30 Admired Companies To Watch 2020
"We are obsessed with helping brands crack the code of traffic and maximize sales performance"
Founder Sandrine Zerbib and the Senior partner Victoria Glanz are from a brand background. While Sandrine has worked with a brand business in China for the past 26 years, Victoria is from strategic consulting in retail and is a digital native.
After giving advices to other brands for quite a few years about their retail development and optimization, the company became serious about shifting the focus of Full Jet towards fast-developing market, all the more so as the premium segment is the most dynamic segment of e-commerce in China today and it needed a different approach, much more brand driven, than that used until then for mass market brands.
Services and offerings in detail
Full Jet offers a turnkey solution for premium brands which want to succeed in the challenging and baffling China e-commerce world, mainly in the sports, fashion and lifestyle categories.
Technically speaking, they are a “TP” (Taobao Partner, the traditional name given to e-store operators in China, be it on Tmall or other market places), i.e. “we provide a full set of services to launch and operate our clients’ brands e-stores on major Chinese e-commerce platforms – such as Tmall, JD, or wechat.”
However, Full Jet is quite different from other TPs, as it combines e-com operation services with consulting services and digital marketing services.
This unique combination of services comes from its conviction from day 1 that a brand cannot address separately its digital communication and its e-commerce. Users are the same, whether browsing on Tmall or checking the wechat moment of their favourite influencers. It is all part of the same consumer journey and It is therefore key for brands to have an integrated approach of the different possible digital touchpoints and to leverage strategically the best combination of channels and work on the different levers of traffic and conversion inside and outside of the market-places.
The recent evolution of most marketplaces in China have proven us right: Wechat offers commerce functions and Tmall has developed multiple content functions in the platform – from social media, to specific Tmall KOL, livestreaming and other video opportunities.
“In order to truly integrate e-commerce and digital communication at large, we have put in place a unique process, called SESAME: the objective is to help premium brands find their Sesameand succeed holistically in the Chinese digital ecosystem.”
In convo with the Founder, Sandrine Zerbib and Senior partner, Victoria Glanz
No company is perfect. Problems arise frequently. How do you maintain your stand in the market?
China e-commerce is a very dynamic and competitive market where players fight for the best talents.
Our biggest challenge is to attract them, and make them loyal.
We therefore invested in resources, processes and a company culture that can be quite attractive to young blood candidates, eager to work in a differentiating e-commerce company and willing to crack the code of China e-commerce.
In this ever-increasing market competition, what do you think, is your company a leader or a follower?
We are not a leader by the size of our company, but a leader in our segment.
We are the only TP in China offering this kind of sophisticated approach to e-commerce, rooted in marketing, and with a strong brand focus.
This approach was natural for us given our background, but what really makes a difference is the corresponding methodology and team organization we have put in place to make it a daily reality.
For example, we have a unique creative team be it for e-commerce copy and visuals or digital communication creatives.
We also decided to leverage our e-commerce operational knowledge and strategic capabilities and provide consulting services to big size organizations that want to address specific e-commerce related issues. For such Brands/Retailers, we act as e-commerce technicians with a very strong strategic thinking approach.
Current market demands are sky-high, how do you stay relevant to your customers?
The key for us is to maintain our focus on brands. This is the surest way to stay relevant to customers. Premium brands are the fastest growing segment in China digital landscape.
Combining this focus with a data driven and consumer centric approach ensures relevance in our eyes.
Share with us three experiences that have brought you here.
Be it Sandrine 26 years ago or Victoria 8 years ago, it is all about a love at first sight story: China is addictive and once we set a foot here, we could not leave anymore.
Sandrine had not planned to spend half of her life in China, when she arrived in Shanghai in early 1994 for a consulting assignment for adidas. And yet she’s been here since then, first building and developing the China business of adidas form its naissance stage to its current leading position, then developing Full Jet out of a desire to be at the heart of where things are happening: the Chinese digital market.
Victoria first came to China for an internship and then promised to herself that, one way or another, she will be back here. And she was back first in Beijing with a major strategic consulting firm, then in Shanghai with Full Jet.
The 2 women felt even stronger together – a shared passion for China and for new ventures and a perfect combination of experience and energy.
This gave them the guts to start Full Jet TP activities from scratch and to win pitches with major international brands in their first year as TP. Their understanding of the Brand needs, and the challenges that Alibaba was for Premium positioning; as well as, their know-how in retail, merchandising, pricing, and marketing led them to win pitches against established TP players.
That’s how Full Jet TP venture was born.
What advice would you like to give to the budding companies?
Have a clear and focused positioning and fight within your positioning and segment.
Don’t try to attack the whole market or the navigate in the entire ocean; it is a waste of energy and money.
Last but not least, cash-flow is crucial, even for service providers, and to be able to manage it right from the very beginning is key to durably succeed.
If you could change one thing about the company, what would it be?
We would be more selective with Brands we entered in our Portfolio in the early days. Success in China e-commerce is far from being easy. It takes a brand with unique features and products, that bring something new to the China market and which is ready to invest in the market and adapt where needed to meet the needs of Chinese consumers. Sandrine and Victoria had to learn how to say no to some brands that were not ready for the China challenge.
Where do you envision the company to reach in a couple of years from now?
Sandrine and Victoria want Full Jet to become the absolute reference for Premium Brands who want to succeed in China e-commerce.
If a brand can make it in China, it can make it anywhere: China is the most advanced but also the most competitive e-commerce environment. It is therefore a lab for the rest of the world and Full Jet’s ambition is to bring their know-how beyond China to the rest of the world.