November 4, 2015
While many women grow up dreaming of shopping for their prom dress or wedding dress, most men (and all tux-wearing women) live in terror of needing to rent a tux. If you talk to anyone who has recently rented a tux from a traditional formal wear shop, you get stories of never trying on your actual garment until basically the event, of ill-fitting tuxes, and awkward pictures. With Menguin, Justin Delaney is making tux-rental more comfortable and enjoyable for everyone. The company builds connections with its customers, and ends up creating experiences infinitely more satisfactory than actually going into a formal-wear shop to rent a tux.
The business’s model is simple. Menguin uses an algorithm to fit each customer accurately and also reaches out to most customers personally to review sizes in order to be as accurate as possible. The customers can customize the look of their suit. They receive their garment about a week before their event. If it doesn’t fit, Menguin ships a replacement. Menguin is able to do this easily. Like Amazon, they have warehouses strategically located throughout the United States and can reach 99 percent of the population within one or two days. After the event, customers return the tux with a prepaid label. Done.
While many businesses have tried to capitalize on the rent-and-return model, made popular by the incredible success of Netflix and Rent the Runway, this startup is carving itself a space in the industry by changing a negative experience. Many of the rent and return businesses have struggled because they’re trying to change an experience people actually enjoy, like buying toys for their kids.
Most men, however, hate Men’s Wearhouse, and bridal dress shops keep tuxedos in the house as a sideline business. Menguin, meanwhile, focuses solely on providing suits and tuxes. Reviewers agree that their process is simple and streamlined, their fabrics are wonderful, and their color matching is beyond expectation.
Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn
Putting Customer Experience First
This company puts its customer experience first. The company isn’t revolutionary in terms of the products it provides: high quality suits. It’s not even the first rent-a-tux company on the Internet. But when you look through reviews from Menguin, what is striking is the ease of the customer experiences. Those who come looking for a suit find it easy to input measurements, choose a style, get their product, and they’re satisfied with how they feel when they put on their rented formal-wear.
Menguin has created this customer first culture by training all employees in customer service. Also, everyone takes service calls, emails, and chats daily to address customer needs. This helps Menguin have an uncanny grasp on what the customer wants and needs. Menguin’s founders COO Kurt Sutton and CEO Justin Delaney are adamant with remaining connected to the customer and routinely take customer service shifts each week, including overnight shifts.
There is no product or service so unique that no one else is offering anything remotely similar. New businesses ideas are most successful when they distinguish themselves by offering the best experience. Menguin’s website is sleek and easy to navigate. The casual browser isn’t overwhelmed with hundreds of styles of tuxedos, but they also don’t swear that one style is going to look amazing on every customer.
Website Optimized for User Experience
Their website is masterfully designed, seamlessly integrating a fresh and classic feel without overloading you with fancy tricks. It looks just as good on mobile devices, absolutely key in the modern economy, and each webpage is nicely targeted towards a particular keyword and step of the process. This helps the website draw in more search traffic.
Recognizing a Second Market
Menguin is aware that it has a second audience for its menswear in brides. While many tux-wearers may be choosing their own look for a special event, like a company party or a prom, at least in the stereotypical setup of a wedding party, it’s the bride who is most concerned about the event’s look and feel. The page for brides precisely and carefully targets those concerns, assuring brides that they’ll have a measure of control over the process of their groomsmen trying on tuxes and determining fit.
Many modern companies struggle to connect with their audiences, not entirely sure how to create a sense that the company and customer are partners when so many of their interactions occur through the Internet, with no face-to-face time. Menguin’s webpage solves this neatly, connecting customers to their experience, and helping them to feel that there’s nowhere else they’d have such a fantastic experience.
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