Lessons learnt from trying – Part 7

It’s been exactly 2 years since I last wrote about my brother getting meningitis, a lot has happened since but reading back on my past blog posts has made me decide to continue to write the story in sequential order. This does mean I have to delve further into my memories which will be tough but ultimately therapeutic and a chance to reflect on how I have got to where I am now. The happiest I’ve ever been.

I had returned to Bournemouth from London as early as possible as it would allow us to get back on the ball with Finc, get to work shipping our new 6 designs and getting as many people to talk about what we did.

On the first day of my second year at uni, (which subsequently was one unit I had to retake) we woke up to one of my old colleagues that I worked with at Superdry’s post on my fb wall:

Check out the “article” here

Damn, that plan of sending a hat to Zayn Malik, the guy that is now 2X Platinum solo artist worked. He just happened to break his leg the day he wore it and subsequently had the paparazzi all over him. This was unbelievable exposure for us and we were taken aback from the amount of interest we were getting, and even more surprising was the amount of attention coming from the United States. However this PR wasn’t representative in web traffic and as the Devils hat wasn’t something we had any keyword ads for there was no direct reward for being on Zayn’s head.

Retrospectively, now that I have a better understanding of analytics in general, I have looked at the old google analytics account and it’s great to see we were doing so well with not a penny in advertising. It’s a shame though that I didn’t know what I know now as combining the data from google and facebook is the most powerful way to get a results from digital. One thing for sure is we could have done with some more traffic.

Below is the overview of October to December 2012:

21,500 page hits in three months, with a bounce rate 1.37% above that dreaded 40%. Looking at this now makes me smile. I’ve highlighted the outrageous spike to 3,500 page views in a day. Well a couple weeks after the Zayn “Hype” I had received an email from Donnie Kwak, a US based reported for ESPN. He was gutted we had sold out of Gunners hats and wondered if we had any in stock. We sent him 6 hats including a couple Gunners thats were in the back of our stock room. 

He was very happy when he got his package, so much so he told us about wanting to do a piece on us. It was an awesome experience being interviewed over Skype and when the piece went live we had so many tweets and shares on all social networks. Check out the article here.

Orders were coming in frequently and the packing/trips to the post office were a very boring part of the job. Matt had quit his degree in Marine Biology and pursued a highly regarded Product Design degree at Bournemouth. We were beginning to spend less time together and had different lifestyles. Myself very much on the sesh and Matt preferring to spend more time on his studies. Both of us were not perfect at running a business but how could we be at 19 years old?

We didn’t really have a long term plan like it said in that ESPN article, it was very much a go with the flow thing and to top it all off we were about to be crushed by some big time lawyers. Little did we know this was a ticking time bomb that would see the end of our venture.

“Dear Sirs,

NetResult act on behalf of The Football Association Premier League with regard to matters concerning online intellectual property rights protection.

It has come to our attention that your website http://www.finc.uk.com/collections/all is displaying products using the following Premier League club trade marks without authorisation:

Arsenal “Gunners” – (CTM E643080) and canon logo (TM 2309102)
Newcastle “Magpies” – (TM 1528761)
Spurs “Spurs” – (CTM E1899525)
West Ham “Hammers” (TM 2288320)

We wish to make you aware that we have a good faith belief that use/display of the above material in the manner complained of is not authorised by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

Please immediately cease all such infringements on any and all of your web sites and confirm to us via email that you have done so.

Nothing in this letter is intended or shall be construed to constitute an express or implied waiver of any of The Premier League’s nor its Clubs rights or remedies, including any rights or remedies in respect of infringement not explicitly stated, whether current or in the future, all of which are expressly reserved.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Yours faithfully,