Blank & Co.
Strategy & Design
Launching an Athletic Apparel Startup
YOGASMOGA, a rising yoga and athletic apparel startup, was ready to take its early success to the next level. Customers’ increasing demand for the brand’s advanced fiber technology and stylish, Made-in-the-USA sportswear meant it was time to officially introduce YOGASMOGA to the world. It was important to them that they scale while also keeping their reputation for a quality product and service. After working with Blank & Co. in a smaller capacity during their seed year, YOGASMOGA recruited Blank & Co. to provide a comprehensive, strategic direction.
We were tasked with orchestrating the launch of YOGASMOGA’s state-of-the-art ecommerce business, putting together their creative and technology teams, implementing a design thinking process and executing campaigns both online and at their brick-and-mortar stores.
Time was of the essence for YOGASMOGA, and they needed an online presence that would accommodate millions of users over the years. In a short period of time, we launched a website packed with all the bells and whistles that are typically available only to enterprise clients, such as an elaborate rewards system, an interactive dressing room, advanced analytics, a/b testing, product recommendations and more. Most importantly, we offered a beautiful, seamless online experience that was optimized for both web and mobile. We continue to support the site on an ongoing basis, and have since completed multiple upgrades to enhance functionality.
The most important step a growing startup takes is developing its operational foundation at a sustainable and competitive pace. The challenge? Finding (and acquiring) the best talent. As a result, startups tend to sign with agencies to help them execute their ideas—but this can come at a high cost or end in an agency’s inability to deliver.
YOGASMOGA wanted a close-knit team, not a disjointed agency structure. In partnership with YOGASMOGA’s management, we recruited talent and restructured the company's creative and technology teams to best account for creativity, agility, and cost. We established high-caliber in-house graphic design and technology teams that could support the company’s multiple initiatives at a rapid-fire pace.
The Customer Community
Yoga is a practice that focuses on connection, so YOGASMOGA wanted to heavily engage with their customers. We built a platform from the ground up, which we called Rangoli, exclusively for YOGASMOGA; it served as a central hub where YOGASMOGA could build a community, invite influencers and cultivate brand ambassadors. The digital community made it easy for YOGASMOGA to post stories, make announcements, interact with customers, share rewards and bring focus to the practice of yoga and wellness—all in one place.
Once YOGASMOGA was ready to open physical stores, we were there to support the in-store digital experience so they could put all their energy into the other aspects of their business. Our goal: create a consistent and frictionless user experience.
To do that we first had to solve critical technology and experience issues. In today’s multi-platform world, integrating disparate systems is one of the biggest challenges faced by companies with limited budgets. In response, we designed a user journey for all of YOGASMOGA’s channels, and directed the technology team to make the systems talk to each other at critical touch points. We instituted a music and media distribution system across all 11 stores so that we could easily distribute content; a centralized Point of Sale (POS) that integrated with our Ecommerce platform; a premiere Customer Relationship (CRM) platform; an omni-channel inventory management process; interactive screens and digital displays in stores; and a retail analytics platform that measured traffic to fuel data-driven decisions among internal teams