“All people wear clothes!” declared one of Tagbrand’s founders on stage at Disrupt today. That’s true, but let’s review.
DailyBooth was (is still perhaps?) a phenomenon for a time as people became accustomed to sharing their daily lives in a more quirky manner than mere video can afford. (Ok, OK, it’s a bunch of teenagers sharing their zits, but work with me here, people). Now Tagbrand wants to apply that model to fashion, but with a tagging twist.
The model is simple enough. Take and upload photos of what branded clothes you are wearing and tag them. Effectively, it’s a photo check-in for brands, or ‘Foursquare for fashion’, if you will.
The twist is that users are encouraged to tag up pictures with a visual tag of what brand each item of clothing is. Alas, the site does not yet do visual recognition of the clothes. Maybe one day…
TagBrand doesn’t call this check-ins, but – wait for it – “brand-ins”. People can then comment or vote on the brands their friends are wearing. Clearly the opportunity here is to capture a fashion-obsessed audience and provide a platform for advertisers.
Thus, although Tagbrand is like DailyBooth if everyone on DailyBooth was obsessed with fashion, it’s this tagging element which looks pretty viral.
The product combines contains brands, polls and e-commerce. There’s a lot of virality built into the service – every tags has a Twitter or Facebook button on it.
But clearly the people who do this are obsessed with fashion. TagBrand gives them the tools to be obsessive. The polls certainly feature makes the experience more entertaining when you’re trying clothes out.
Now, clothing brands and retail stores are constantly chasing these people. This is one way of delivering them a highly targeted audience. Tagbrand’s business model is based on creating a special marketplace for them which is visible while browsing the brand’s tag on a photo. The stores provide Tagbrand with a price-list and its system attaches them to a “Recommended” block.
So while browsing their friends’ clothes, users see the real-world item beside the image and can purchase from there (click are on a CPC basis). Users also get delivered latest news on brands they such as new collections.
Admittedly they have older competition in the UK operation, WIWT.com, but Tagbrand’s visual tags are a slightly cuter way of doing it.
TagBrand has secured a $100,000 seed investment from Russian investor Glavstart, while founders Ivan Olenchenko and Alexandr Kobozev have been working on startup projects in Russia for a while now. (And we should add they did a pretty good pitch at a TechCrunch meetup in Moscow last year).
Judges asked about extending the app into giving users the ability to upload their own home made brands, and that seemed to be on the cards according to the founders.
Currently in Russian and English, the app launches today in the US.
The Judges also had an issue about copyright and the images uploaded, which seems a fair point.
Right now 80% of usage of the product is on the iPhone app versus 20% on the web.
So far they’ve had 15,000 registered users in 2 months with no promotion/marketing just in the Russian market. With about $4.5 billion spent annually on advertising clothes, they reckon there’s plenty of money to be made out there. Da!