Ce que les startups SaaS peuvent apprendre des autres secteurs d'activité

Du streetwear à l'ameublement modulaire

There are best practices and top market leaders across every industry. Companies who have “been there” and “done that” can teach you invaluable lessons that can be applied to SaaS startups.

We’re big believers in this – hence our Iconic Products series.

Mais que se passerait-il si nous sortions un instant du cadre et si nous considérions les leçons que nous pouvons tirer des industries en dehors du SaaS et de la technologie ?


des startups qui sortent des sentiers battus


That’s exactly what we’re going to do. From fashion to furniture to a few things in between, let’s explore what we can learn from some of the best in other industries. 🔎

Certaines de ces entreprises sont des perturbateurs, tandis que d'autres sont des entreprises historiques qui ont appris à s'adapter et à créer des voies brillantes pour elles-mêmes dans un paysage commercial en constante évolution.

Let’s get to it! 👊


La mode

Creating every company’s dream scenario

It’s nearly impossible to talk about branding in fashion and not discuss the mega-cult success of Supreme. 🤷‍♀️

Ce qui a commencé comme une marque de skateboard et de vêtements à New York en 1994 s'est catapulté au premier rang de la culture pop et de la dévotion à l'égard des marques.

Hundreds of people line up for Supreme drops every Thursday (when there’s a new release of products, of course), and it’s utter chaos. 😱




People fly in from all over the world in order to stand in line for hours just to go into one of Supreme’s 11 brick-and-mortar stores and try their luck of finding that perfect overpriced t-shirt or brick or whatever other weird item they’re selling that week.

Or, fans try their luck online – this normally results in some people paying ~4000% more for an item than its retail price. 💸

Oh, and this happens outside of drop days, too. Just walk around London’s (or New York’s, for that matter) SoHo neighborhood on a Saturday morning and count how many blocks are covered with people lined up waiting for Supreme to open.

Supreme has managed to create the ultimate founder fever dream – but how? 🤔


Pourquoi achètent-ils ? La psychologie du client

Many people cite the “hype” around the brand, but surely it’s about more than that.

There are plenty of people who get excited about the latest Yeezy shoes or OVO hoodie (confession time: I’m kind of one of those people) – but neither of those brands even come close to the level of hype around Supreme.

Scarcity certainly comes to the forefront here. There are a limited number of items that Supreme creates and when they’re gone, they’re gone – hence the insane markups on the secondhand market. 🤑

But let’s get a bit deeper – let’s consider the psychology around the customer.

Dr. Dimitrios Tsivrikos, consumer psychologist at University College London, in an interview with Vice, said, “Millennials in particular are very aware of different consumer tribes; they look to inspire or impress peers who share the same kind of interests as them, who will recognize that particular T-shirt.” 👕




Jonathan Gabay, author of Brand Psychology: Consumer Perceptions, Corporate Reputations, goes even further in the article, saying, “[Importantly], Supreme was started in the right bit of New York by skaters. That makes it authentic, or seen to be authentic.

“The fact that they’ve brought in other designers over the years is irrelevant; it all goes back to the fact that the original people who wore this stuff were authentic—they weren’t wearing it because it was trendy.”

“A brand is an extension of oneself—psychologically, in terms of how you want the world to see you, or what you want the world to believe you are,” said Gabay. “But deeper than that: what you believe you are, through that brand.”


Boum. Le voilà.

Scarcity. Authenticity. Identity. 💪

Obviously, these three concepts are easier to say than to actually apply to your startups – but think of them as guiding points for a moment.

Do you have a new product that you’re trying to launch? Perhaps start a waitlist to get people excited about it, and offer certain perks, such as early access or special discounts. Create a sense of scarcity and exclusivity around your product.



Or maybe you’re thinking about a brand refresh – or a total rebranding? Think about your narrative and the message you want to convey. Does it encompass your company’s identity? Is it authentic? Or is it just more idealistic business jargon? 🤝

Many companies can only dream of having the success of a brand like Supreme, but as you can see, there are lessons to be learned from how they “made it” that can be applied to just about any industry – including SaaS and tech.


  • Pensez au client et √† la mani√®re dont il interagit avec la marque.
  • Racontez-vous l'histoire que vous voulez raconter avec votre marque ?
  • Votre entreprise est-elle authentique dans la mani√®re dont elle d√©crit son offre ?
  • Existe-t-il des moyens de susciter l'enthousiasme autour de votre marque ?


Médias d'information

S'adapter à un paysage en mutation

It wasn’t all that long ago when the main forms of receiving news updates came in the form of television and print media. 🗞

Of course, both of those things still exist, but let’s be real: news media, especially print media, was perhaps the most deeply disrupted industry by the mass adoption of the internet.




This led the news media industry into a crisis mode. What’s next? How do you generate revenue when people aren’t buying your paper?

Dans le cas du The New York Times et de nombreux autres m√©dias qui ont suivi, il s'agissait d'une situation o√Ļ il fallait s'adapter ou p√©rir.

If you can’t beat them, join them. 😎


Tout miser sur le numérique

Le Times avait près de 150 ans lorsque l'internet a commencé à transformer la façon dont les gens s'informent.

