If you Google it, “SSENSE is an eCommerce and Brick-&-Mortar, Luxury and Streetwear Retailer.” – kind of true, but incomplete.
And while the aesthetics of the brand are unquestionable, the name “SSENSE” (pronounced “essence”) is more than just a fashion eCommerce or a retailer brand on the internet today.
Why so and more importantly how? We will be seeing everything in this article.
Today, we will be scratching the surface of the most popular brand from Montreal, Canada to see the highs, the lows, the beginning, and the future all along. Stick till the end and find what out you can learn from this brand which is about to hit the mark of $800 million in sales.
Who are we –
PixelPhant is a product photo editing service for eCommerce and in this following article of the eComstories, we are going to share the story of the luxury fashion and designer brand – SSENSE
Let me start by asking you a question. How serious were you while preparing your college thesis? If you ask Rami Attlah (the Co-founder of SSENSE) the same question he will tell you that he built SSENSE as his computer engineering thesis.
At the age of 15, Rami Attlah and his family emigrated to Montreal, Canada.
In 2003, which is almost 18 years ago, Bassel Attlah with his two brothers Rami, and Firas introduced SSENSE as a physical store, more of a fashion boutique in the Old Port. And later by 2006, when they all completed their studies launched their website on the internet.
YES! You read it right. The eldest of all Firas was just 25 years old. After he was Rami at 24 and Bassel at age of 21 when they launched their website to strike the world with a new revolution in the fashion industry.
They had their background in banking, computer engineering, and mechanical engineering. And as you can clearly see, not in fashion or art. So what made them stand in the fashion industry?
Simple answer – Vision, Mindset, and Sailing the Growth in the right direction.
The Vision of the SSENSE
Know that every success story is set by a vision unlike anyone else in your time.
Bassel Attlah shared that, they always had their eyes on stepping up the brand as an eCommerce. It was the time when dot com was new and other fashion brands were still resisting it.
They knew the success was not bounded in the four walls and aimed towards being a global brand from the start if you trace their footsteps.
But not all nights are full of stars. They had to maintain a retail store in present and prepare for the future. Even if they became early adopters of the fashion eCommerce, what else made such a relevant and desirable brand today? The credit goes to the mindset behind success.
The Mindset of the SSENSE
In the introduction, we pointed that SSENSE was more than just a fashion brand. They are not aiming to generate more and more profit by selling a trend to the world.
Rather they are only targeting well-educated, well-dressed, and well-moneyed millennials. Statically, 80% of their audience is between 18-34 with an ability to purchase as little as $20 socks as well as limited edition Rolex for $30,000.
Why this audience specifically? To put it in the words of the SSENSE team, these audiences are not trend-followers, rather they are trend-setters.
They are not bound with thoughts of society and are open to experimenting with their free will to follow, wear and showcase their own style.
And that’s not it. When we say SSENSE is more than a fashion brand we also refer to its editorial content. Not just random blogs about fashion, apparel, or cosmetics but the content that truly resembles the audience.
Content for the audience, by the audience.
As Fanny Damiette, Director of Brand Marketing Strategy shared that at SSENSE the team knows what the audience is into. How?
Well, the writers are the millennials too. Damietta also said about how the writers in the editorial team of SSENSE are actual creative writers and not people from the marketing.
Today, SSENSE writes about music, art, architecture, culture, and more. All these are engraved in the millennial’s life, giving the brand a title of “peoples-brand”.
As you read above, Bassel, Rami, or Firas didn’t have any formal learning in the world of fashion. And we could say that they got lucky or they just followed their gut, but this would just be a dishonor to their hardships.
Bassel shared that, in the beginning, they were young and had little to no experience in their hands-on how the fashion market works.
Hence they took an analytical approach, or more specifically trial and error method to learn and unlearn about the fashion they knew.
And as we know it today, it seems to work in the best possible way.
The world is going through a global pandemic. More than 90% of the sale in the luxury industry still happens offline. What’s the end result of all this year of struggle by SSENSE?
Well, first of all, it not an end result, it’s just a checkpoint for the SSENSE, which is all set to bring revolution in the future as well.
As of now, creative minds at the headquarter of SSENSE are all pumped up together to bring grow the culture that we as a customer are starving to thrive in. Recently they launched their “Everything Else” section.
In which they literally added everything else that millennials of today look forward today’s millennial would look forward to. This includes fragrances, skincare, stuff for pets, and more. Typically a lifestyle brand, and as we said not just a fashion eCommerce you know.
The future of SSESE seems bright as the sun as well as revolutionary in both the offline and online world. Bassel Attlah has admitted that there is a huge opportunity for SSENSE in connecting with their customers offline.
Moreover, SSENSE also started its physical store some time ago and has gotten an appreciation they truly deserve. For now, we look forward to more trends by the SSENSE as well as the revolution we would see in the fashion industry due to the SSENSE team.
Till then, comment down below what according to is the learning that every eCommerce entrepreneur should remember from this eCommstory.