Try and Review's Alexia Sichere talks Power in Authentic User-Generated Content
Since 2012, French entrepreneur Alexia Sichere has shared her impresario spirit and startup joie de vivre through the various companies that she had started from scratch.
In them, she projects all the capabilities and capitation of living in a tech-enabled world, articulating the power of the consumer in the electronic age.
Alexia co-founded Try and Review, with Maelle Pochat in 2015. Since then, the team has catapulted the site to success, having scored partnerships with big clients such as Unilever, Brand's Suntory, L'Oreal and Kimberly Clark. Try and Review, a web platform, is one that boasts a neutral environment where users are able to leave their honest feedback on the free products that they have received and tried.
"We're the TripAdvisor for products," says Alexia. "We work hand-in-hand with brands from beauty to FMCG, offering them the opportunity to leverage our large base of consumers who are eager to be product testers, offering up their honest feedback on various brands."
Though Try and Review's strength is immediate in these benefits, it isn't all that they have to offer.
Along with the considerable digital and media exposure for brands, Try and Review is also seen by brands as an avenue to get their products well-known and their customer databases beefed up. "The key driver and major appeal to our clients is the user-generated content that is created," Alexia adds. "From ratings, reviews, pictures to videos, Try and Review builds and generates this wealth of authentic content that brands can leverage on to feed their marketing campaigns and use as valuable insights to further their development.".
Though Try and Review is seemingly taking off for Alexia, she insists that the key to succeeding as an entrepreneur is the ability to have patience and be focused on the right goals.
After all, any entrepreneurial career worth having is a marathon, not a sprint.
PASSION IS IMPORTANT, SETBACKS ARE INEVITABLE
There are ups and downs in every startup, especially the downs. Just because you've launched your company and gotten those new name cards, don't be disillusioned that everything would start working like magic. Being an entrepreneur is about putting in 200% and being humble enough to accept feedback, especially negative ones. Although setbacks are unavoidable, I believe that startups that keep their focus on building the right strategy and developing the right offer for their consumers are the ones who will succeed.
DON'T GO CHASING AFTER MONEY
I see a bubble that many startups are in, where they go running after raising funds and earning money when they should be focusing on selling their product and solution. We then end up with startups who fail to create value and end up burning cash. In the startup industry, there's too much of 'go faster' and fundraising activities. Consequently, when these companies run out of funds, they get stuck and aren't able to raise any more funds as their figures don't impress. In my opinion, this is a trap that many startups fall into, and the reason why they often fail.
THERE IS GREAT POTENTIAL IN AUTHENTIC USER-GENERATED CONTENT
Consumers today are less receptive than before to what the brand is saying about themselves.. Instead, they place their trust in other users who have been in their shoes and have tested the products they are using or keen on trying. No longer is it all about a beautiful model grasping a certain shampoo or perfume in her hand anymore. The truth is, brands need to engage and collaborate more with consumers, as it's the consumers who hold the power.
EMBRACING A FUTURE OF TECH
Try and Review is moving towards integrating more tech in our offerings. There will always be competition, and we aren't keen on getting caught up in a price war. Being equipped with the right tech tools to cater to our consumers' needs is very important. In the near future, I see us investing more in artificial intelligence to aid in our platform. A cool example would be using a consumer's laptop camera to diagnose the condition of their skin - All done remotely too! Additionally, we will be integrating an Saas platform on Try and Review in 2018, so our platform can also cater to the SMEs, giving them the flexibility to handle their processes without burning a hole in their budget.
PEOPLE ACROSS SOUTHEAST ASIA ARE INVESTED IN HEALTH AND WELLNESS
One of the most interesting insights that I've come across, is that people in Asia are really big on health supplements! One of our biggest clients is Brands, which is one we didn't expect as it breaks out of our usual beauty brand clientele. Asians are very keen on consuming health supplements. I thought it was weird at first, but it's part of their daily routine, as they're very health conscious and aim to treat their ailments with natural products, rather than opting for Western medicine.