When we started Coeur, we were lucky enough to realize that an advisory board would (hopefully) keep us from making any huge mistakes. We were also lucky that we had a good network of friends who had a wide range of skills.
In a recent meeting with one of our advisors the question of competitive advantage came up. Specifically, we were asked about ours. After a bit of thinking we agreed that while we try to do everything well, there are three specific things that we’d classify as competitive advantages.
- The construction & design of our clothing. In a way, it can be easy to start a women’s sports clothing company. Especially in the cycling and triathlon arena. There are companies that produce stock kits and you can send them your designs and they print your designs on their standard clothing. There are several women’s specific companies that do just this. Rather than going this route, we elected to make our women’s triathlon kits, our running shorts and tops, our cycling jerseys, our bikinis and our compression wear from absolute scratch. Each panel of fabric is cut to our specs and the gear is designed 100% for a women’s body. Once we’re completely sure we have gear that can perform, we add fashion-forward designs that ensure the kits are stylish and super cute.
- Customer Satisfaction. The service mentality is part of our DNA and ultimately, customer service is everyone’s job but we have to brag on Andrea who responds to most of the questions. She’s amazing and an absolute joy. In addition, we know it’s probably odd to brag about how easy it is to make returns but we know that it’s very important to customers that they can return things if need be. And while it doesn’t happen often, we’re proud that we’ve got a no questions asked return policy and have just implemented a new system to make it even easier. Finally, we think the fact that we offer Free Shipping is a fairly big deal.
- Our Mission. We don’t want to sound cliché but we really, really want to make the world a better place. We have a list of things we’d like to improve that includes:
- Encouraging more people to make health and fitness a priority in their lives
- Helping to grow endurance sports
- Helping professionals in endurance sports earn more money
It’s probably odd to think that a mission is a competitive advantage but it certainly helps drive us.
So there you have it. We’re betting that great gear, a commitment to customer satisfaction and a mission to change the world will help make us a success.