Pierre Poignant, has had an interesting route to becoming CEO at BRANDED, which stretches back to his time studying at MIT in the US. Having met his wife there, they returned to live in her home country of Singapore.
In 2012 he co-founded the Lazada marketplace as South East Asia was embarking in the digital revolution. After 5 years, Lazada was acquired by Alibaba and Pierre became the CEO working closely in Hangzhou with Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang. In the summer of 2020, having seen the opportunity to curate and grow micro-brands, Pierre eventually returned to Europe and co-founded BRANDED as a way to partner with brand founders or fully acquire them. He now focuses on building niche brands into household names that people love.
We asked Pierre to tell us more about the BRANDED story and this is what he had to say:
Who are BRANDED?
We were founded in late 2020 when our co-founders came together to discuss the opportunity in the market to revolutionize the consumer goods industry. What was before a business of mass brands, is rapidly becoming a business of niche brands, catering to more personalized consumer preferences. With that in mind, we are building an ecommerce platform that has the scale to transform online businesses into global consumer brands.
Our global team is over 250 strong, with seasoned experts in their fields rapidly scaling right now over 40 brands! We focus on key consumer categories like beauty, home, and wellness, in order to deliver compelling products & brand stories, firmly believing in the rising power of smaller, digitally-native brands to capture consumer attention. By leveraging our end-to-end operational experience and technology core, we help brands reach a global audience.
What does BRANDED do?
Put simply, we acquire, accelerate, and amplify brands using our infrastructure of resources and expertise. We choose to partner with successful entrepreneurs with high-potential & established customer bases, but who are hitting a bottleneck or a plateau because we believe that BRANDED has the right mix of capabilities and efficiencies to amplify their current success across marketplaces, channels, and geographies.
We approach the acquisition process with a true partnership mentality always taking into consideration each entrepreneur’s priorities when choosing to exit. We know it’s an emotional process and we bring flexibility to the table so that each entrepreneur gets value in the way that’s most important for them. Many of our founders choose to stay on with us for several years, choosing to partner to fuel the growth of their brand in a way they couldn’t have achieved before.
What expertise does BRANDED bring to a business?
Many of the businesses that join BRANDED are operating extremely lean, meaning that there’s little time to focus on anything other than day-to-day running the business. With BRANDED, we inject resources and value into every aspect of running the business from branding to product development to inventory management and more – allowing founders that stay on to work on parts of the business they love.
We have teams with deep expertise in international expansion, direct-to-consumer, growth marketing, social media, marketplace account management, etc., and we can add value immediately.
When a brand joins the BRANDED community, we start with a 100-day plan that accelerates your growth while in parallel putting the building blocks in for a long-term strategy that dives into new product launch, marketplace expansion, international, and omnichannel.
Tell us about the value of the marketplace acquisition model?
In this model, companies have raised collectively over $10B in venture capital in just a few years. Meaning that for online businesses, there’s this timely opportunity to pause and think about the future of your business.
Where do you envision your products being sold in 5 or 10 years? Do you have the resources you need to achieve that? How much “sweat equity” has gone into your business and what if you had the opportunity to benefit from it now while continuing to work on your brand? Or if you had the opportunity to start all over on a new project?
At this moment, ecommerce brand owners can really plot out their future and visualize opportunities that they haven’t had a chance to before.
Why should I sell my brand or partner with BRANDED?
We’re entrepreneurs, too! We know what it takes to compete and win on ecommerce marketplaces globally. We fight for our brands the way you hustle day in and day out for your business.
We conduct our valuation and acquisitions process with fairness and integrity, with a true partnership mentality, making sure to prioritize what’s important for each individual entrepreneur. We know that selling your business can be an emotional process and you want a partner by your side that believes in the potential of your brand. We take a long-term view when building our platform or making critical investment decisions, ensuring the success of our brands for years to come.
Why start BRANDED in the middle of a pandemic?
Especially in a pandemic, we believed that in the value we could create as a platform. Many of the macro ecommerce trends are complex, global issues which are nearly impossible for small businesses to tackle on their own. With economies of scale, a company like BRANDED can navigate the supply chain crisis to minimize disruptions and diversify operations globally to decrease risk.
With challenges like Brexit, we can push through the legal and administrative headache of selling across borders for all our brands collectively. With increasing regulation on consumer data privacy and how it affects digital marketing, we have the resources to dive deeper into consumer behavior, insights, and analytics to drive purchasing. The pandemic accelerated ecommerce adoption and companies must make these types of capability investments in order to grow after a certain point and reach the global market. Rather than setting out on your own, BRANDED can provide the capital and tools necessary to approach these challenges head on.
What’s my first step if I want to find out more?
We’d love to connect with you in any situation. Whether you’re looking to sell or just curious about what we do, we can offer valuable advice on how to be best positioned for your future. You can fill out this contact form, visit our website, or e-mail us directly at [email protected].