July 30th, 2015
KK, our graphic designer here at Applied Imagination, has a pretty awesome gig outside of the office. When he’s not here creating amazing designs for our clients, KK is managing his own business through one of the world’s largest e-commerce sites: Taobao.
Starting a Business
The company is called JieCao, which means “trustworthy” and “responsible” in Chinese. KK and a close friend established JieCao to sell authentic toys and figurines from China’s most popular comics to Hollywood’s hugely successful superhero films. However, as carefree as selling collectibles may sound, KK faced some serious challenges when choosing to establish a business on China’s largest online marketplace.
Meeting the Challenges
Tabao is packed with stores, many of which sell similar products. In order to raise brand awareness and set his business apart, KK relied on the power of design. He personally constructed the VI system, redesigned the store pages, and even created an official website to convey a sense of professionalism that other stores do not.
The next step was to create a brand image. KK, who is a collector himself, had his colleagues take photos of their personal collections to be published on the store page in order to create a bond between the business and the customers through shared interest. He also took the time to gain certification by the biggest toy BBS in China, which adds to the company’s air of reliability.
Profit margins are meager in this business, so KK had to find a way to attract customers who often buy the cheaper, lower quality versions of the items he sells. To do so, he designed souvenirs like poker cards, stickers, and posters to be included as gifts with purchase and gained an edge over the competition.
In less than two years, JieCao has made nearly $30,000 USD, retained 500 regular customers, and garnered more than 80,000 page views in a market brimming with competition.
These results are due to hard work, originality, and resourcefulness . At Applied Imagination, we value these characteristics in all of our members and put in the same effort for our clients as we do our personal projects and businesses.