Suitsupply has not fully matured just yet. Fokke de Jong (CEO and Founder): “Maturity implies a company is nearly finished growing, and for Suitsupply, this is not the case. We are in the process of professionalizing and realizing an extensive integration between online and offline. All this will result in more growth.” Suitsupply currently has 84 locations spread out over 22 countries. Nick Lenten (CPO/CMO) was hired in May 2017 to further shape the transition. He is expanding the team with a Head of Product to help formulate a clear vision for the future.
Suitsupply was founded in 2000 as an online store. Back then, online shopping wasn’t as common as it is today. They needed to adapt and so the focus shifted to retail. The online store always remained active and is currently experiencing a strong resurgence. Besides the online store, other online sales channels like WhatsApp and Instagram are also in full swing. Thirty percent of the total turnover (207 million Euros in 2016) comes from Suitsupply’s online channel.
Suitsupply helps men – and since recently also women – to look their best every day. In order to achieve this, Suitsupply strives to become the best omni-channel fashion brand worldwide. They are continually developing a unique customer experience for every aspect of the customer journey. Each of Suitsupply’s eight product teams are responsible for one specific part of that journey. This ranges from informing customers about the latest collection, a crisp UX in the online store, retargeting through the Google Display Network all the way to the perfect check-out. At the same time, all teams work together closely to ensure every aspect connects seamlessly to the others.
Vacancy: Head of Product
The Head of Product means the same to the team of nine Product Owners as what a coach means to a talented football team. The Head of Product makes sure every player has the opportunity to excel individually, he or she puts everyone in the right position, ensures streamlined teamwork, develops a training schedule to improve on any weaknesses and formulates the strategy.
“I expect the Head of Product to see the bigger picture: what are we really building towards, what will it take and how do we get there?” – Nick Lenten, CMO/CPO
The product: mission, vision and strategy
From the beginning, Suitsupply did things differently. Back in 2000, nobody believed a suit costing a few hundred Euros could be of the same quality as those manufactured by one of the top brands. They also thought selling suits online would never work. Suitsupply proved them wrong.
The strong brand name, the innovative mindset, access to vast amounts of data, an extensive customer database and in-house professional talent all ensure Suitsupply can launch these kinds of concepts successfully. The question for the Head of Product: what is the long-term vision? For every part of the journey and for every channel the Head of Product formulates a goal. What, for example, is suitsupply.com’s core function within the customer journey as a whole? Which propositions and features does this consist of? What is the ratio between the website and the app and how do all the 84 locations fit into that picture? The inter-connectivity between all the existing concepts will continually be improved upon, new ideas will be tested against the long-term vision and they will subsequently be developed into concrete plans.
The Head of Product is an experienced leader. He/she manages nine Product Owners and is closely involved with the acquisition of new talent. The challenge here is to get the entire team onboard with the long-term vision and facilitate them where needed. A good Head of Product inspires by presenting a long-term vision, and understands its successful implementation is dependent on the smallest details. The team uses the Scrum-method, making it essential the Head of Product has significant experience working with this method.
“Through the addition of an enthusiastic, ambitious and experienced Head of Product, the team can truly take off. Not just solving any problems that may arise, but really thinking about what we’re working towards. Analyzing data and making decisions based on exactly that.” – Nick Lenten, CMO/CPO
Whenever a brilliant idea emerges, the Head of Product ensures it will be put on the backlog helping the team develop a ‘minimum viable product’ (MVP). After one of two feedback-loops the decision will be made whether or not it will be implemented. The Head of Product knows how to get things done, can separate the wheat from the chaff and has a feel for the momentum currently pushing Suitsupply forward.
The Head of Product has a finished Master’s degree (and/or MBA) and a minimum of five years of relevant experience in developing B2C digital products (preferably e-commerce or fashion). Furthermore, the Head of Product has a minimum of three years of managerial experience.
The ideal candidate is well-versed and experienced in Scrum and has previously managed a team of Developers. He/she has a proven track record in taking strategic decisions based on data.
Personality: the Head of Product is a visionary. An entrepreneur with an innovative mindset and the ability to think big while at the same time ensuring his development team is on the same level. The Head of Product reports directly to the CMO/CPO.
- Minimum of 7 years’ experience
- Product management
- Online and/or e-commerce
- Managerial experience
- Visionary and a strategist