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The label Pimpilotta was founded by Dr. Jana-Maria Lehnhardt, who wanted to specialize in a niche product. The managing director of the accessories brand spoke to Luna Journal about sales and her marketing strategy.
With your label Pimpilotta you offer creative take-away articles. What is the intention behind the founding of the label?
Dr. Jana-Maria Lehnhardt, Managing Director of Pimpilotta: “With the founding of my retail store “Schuhtingstar“, an unusual concept store in Starnberg with a curated range of high-quality and fashionable shoes, fashion and accessories for a clearly defined, demanding target group, I fulfilled a long-awaited dream.
It was clear to me from the very beginning that in a time of digital transformation, the pure purchase and sale of standard merchandise can no longer be a promising business model for the future. And so I was convinced that the “Schuhtingstar” would only establish itself successfully in the long term with a unique assortment, a particularly appealing presentation and a welcome host culture.
The unique and special assortment of the “Schuhtingstar” now includes 50 % own brands in addition to selected brand manufacturers: e.g. the same name shoe label “Schuhtingstar” for fashionable and high-quality handmade shoes, as well as “Pimpilotta – Unique Hairjewellery” – loving and creative children’s hair jewellery.
My own label “Pimpilotta” has become one of the customers in my store within a very short time. Market research has shown that I occupy a niche with the label Pimpilotta, because the Pimpilotta children’s hair jewellery is absolutely unique in terms of quality, design and the decorative presentation. Each article is presented on a lovingly designed and decorated jewellery card. Matching this, there are tasteful decorative materials in the typical Pimpilotta design for an emotionally appealing product presentation at the POS.
How long has the accessory brand Pimpilotta been around? To what extent have you been able to integrate them into the market during this time?
In my shop “Schuhtingstar” I offer my customers “Pimpilotta” products already in the 5 business year with great success and excellent sales figures. This is the best reference for our B2B customers! The official launch of B2B took place in spring 2018, initially via the Supreme Kids trade fair and the Trendset trade fair in Munich as well as a trading agency. Through the trade fairs and the trading agency we were able to inspire and convince the first customers of our label Pimpilotta.
Will there be seasonal products?
Yes, there is both a summer and a winter collection, which differ, for example, in terms of colour and choice of materials. I have also added seasonal items to the Pimpilotta collection, such as Easter, Halloween and Christmas hair accessories.
The “Pimpilotta” brand also offers festive hair accessories for special occasions such as communion. But I have also thought target group specific and designed a collection especially for the smallest Pimpilotta fans.
How often do you plan to launch a new collection?
That depends very much on the article and the trends in fashion. On the one hand, part of the hair decoration collection is timelessly classic (e.g. the ribbon bows in 16 classic colours) and is worn at any time and for any occasion. On the other hand, I will certainly surprise our customers again and again with new highlights (designs, materials and colours), so that the Pimpilotta hair accessory gives the fashionable outfit that special touch. I still have a lot of creative ideas!
Where do you get your inspiration to stand out from the crowd?
As a management consultant with a focus on design management, product design is, to a certain extent, a vocation for me. I like to be inspired by fashion trends outside of the fashion industry. In my opinion, the challenge lies in combining the tried and tested with the new. When developing the design of “Pimpilotta” articles, it is important to me that my products convince through design, function and quality and express the unmistakable brand image of Pimpilotta.
How important are the needs of your customers to you? Do you incorporate feedback into your products?
The opinions of my customers are very important to me, especially with regard to function and quality. When it comes to design, however, I remain true to my feelings and the brand orientation of Pimpilotta. Here I see it as my task as a designer to arouse our customers’ desires with the Pimpilotta brand.
What are your principles when you create new accessories?
I don’t necessarily have to pick up on every fashion trend. Above all there is my brand identity and my understanding of design as well as my demand for quality and function. Only when I bring this into harmony do new creations come into the collection.
What strategy do you pursue to establish Pimpilotta on the market?
