Dione Song is currently the Chief Commercial Officer at Love, Bonito. Dione is responsible for driving the growth and strategy of their global expansion, fundraising and overseeing the brand’s performance, experience and innovation.
Love bonito started out as a passion project back in 2006, it has grown exponentially over the last 11 years to become one of Singapore’s largest fashion brands. They have secured close to 15 MIL USD in funding and Love Bonito has grown its revenue almost 3x from 2016 to 2018. Their ambitions extend far beyond this – we want to be the largest women’s lifestyle brand for the Modern Asian Woman, both in Asia, and beyond.
Listen to the full discussion here:
Connect with the Guests:
Dione Song: Linkedin
Some of the highlights from the podcast:
- Growing from a team of 50 to 250 in a span of three years.
- Understanding customer’s behavior
- The strength of omnichannel approach
- How Love, Bonito chooses their suppliers
- Using data to automate the entire fashion design process
- [01:30] Tell us a bit about your responsibilities in Love, Bonito and what excites you most about the company.
- [02:36] Three years ago we’re a team around 50 and today we’re a team around 250.
- [04:02] How do you see Love, Bonito down the line? What kind of milestone are you looking for next year?
- [05:17] A lot of the Asian consumers are far more understood because there’s no brand that is fit for them. What we are going for in Love, Bonita is for our content and communication to have an Asian sensibility to it.
- [06:12] What are some of the most important measures of success for the company? There is a lot of talk about “path to profitability” – what is your take on this?
- [10:09] What are the industry areas where you find there is lots of room for improvement? What are the white spaces in your industry?
- [10:20] When it comes to the retail industry, I guess in terms of white space in the market it would be the lack of experiential retail and the lack of community as well.
- [11:43] What does a meaningful interaction mean from your perspective?
- [14:02] What are some of the strengths of this omnichannel approach? How important is it for you to do both well – on the online and the offline side.
- [16:58] It’s about understanding the assortment and sort of the brand a little better. So you know how to style yourself when it comes to clothing, you know what to buy which supports the whole omnichannel approach.
- [17:36] How do you select the suppliers? It’s a matter of sustainability and eco-friendliness, what’s your criteria on this side?
- [18:09] Finding the right suppliers who have faith in the brand and faith in the girls on the team as well, and then actually just growing alongside them.
- [19:18] What are the technologies that are most important to you?
- [21:36] We invest more on the data side, how we can use data to automate the entire fashion design process.
- [23:04] Big data doesn’t really make sense unless you have a lot of data points.
- [24:47] Five years ago when it came to Omni Tech, there are a lot of brands doing something like magic mirrors in stores, but there was little adoption and if you think about it, does it really make sense?
- [25:53] What are some of the biggest challenges when it comes to scaling, and particularly from the e-commerce side perspective?
- [29:02] We made a future of retailing that your stores have to be a marketing platform to build that first interaction and impression on the customer.
- [29:53] What are some examples of putting these values in practice?
- [30:52] One of the values of Love, Bonito is to always keep it real. If there’s an issue, talk about it and do conflict management harmoniously.
- [35:22] How do you select the leaders reporting directly to you? What are you looking at?
- [36:53] We are looking for leaders that have that sense of maturity and humility. I also think that it is best to hire people that are better than yourself. I am comfortable hiring someone who is more intelligent than me.
- [39:27] Are there other avenues, tools, events or training that you are using in developing teams?
- [43:02] What is the best career wise advice that you received?
- [43:15] You try swimming and maybe you’ll drown, but at least it pushes yourself.