With Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg at the Helm, Fabletics Continues to Drive Data Driven Consumer Value Forward

Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg for Fabletics

When Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg co-founded Fabletics, it was as a response to pressing human needs and concerns. Americans consumers spent over US$ 44 billion in 2016, to purchase active wear. Based on the growth trend of active wear consumption, it is projected that the gross expenditure will double by 2010, reaching well above US$ 83 billion annually.

Yet despite this gigantic growth curve, only a few companies have dominated this gap in the market. As is to be expected in any industry where only a few companies have unchallenged monopoly, the consumers are victims to exploitation. The dominant companies rake in huge profits and the consumer settles with minimal competitive value at a very high price. Luckily, in 2013, consumers of active wear noted a significant change in the industry upon the entry of Fabletics.

Unique to the Fabletics, was an inspiring story of innovation and consumer-specific brand. Fabletics did not add to the traditional passive lines of active wear, but a revolution in active wear products. Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg had collaborated with high-end consumer personalities, among them actress Kate Hudson, to pioneer a competitive option for the women. For the first time in the industry, the focus became the key concerns that the contemporary woman experiences when shopping for active wear.

Among all consumer groups, women had suffered the most, with insufficient and standardized quality of active wear products that rarely served their needs. For a woman to get a colorful and minimally attractive set of workout wear at that time, translated to an insanely high cost. Most of the available options were of a standard size, relatively ill fitting, and without question, expensive but still unattractive. It is still perplexing what women were still surviving through to maintain their workout routines.

Consequently, what Ressler and Goldenberg had witnessed was market need that needed an urgent intervention. At that time, Goldenberg and Ressler owned TechStyle Fashion Group. The company thus rose to the new challenge and started responding to the cry of women across the US, and globally. The problem however, was the gigantic capital base the team needed to offer any possible intervention to the industry.

At that time, Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg were running a highly profitable online business, already valued over US$ 1 billion. This capital base however, was still insufficient. This was the mega athletic wear industry, where branding was a near impossibility, particular when the brand was a child of previously unknown entrepreneurs. As the team researched and brainstormed all possible brand identities, they considered approaching the super-active, friendly, and people-centered actress, Kate Hudson.

Hudson, more than Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg, understood the psychology of a woman when selecting athletic wear. What the team had not anticipated, however, was how enthusiastic Hudson would be about a fashion solution to help the women stay healthy, fit, and physically active, while maintaining that special bond between a woman and fashion. What had started as an idea soon became a mission to develop an attractive, comfortable, functionally athletic, and still fashionable brand of clothes for women regardless of their shapes, sizes, or color preference.

The result was Fabletics, based off of the successful business that TechStyle had already become. With the help of a vibrant social-media presence, brand identity, and consumer focus central to TechStyle, Fabletics launched Hudson’s dream into a timely reality. In 2013 therefore, Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg found their way into the previously redundant athletics wear industry, and brought with them data-driven value for the feminine gender.

The startup did not escape many of the conventional challenges of small companies challenging giant players in any industry. Their first order for instance, was a US$ 300,000 inventory, which was sadly returned to the factory for being too inferior in quality. The brand was still too marginal for distribution to the new focus group of customers, particularly for their debut entry to the market.

One of the biggest challenges at the time was that Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg wanted to merge athletic wear with leisure fashion (athleisure) for the woman, and still attain superior quality that was both user-centered and durable. To make matters worse, Fabletics had adopted a novel subscription model where all potential customers and users could become a member, free, and participate in defining their brand. What this did was increase the personalized recommendations for the debut product, which was already gigantically complex to manufacturer.

As Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg were grumbling with these challenges, particularly with additional costs and manufacturing demands, Fabletics was offering discounted pricing. The members who joined the VIP group made numerous personalized recommendations, and received highly discounted price rates. All the VIP members had to do was spent US$ 50 every month, either for clothes renewal or as savings as store credit for future use. The new Fabletics brand was therefrom off the shelves, and had received resonant reception among the consumers.

Even today nonetheless, Fabletics has continually learned and changed its approach to align the brand with data generated from the growing consumer base. When competing with such giant brands as Lululemon, without their high-price advantage, needs to build a brand whose value is far more superior, and still affordable. The novel membership model has however a minimal yet reliable income stream, for Fabletics to attain high-end quality and retaining optimal affordability. The brand prides when consumers attest to the brand quality being much better than the expensive options in the market today.

Building affordable high quality is the ideology that Fabletics has excelled in across the social media, where consumer consumer data provides a reliable raw material for a competitive brand. At the heart of Fabletics is the desire to learn about the consumer, explaining the short quiz surveys that new members need to fill when opening an account. The responses generated help profile personalized alternatives for each member. Even more important however, is how Fabletics monitors the reaction of consumers in the social media campaigns to establish whether their brand succeeds in its primary objective with each consumer.

This year, Fabletics has announced plans to expand the brand coverage to include even the plus sizes. Ascribing to the firm believe that women should stay healthy, fit, and physically active regardless of their shape, size or color preference, Fabletics still holds firm to Kate Hudson’s ideology of the modern woman. She has always stressed, continually and passionately, the need to refine workout clothing for all women arguing that every woman should feel and look great with competitively priced workout clothing. She not only recommends that women should join yoga and remain active as part of their healthy lifestyle, but also to do so looking great.

Today, Don Ressler takes great pride in seeing the successes of their intervention in an industry previously insufficient and exploitative. Many times Kate Hudson has attested during interviews, that her successes as an actress is but an extension of being a perceptive businesswomen and a mother. In basis all operations on hard data evidence, Fabletics shares not only in her commendable personal ideology, but also in the identity of being consumer-centered. Indeed, Hudson’s convictions are evidently inherited from her mother, Goldie Hawn, who had pioneered the family’s success in Hollywood. Through the Hawn Foundation, the retired actress still plays her part in the society today. Indeed, Hawn still seeks to serve the cause of the modern woman just as Hudson now is, at Fabletics. To Don Ressler, Adam Goldenberg, and Hudson, the success of Fabletics goes far beyond financial rewards, to the heart of every woman. With Fabletics, born is a future where athletic wear can be extremely affordable, yet comfortable and attractive to meet every woman’s needs.

Read more about Fabletics in our previous article:
LA Entrepreneurs Don Ressler and Adam Goldenberg Are Reinventing How We Think About Technology and Fashion


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