Business leaders have a unique opportunity to learn from trends in other industries and then apply this knowledge to gain competitive advantage in their own industry.
For example, the current transparency trend is driving developments within the retail market, often the first to feel change. This can be seen in the way a strong team culture, which includes sustainability and positive employment practice, is increasingly used as a selling point rather than a back of house issue. Consumers are researching a company’s ethics and employment practice as part of their purchasing decision, measuring the way a company acts next to the quality of their product.
Could greater transparency help boost sales?
Fast-growing startup GlamCorner is harnessing these forward-thinking trends to change the fashion industry for the better, demonstrating how sustainable practice and engaging with staff at all levels of delivery provides competitive advantage.
With a vision to solve the “I’ve got nothing to wear” crisis many women face, University of Sydney alumni Audrey Khaing-Jones and Dean Jones hatched the idea of GlamCorner, an online mecca of designer clothes from local and international brands that women can rent at an affordable price.
Through GlamCorner, consumers can engage with a brand, browse and choose products from their smartphones, creating a simple, automated journey from discovery to delivery. All items come with a prepaid return satchel and the cleaning is done back at base.
The Sydney start-up has become the leading online destination for rented designer wear, successfully creating fashion’s answer to the circular economy model.
Retail disruptors like GlamCorner demonstrate the importance of relationship building. In a recent global survey, 83% of consumers rated transparency and ethical behaviour as the cornerstone to building trust in a business.* Through the development of consumer culture clubs, businesses are reimagining their business models to be attention-seizing rather than attention-saving, replacing plummeting prices and mass production with memorable customer service from engaged staff and immersive online experiences.
The marriage of ethics and transparency has strengthened the B-Corp certified GlamCorner, which uses the power of business to create a positive impact on the world through sustainable fashion. “We see this as a business priority because it's the right thing to do,” explains Audrey. “We're still small and we cannot change the world but every bit counts. It's part of our DNA. With the team as well, it's really important they believe in our vision.”
This ethical-yet-revolutionary approach resonates with customers. GlamCorner now has more than 60 staff backed by a dedicated and growing fanbase.
The University of Sydney Business School’s MBA Director Professor Guy Ford says that ‘the Business School is committed to inspiring and enabling future generations of leaders through this "business not as usual" approach to thoughtfully questioning the status quo around issues such as transparency and ethics.’
Ranked number one in Australia**, the Business School's MBA focuses on you as the individual and how to set you up to thrive in a community of professionals who are reimagining their industries and the future of business.
* Sai Global Consumer Trust Index 2017
**Australian Financial Review BOSS Magazine MBA Rankings