Melbourne business LVLY proves that a fresh approach to brand and packaging is the way to cut through a saturated market.
As has been a recurring theme among the 2019 finalists of Melbourne's Young Entrepreneur Awards, LVLY was able to gain scale fast through prioritising supply chain logistics.
Being a back office pursuit, distribution doesn't always get the credit it deserves. However, LVLY has grown its revenue by more than 100 per cent in the last year alone in large part owing to an innovative packaging solution.
LVLY worked with flower specialists and packaging engineers in Holland to develop a unique packaging solution so freshly arranged flowers could be sent through the mainstream postal network.
This lets LVLY offer next-day delivery from its warehouse in Melbourne to anywhere around Australia.
"We developed a packaging prototype that would keep flowers alive, safe and undamaged in transit for up to five days, even though we only need a maximum of 24 hours door to door. We ran a trial with customers across Australia and got a 100% success rate" explains LVLY co-founder Hannah Spilva.
"It means we've been able to get scale really quickly. If you look at the traditional flower delivery businesses, they operate on an order-gatherer model, which means they have a network of thousands of florists across Australia which they pass orders onto and take commission on the way though.
"It means customers don't actually know who they're buying from. In contrast, we own the customer experience end to end, we source, arrange and dispatch every flower arrangement our customers buy."
Founded in 2015, LVLY has quickly proven itself as a gift delivery business with heart. Spilva left an international career in advertising after a decade to grow LVLY from the ground up, excited about the challenge of building her own brand and business.
Owning the customer experience end-to-end ties in neatly with LVLY's philosophy, 'lovely to people, lovely to Australia and lovely to the planet'.
"My background is in brand and advertising, so the catalyst for LVLY was the ambition to build a brand that people would love, a purpose led business that was dedicated to making people smile and spreading joy," Spilva tells Business News Australia.
"During my time at Isobar [Australia's largest digital advertising agency] I crossed paths with Verity [Tuck] who is now my business partner. We were both living away from home and struggling to find ways to send simple, affordable gifts to friends and family. Confronted with lots of red roses and white fluffy teddy bears we realised there was a gap in the market for on-trend flowers and gifts."
From their perspective, the brand had to have a cheeky tone of voice, and the business had to focus on convenience and scalability.
"We're lovely to Australia, lovely to people, and lovely to the planet, which means sourcing locally wherever we can, treading lightly on the environment, removing plastic from our supply chain by requesting that all our suppliers remove plastic wraps and sending flowers in reusable glass jars rather than plastic packaging that ultimately ends up in landfill," says Spilva.
"There are lots of things that are core to the way we build our business which means we have a very strong social conscience. That's to ensure we have a really clear strategy around what we do."
With a number of high profile product collaborations under their belts, including Thankyou and Vinomofo, Spilva and Tuck are determined to keep innovating and make LVLY a household name in Australia before launching overseas.
"Monthly collaborations are going to be a big focus area for us in the next 12 months. We're aiming to launch limited edition gift box collaborations each month with great Australian businesses that help us and them reach new audiences, drive acquisition as well as offering something new and exciting to our customers." Spilva says.
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