product is sold locally, engages on a more personal level with the customer and aims to make a difference by donating money to charity.