Temple and Webster is all about the home, providing beautiful furniture and home accessories to Australians. Since their launch in October 2011, the member-only site has generated over $10 million and has arguably grown to be Australia’s leading online homewares store with over 300,000 members.
I feel Temple and Webster standout from their competitors by finding a unique mix of stunning images, highly targeted marketing campaigns and a great end-to-end customer experience. Interestingly all these features can easily be replicated by competitors, so why does Temple and Webster continue to lead the market?
I recently caught up with the co-founder and CEO, Brian Shanahan to understand more about the company and their DNA.
During my conversation with Brian he talked about 4P’s that he focusing on and I think help differentiate the company, People, People, People and People.
People - customers
You need to know your target customers, their needs and wants, where they shop, what they read and watch. You just have to look at the Temple and Webster website and you can quickly identify their target market.
This deep understanding of their target customer permeates throughout all aspects of their activities from product selection through to promotional channels.
What became quickly evident is that they don’t just rely on their assumptions of what customers like, they test and track all marketing activities to see how customers respond and then focus on those services that work.
I personally like their blog as it so well reflects their brand, a visually rich site constantly updated with array of posts from industry personalities, click here to find out for yourself.
People - suppliers
To succeed in the retail business you need to build good long-term relationships with your suppliers. At the heart of the relationships you need to be able to solve suppliers’ problems.
Many of Temple and Webster’s suppliers have never sold online, so at the most basic level they are able to create a new sales channel and instantly enable suppliers with access to a new set of customers.
While the site provides customers with generous discounts I think they have created an environment so the discount is not the sole reason for the purchase. They have been able to maintain that dedicate balance between discount and value add.
People - team
Teamwork in many companies is a clichéd term but when you walk into the offices of Temple and Webster you can feel the buzz of energy and excitement in the air.
Creating a great team and teamwork is important in the development of the company. Having worked in the same offices as Brian in the past his energy and pragmatic style creates a great working environment.
Brian and his operational co-founder Adam McWhinney have a great working relationship, commuting together to the office each day provides a opportunity and environment for open discussion about business before the rigour of the day begins. Brian and Adam also have the support from Temple & Webster’s other two founders: Conrad Yiu and Mark Coulter who provide strategic and investor advice.
Teamwork starts at the top, and the team work displayed by the close-knit co-founders is also clearly reflected by the larger Temple & Webster team.
People - family
Startups consume large amounts of time and energy and this does not always coordinate well with family life. A supportive and encouraging family helps smooth the rough edges of a hard day in the office and provides a source of motivation to success.
The Temple and Webster Difference
I have been a customer of Temple and Webster since its early days and always been impressed with the quality of their products and service.