26 July 2017

Isobar launches a Fashion-Retail business from scratch

Isobar Greece has launched WE ARE EYES, a fashionable brand of sunglasses, selling over 1,000 pairs in 30 days. In today’s fast moving digital world, relevancy is critical to success for both brands and agencies. To ensure they continue to understand their clients’ reality, Isobar Greece recently launched a new product from scratch and went through the entire business cycle in less than a year.

The founders, Giorgos Vareloglou and Costas Mantziar said “Our vision is to get closer to our clients' real business and become their most valuable business partners. Launching a retail business from square one was one of the most enlightening experiences we have ever had as an agency. Looking at the big picture was such a reality check.”

Isobar ran the project as a normal business - from market research, to business planning, to product design and sampling, to production, to logistics, to placement, to pricing, to selling and truly put their empathy skill to the test. To narrow the gap between the point of inspiration and the point of transaction the team chose to launch this as an e-commerce only brand. Notably, in this 10-month go-to-market project, the team only spent two weeks on advertising.

“Let’s be honest, the truth is that agencies (and any kind of specialist) have a completely distorted view of a client’s reality. This stems from the belief that advertising (or fill in your area of expertise here) is THE most important thing for the client’s business objectives. And this is clearly not the case.”

The team decided to enter the sunglasses business because of its high profit margins, with two conglomerates controlling a big part of the global market-share. The vision was to create a sunglasses brand of unparalleled quality, at a reasonable price. They partnered with a company called ID Sourcing to ensure they had a supplier who could deliver at scale and structured the deal on a relatively small “set up” fee and then a revenue split for ongoing sales.

Costas and Giorgos continued, “The past 12 years, have been an ongoing search for the new, the different. And it is this quest that has driven change in our operating model, our service offering, our people and our culture.”

Since it was established, Isobar Greece has gradually transformed from a Search Marketing agency to a full-service communication agency and a leading performance marketing shop. “This is just a small step that gets us a bit closer to our vision. In the past year we have changed the way we handle our client relationships, as well as our recruitment process and we have launched new services that are narrowing the distance between our clients’ bottom line and our agency. To us this is just the beginning of another exciting journey.”