Lyons Consulting Group builds digital experience for FootJoy

16 January 2019 Consultancy.uk

The website of global golf-wear brand FootJoy has received a retooling from Capgemini-owned Lyons Consulting Group. The firm’s implementation and support teams were tapped in order to optimise the FJ1857.com site, which showcases a new luxury range for golf lovers.

Launched in 1857, global sports and leisure retailer FootJoy provides a wide array of golf shoes, apparel, gloves and gear to men, women and children all over the world. As with a growing number of retailers recently, pressures from growing competition and the rise of e-commerce have led to the company looking to improve its digital offering, as it looks to drive growth going forward.

To this end, as the firm looked to launch a new collection of goods under the banner of FJ1857, FootJoy knew its respective website needed to be an exceptional brand experience and a reflection of the premium line of products on display. In order to deliver such an experience, FootJoy turned to Lyons Consulting Group, which has been a trusted partner of the retailer for more than three years, to bring to life the sophisticated features and experience FootJoy designed for the site.

Lyons Consulting Group builds digital experience for FootJoy

Global consultancy Capgemini acquired the Lyons Consulting Group for an undisclosed fee in the autumn of 2017. Hot on the heels of the firm’s recent purchase of Itelios, a prominent European Salesforce Commerce Cloud solutions provider, the addition expanded Capgemini's ability to meet the digital customer experience needs of its international client-base. Since then, Lyons has been engaged in a host of digital transformation exercises for retail brands of all shapes and sizes.

The latest task handed to Lyons saw it asked to ensure the FJ1857 collection was presented as an immersive digital experience from the moment a visitor reaches its site. With the work now complete, the homepage greets customers with an engaging video overlay and an assortment of premium products. This approach showcases FootJoy's craftsmanship in a new light, and the storytelling nature of the site encourages shoppers to spend more time engaging with the brand and learning about the extensive, 150-step shoemaking process.

Kristina Hennessey, Head of Direct to Consumer Business Operations at FootJoy, said, "FootJoy wanted to release an elevated site experience that represents the premium brand. Together with our FootJoy creative team and Lyons, we were able to achieve that.”

Dave Barr, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President at Lyons, added, “Lyons is proud to have worked with [FootJoy] on a variety of instrumental projects over several years. With the recently launched FJ1857 site, luxury crafted shoes and apparel are showcased using video overlay and photography. This design elevates the customer's online shopping experience to a whole new level."

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Consumer goods start-ups grow interest from venture capital

23 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Funding the latest consumer goods start-up has been a real money-spinner for venture capitalist firms, with a number of $1 billion companies – or unicorns – having emerged in the space in recent years. New analysis has explored the resulting corporate consumer products activity in the acquisitions space.

Consumer products have enjoyed years of strong growth as new markets opened in developing Asia. China in particular has enjoyed strong growth across a range of consumer good types as the country’s middle class expanded. Private equity firms have been keen to pick up targets in the space as they expand their portfolios to include additional local capacity as well as customers in new markets.

As a result, a study from Bain & Company has found that interest from PE firms in the consumer product space grew sharply in 2018, hitting 6.1% of all invested capital for the year, and making it the third most sought-after category. It is now only behind financial services (23.9%) and advanced manufacturing and services (13.9%).

Corporate venture capital investment

The ‘M&A in Disruption: 2018 in Review’ research found that growth in the segment reflects key changes in the segment as a whole. This is particularly true of insurgent brands, which often leverage local expertise in order to take on international giants in domestic markets.

Short change

The market changes have led to shifts in motivations for consumer goods company investments from PE firms. The number of strategic investments stood at 50% in 2015 compared to deals that increased scope. This has shifted significantly, with 34% of deals focused on strategic outcomes in 2018 compared to 66% for scope. The move towards scope reflects companies seeking out fast-growing products that enable stronger revenue growth streams.

Acceleration in scope-oriented M&A in consumer products

However, there were other motivations for deal activity in the space. Activist investors have put pressure on companies to expand their portfolios in recent years, with the trend expanding from just US targets to Europe.

Further trends

The other key shift in the space regards outbound deal activity. The study found that outbound deal activity has increased significantly in the Americas (up 363%) with total deal volume up only slightly (15%). Key deals included Coca-Cola and Costa, Procter & Gamble and Merck’s consumer health unit, and PepsiCo and SodaStream. In the Asia-Pacific region, outbound deal activity rose 195% while total deal activity fell sharply, by -36%. The EMEA region saw both a sharp decline in outbound deal activity, at -68%, as well as lower overall deal activity, which fell by 32%.

Cross-regional deal making

Deal-making in the current environment is increasingly fraught with uncertainties, as business models change on the back of new technologies, new consumer sentiments and wider market changes from new entrants. As such, acquisitions are increasingly useful as possible hedges on changes in market direction. As such, companies are increasingly pressed to take a future-back position, making sure to incorporate a vision of how the company needs to look in five years into acquisition strategy.

The firm notes that certain acquisitions which enhance a remembrance of a nobler mission, revive a sense of entrepreneurialism and engage directly with consumers may be necessary qualities in acquisitions that transform a company to fit market expectations in the coming decade. While going forward, focus on innovation, partnering with retail winners, reducing cost base and constantly reallocating scare resources will be necessary to protect market share in areas where insurgent local and strategic competitors are active.

Related: Private equity asset growth top priority for 2018.