Zeroing down on fashion rental — Why and How?

The whole idea of dressrs originated from the business of Rent The Runway. We cherrypicked their operating model and then we started chipping and chiseling at it here and there. Till it started making sense.

  1. My co-conspirator, Ankita, opened up Myntra and other apps, chose some 100 garments that she thought were stylish
  2. We ordered and waited for them to get delivered
  3. I got the first delivery box made [We have experimented quite a lot with your packaging design, always trying to make it better, cooler. More on that some other time. The concept design of this particular box came from a fast food delivery service]
  4. We set out to test out our hypothesis by parking our asses for a few weeks in two college campuses — one in Bangalore (4 weeks), one in Hyderabad (2 weeks)
  • Style trumps brand — We had come to this conclusion after talking to a lot of consumers. If you asked them what matters more to them — the brand of a dress or how they think it would look on them, the majority of the responses were in favor of the perceived image. But it was still a decent breakup. The next thing we did was to show consumers images of various dresses. The pages had product pics, price, sizes, and the brand name/logo was placed in such a way that it wasn’t in your face, and for some — not even noticeable. We looked at heatmaps, tracked their interests. So, we had arrived at a hypothesis. Style trumps brand name. But now, we needed to test it out with real live audience who would be shelling out real money for a real service, and not just sitting on their computer screens.
    Note: We are, in no way, even trying to say that brand doesn’t matter to consumers. Of course it does. Brands, in many cases, are aspirational. The big realisation was — it doesn’t matter as much to the consumers as you and I would have expected.
  • We should go wider than cater to occasion specific needs — It made sense to cater to occasions and special events — weddings, date nights, weekend outings etc. These would be high ticket sized carts, margins would be higher, and it would be much easier to convince a customer. But we thought this can be done mainstream. We can be a solution to the everyday struggle a woman has with her wardrobe.

It was simply impossible to scale this business up!

Tomorrow, the big reveal — the first challenge dressrs faced. The first of many, to be honest.

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Abhishek Anand

Abhishek Anand

Helping businesses grow 10x faster, and scale efficiently. Top Writer — Quora, Medium. Drop in a line if you’d like help with yours.