With Pimpilotta, I want to give the trade a product or a brand that gives pleasure in selling and is connected with little effort for the trade – simply in the order and the re-order, inspiring in the approach at the POS, fast and uncomplicated in the sale without complaint risks. – Our Pimpilotta Hair Jewellery collection is offered in a practical and emotionally appealing counter display. An ideal, popular take-away item that gives customers pleasure when using or giving as a gift and can sometimes provide comfort and turn a teardrop into a smile.
This is part of our Sell in Story, which we would like to communicate to our trade partners via trade fairs and trade agencies, newsletters and the Pimpilotta B2B portal.
What marketing strategy do you pursue?
- An assortment policy that convinces through breadth and less depth and awakens a high level of desire among buyers and customers.
- A pricing policy that is appropriate for the brand, enables an attractive commission model for the agency and a lucrative margin for the trade.
- A brand policy that awakens consumer desire and supports the retailer with a range of sensible trade marketing measures.
- A distribution that supports the development of trade off and online in a meaningful way.
Do you focus exclusively on the stationary trade or do you plan to introduce your products into the online trade?
In my opinion, an Omnichannel strategy is essential for a successful brand. We focus on the stationary as well as on the online specialist and retail trade!
You are working with a sales representative. How much time do you give him to bring your brand to the retailer?
Unfortunately, we had to part with our commercial agency after almost a year. I think it is less a question of time than of the right partnership.
I am fully aware that the introduction of a new label involves a lot of effort and time. I also believe, however, that commercial agencies should rethink their approach and break new ground in the digital age. In particular, I lacked the necessary willingness to rethink and innovate and to take the initiative.
What complications have arisen since the company was founded? How did you solve them?
The search for a suitable production partner took longer than we had planned. At the beginning, the quality control also caused a lot of surprises. Only through very strict process management and an insistence on understanding quality was it possible to go into series production with the collection.
What should one pay attention to when founding a small label?
I am in the fortunate position of having an intensive and daily contact to the end consumer through my own business and thus gaining a deep understanding of the needs of customers and retailers for a new label. Every year, new fashion labels come onto the market in times of overcrowded wardrobes. Trade is increasingly losing its supply mandate and is thus becoming a place of social interaction and encounter. Here, new labels must make their contribution through design and brand image.
What is your goal with Pimpilotta? What have you already been able to achieve?
First of all, we have to convince our B2B customers that our take-away products are an interesting category with which good sales can be achieved. First repeat orders within an average period of a few weeks confirm our thesis. We have thus reached a small first milestone. We would like to continuously expand our partnership with dealers. For example, we see Pimpilotta not only in upscale children’s shops, but also, for example, in concept stores (lifestyle and accessories) at Florsiten, in gift shops and in upscale beauty shops.
How important are the social media for small labels? Would you consider working with influencers?
The social media will play an important role for Pimipilotta in the future. This is where we meet our target groups. And of course we want to win and convince influencers for our brand.
To what extent do you stand out from the competition?
Through a differentiating positioning in the upmarket design, quality and price segment. In addition, we would like to support our dealers in particular with the staging at the POS with suitable attractive Pimpilotta decomatarials.
Which markets would you like to open up in the future?
I am firmly convinced that the Pimpilotta brand still offers plenty of room for line extension. In addition to the multitude of different “Pimpilotta” hair bands, hair clips and hair rings, I already have patches, pins, keycaps, bracelets and earrings of the “Pimpilotta” brand – in the test phase so to speak – on offer in my store for my customers. I can imagine a whole range of other products that will complement the Pimpilotta label in the future and fit perfectly into the world of Pimpilotta.
I see the “Pimpilotta” brand not only limited to the DACH market, but distributed in all European countries such as Belgium, Holland, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, etc. as well as worldwide in the medium term.
Decorating oneself with beautiful children’s hair jewellery is “boundlessly” popular with children and mothers all over the world!
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Link: “Pimpilotta – Unique Hairjewellery” offers creative hair jewellery for children.