Spoken Pioneers Demystifying Entrepreneurship And White Labeling In Retail
While both Dane Hurtubise and Geoff Abraham were newcomers to the retail scene, they transformed a perplexing encounter with white labeling into an innovative startup called Spoken.
Core Concept Behind Devicing “Spoken”
It all started when Dane encountered a common issue – a missing part from a coffee table he’d purchased. This seemingly mundane problem turned into an eye-opening experience when he discovered that the table, bought from Urban Outfitters, was actually manufactured by Sauder, and the very same product was sold at Home Depot for half the price.
This realization sparked the concept of Spoken – a platform committed to helping consumers uncover the truth behind white-labeled products and ensure they’re getting the best prices.
Spoken first came into existence in November, offering insights into 50 items they’d traced from Urban Outfitters. The duo began “codebreaking” product data across several online furniture stores, gradually expanding their catalog to encompass 40 popular furniture retailers, including giants like Wayfair.
Their method employs a combination of human and machine intelligence to keep their site updated daily with current prices and new items that evade conventional Google searches.
Spoken Being An Absolute Third Party Crasher
Debuted in November 2021, founders Hurtubise and Abraham exposed 50 items on Urban Outfitters. If they are to be believed, the only focus is to provide customers with the name of places to find the same products at lower prices. For instance, the $139 Ciara Flower Vanity Stool by Urban Outfitters is sold at $119.99 under a similar name, “Linon Seraphina Vanity Stool.”
Further, it began “codebreaking” when Hurtuibuise began mapping his product data on other furniture stores. He introduced “40 shops” in the name of famous furniture sellers, including Wayfair. The secret here is that their website is updated regularly by both machines and humans.
A portion of this procedure is turning savvy to retailers who use strategies for disguising white-labeled products. Have you ever wondered why certain eCommerce sites use CGI product photographs rather than 2D images?
Sometimes, retailers do this and combine other words or images in the background. The reason is they don’t want consumers to search for a product by its reverse Google image. They ensure that consumers do find a cheaper alternative elsewhere.
A Fresh Approach
The duo did not have much retailing experience. However, Abraham said it was more a benefit than a loss. They must be able to spot any product in every store that sells it. That is what empowers an individual as a consumer and buyer. However, this has remained a radical idea for most folks for a long period of time.
This radical concept sparked the interest of consumers. As a result, Spoken now has more than 100,00 users increasing monthly. All of them are supported by TikTok’s “organic viral moments.” This agnostic yet gradual approach has ended retailers opting for the wrong products.
Since the late 1980s, White Labelling has been immensely growing. As a result, these products and the share of retailers continue to blend in the right proportion. There has been a complete transition towards the white-label approach.
Manufacturers are acquiring products at a cheaper rate, and young generations are turning to be excessively cynical. They are not very responsive to marketing. This is good news for scaling the assortment of products that might have an impact on the quality.
5 Entrepreneurial Skills From Spoken’s Founders
Reflecting on their journey, Spoken founders Geoff and Dane identify five fundamental skills that they believe have fueled their venture:
1. Fostering Robust Relationships
The genesis of Spoken lies in the solid camaraderie between Dane and Geoff. They acknowledged that entrepreneurship is not a solo endeavor but rather a journey requiring mutual support and collaboration. They relied heavily on each other’s expertise, dedication, and passion for making Spoken a reality.
2. Exhibiting Unwavering Self-Belief
Entrepreneurship often appears irrational to outsiders. Throughout their journey, Geoff and Dane encountered numerous naysayers subtly hinting at their imminent failure. Yet, they understood the importance of trusting their intuition and making informed decisions.
Geoff reflected, “I should be able to identify any given item everywhere that it’s sold. And that would really empower me as a consumer and buyer. But, I think it’s a really radical idea for folks that have been in this space for a long time.”
3. Possessing a Beginner’s Mind or Endless Curiosity
Spoken was born out of an insatiable curiosity – a determination to understand why the furniture was priced so variably across different retailers. Their fresh, unbiased perspective, combined with an unwavering thirst for knowledge, equipped Geoff and Dane with the necessary tools to spot an overlooked opportunity and pursue it relentlessly.
4. Demonstrating a Bias Toward Action
Entrepreneurship invariably involves tackling unsolved problems and making tough choices. Spoken’s trajectory wasn’t defined solely by its initial concept but by Geoff and Dane’s capacity to act swiftly and decisively. Their agility and commitment to action allowed them to outmaneuver larger, established competitors.
5. Maintaining a User-Centric Approach
Above all, Geoff and Dane prioritized their users. They were meticulous in observing user interactions with Spoken, taking into account their feedback to shape the platform’s evolution. Dane explained, “By having this agnostic approach as to what retailer you end up picking, it enables us to be in this space where no one else exists.”
They believe this user-centric philosophy has been crucial in aligning Spoken’s services with the real needs and desires of consumers.
Success Dosn’t Happen Overnight
While the duo is still navigating their way in the retail industry with Spoken, they are challenging traditional norms and empowering consumers with greater control over their purchasing decisions.
They represent a dynamic example of a burgeoning startup in the retail space, inspiring aspiring entrepreneurs to take the leap into the unexplored. Explore Spoken’s site today and unveil the world of white-label furniture.