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May 1, 2012

You’re so Fancy

thefancy

We fell in love with Pinterest a while ago but lately, we’ve become increasingly interested in The Fancy. Similar to Pinterest, Fancy is a social image catalog site that allows users to organize images of items from around the web into lists (much like Pinterest’s boards). However, since its development, Fancy has been set on monetizing the site, a major element that sets it apart from the competition.

By incorporating an ecommerce platform, the site serves a shopping destination of “cool interests” and is built on a community that thrives on curation.  With its recent marketplace function, consumers can now shop certain products directly from the site (that is, if they can afford it).

The way it works is pretty simple…

The Fancy allows users to collect images from all over the web (which can range from vacation homes to quirky gadgets) and “Fancy” them. These images are then organized into lists so other Fancy users can easily search by topic (i.e. Women’s, Kids, Home, Media, etc). All images are automatically linked back to the original source, giving users the ability to purchase the products (and in some cases, purchase directly from the site).

From a brand perspective…

Currently, Fancy is positioning itself as an inspirational tool that aims to motivate shoppers to buy (as opposed to Pinterest that serves as a platform of expression). Over 500 brands have partnered up with Fancy, creating brand pages that engage with this curious community. Brands that have gotten “Fancy” include YSL, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Barneys New York, Tracey Reese, and many more.

Founder Joseph Einhorn calls Fancy’s model “demand-driven,” which basically means it’s a platform that gives merchants the ability to understand what consumers want, and then sell products that match these wants directly to them.

In addition, Fancy rewards users for their Fancy power. For example, users who generate popular items are rewarded honorary titles. In this way, Fancy is building its own list of “tastemakers” that might prove to be influential in the near future (we’re thinking brands will start using these influencers as brand ambassadors).

So what can Fancy do for brands? How about:

  • Serve as a focus group (allowing brands to understand how consumers feel about a new product, recipe, or spring fashion line)
  • Serve as a secondary transaction platform
  • Provide consumer insight on spending habits, product interests, and consumer needs
  • Provide competitor insight
  • Allow brands to market themselves to an engaged audience

Below are a few “Fancy” brand pages:

Yves St. Laurent

(YSL has also integrated “Fancy” on their site)

Barneys New York

Crate and Barrel

What this means…

Fancy’s hope for the future is to become somewhat of an Amazon since it has the functionality of the ecommerce platform with the visual experience of Pinterest.

With a board of directors ranging from Ashton Kutcher, Jack Dorsey and Chris Hughes (Facebook co-founder) to Francois-Henri Pinault (owner of Gucci, YSL, etc.), backing up the company, the site seems to have a plan for success.  In addition to a power-house board, Fancy is generating a lot of celebrity buzz, with A-listers Kanye West, P!nk, P Diddy, designer Nicola Formichetti, and Tyler Florence (to name a few) getting Fancy and creating their own pages that users can follow.

So now that you know, it’s time to get Fancy.

 

blog, Brands, Fancy, Social Media

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