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Derisively included as a parenthetical, the line (at the end of this pull quote, because the lead up feels like solid context), read as follows …
Founded by Tyler Haney and Matt McIntyre in 2012 or 2013, depending on whom you ask, its rise and influence on the way people dress was documented by dozens of outlets… as was its spectacular fall, which perfectly encapsulated the tension that develops when venture capitalists look for fast, profitable growth in apparel companies that require a longer timeline to develop… By the time Haney was ousted as C.E.O. in early 2020, Outdoor Voices was losing money on something like $74 million a year in gross sales, according to this deck. (Mindshare over market share!)
A lot’s been made of the market recently, how a hard left to profitability and a cooling—almost frozen—VC environment will spell the end for a number of brands “who can’t get their [you know what] together” fast enough.
And so, you sort of feel like we’ll probably see a lot more articles like this Puck one. (And, to be fair, others started dumping on OV’s “failures” years ago.)
But it raises the question: Where’s the other coverage?
If a brand fails to capture—to twist the line above—market share that’s reflective of its mindshare, is that a failure? What constituted that disproportionate weighting?
Those feel like worthwhile questions to ask.
Could it be that mindshare is a leading indicator of market share? Or that mindshare might accelerate market share only after it reaches a certain point?
We don’t know the answers here, but it’s worth considering. And, if nothing else, it’s worth being a bit more generous with interpretations.
If, for instance, you can help swing a movement in the way Outdoor Voices did, shouldn’t that count for something? Market share is a business outcome, mostly, but mindshare is a brand outcome. You’d like to see the two intertwined, of course, but if it doesn’t happen, is it worth dissing the whole thing?
It also seems to suggest that the two need to be intertwined immediately. Yet, if we go back to the beginning of the above pull quote, there’s an acknowledgment of a “tension that develops when venture capitalists look for fast, profitable growth in apparel companies that require a longer timeline to develop.”
When Helena Price announced the short-lived shutdown of Haus, no one snorted at the fact that the brand, which helped make to low/no-alc scene what it is today, didn’t capture more market share despite its mindshare dominance.
If anything, there was a celebration of the brand’s contribution. Seems like the more appropriate mind…set, no?