Cela signifiait qu'ils devaient innover rapidement, en dépit d'un héritage aussi long et d'une culture aussi profondément enracinée.

It’s hard enough for 25-year-old companies to innovate and adapt – imagine that, times six. 😳

Mais contrairement à de nombreux autres journaux qui s'obstinaient à vouloir passer au numérique, le Times a décidé de se lancer à fond.



En 2011, ils ont introduit leur paywall et, en 2013, ils ont embauché plus de 100 techniciens en un an.

And it didn’t just stop there. On top of their new tech employees strengthening the user experience of their website and app, they also started a products department that was tasked with releasing new apps and new revenue sources.

This resulted in three new successful apps around their opinion section, streamlined news for millennials and cooking – PLUS a huge partnership with Google by creating a new VR app for the Google Cardboard headsets.



Vieux chien, nouveaux tours

If one of the most historical newsrooms in the world can modernize and adapt to the changing times – there’s hope for the rest of us.

And no, it doesn’t mean you need to hire 100 new employees or aggressively launch a VR app.

It’s about understanding the landscape, and identifying where your customers are – and how you can effectively reach them.

And one thing we can all learn from this, or be reminded of, is the fact that you should never be against change. 😄

Pour que votre entreprise se démarque, il est essentiel qu'elle adopte l'avenir en ce qui concerne le fonctionnement des choses et le comportement des clients.


  • Don’t be afraid of change.
  • Startups are much more poised to disrupt and change industries than legacy companies, but that change won’t come automatically or overnight.
  • It’s about finding the strategy that works best for your company and being where your customers are (and offering the right product or service).



Perturber un marché autrement ennuyeux

It may sound a tad dramatic, but buying a mattress or a couch can be an incredibly emotional purchase for people. 🛋

Not in the sense of people crying over their couch, but rather the fact that it’s an expensive purchase that is supposed to last you for years.

On top of that, it’s just a frustrating and overwhelming experience. Buying a couch or mattress opens you up to so many different choices and it’s hard to tell whether you’re actually getting a good deal. 😓

Plus, the logistics of getting a large piece of furniture delivered to your house or apartment is a commitment in itself – you need to pay a ridiculous fee, wait around all day for the delivery people to show up and then get everything set up.


pas de temps pour cela


It can feel a bit exhausting when it’s all said and done.

Mais c'est précisément la raison pour laquelle des startups telles que Casper et Burrow sont en train de changer la donne en matière d'ameublement.

Casper started as a mattress e-commerce store, but has exploded in the past few years, and now offers other items such as bed frames and dog beds. 🐶

De même, Burrow conçoit et fabrique des meubles et autres articles sans compromis pour la vie moderne à la maison. L'entreprise s'est lancée en 2017 avec un canapé modulaire et s'est depuis étendue à de multiples configurations de sièges de salon.

Alors, comment réussir à offrir une expérience transparente à un produit qui est censé représenter un investissement important et un achat émotionnel pour leurs clients ?


Les entreprises en phase de démarrage se débarrassent du casse-tête que représentent les gros investissements

Casper a reconnu les points problématiques mentionnés ci-dessus et a décidé de changer les choses.

With its single-model mattress offered at an affordable price, including free shipping and a 100-night trial period, it’s no wonder Casper easily surpassed $100 million in revenue in less than two years of being in business. 😲



As Casper’s co-founders have explained in multiple interviews, it was originally about disrupting the mattress industry, because it was so obviously broken.

But this eventually turned into the goal of inventing an industry around sleep. They decided to create a mattress that would fit just about everyone’s needs. 😴

Et surtout, ils voulaient que l'expérience soit de premier ordre.

In Casper’s earlier days, there was a couple who made a YouTube video about their mattress. They explained that the bed wasn’t right for them, but the experience was incredible.

For Casper, that’s the ultimate goal. 🙏

Si vous rendez vos clients heureux, dans le cas de Casper, ces derniers vous feront davantage bénéficier du bouche-à-oreille et pourraient même finir par acheter d'autres produits, tels que des oreillers ou une table de nuit.

Casper a expliqu√© que son taux de retour √©tait plut√īt faible et qu'elle essayait donc de faire don des matelas retourn√©s √† une organisation caritative locale, ce qui, en fin de compte, est plus rentable que de les renvoyer √† l'autre bout du pays pour les remettre en √©tat et essayer de les revendre.

In the case of Burrow, they offer modular furniture – essentially, a customer can purchase an armchair and later decide to turn it into a larger sofa by buying a loveseat and connecting them. And vice versa – you can turn a larger sofa into a loveseat or four separate chairs.



You get the picture. 😉

On top of that, Burrow offers hidden USB charging ports in the furniture, so you never have to get up to charge your phone – handy.

Comme pour Casper, les frais de port sont gratuits et la livraison se fait généralement dans un délai d'une semaine.

Vous voyez un modèle ? Ces startups ont réussi à identifier tous les points douloureux liés à l'achat de meubles de grande taille et ont complètement bouleversé le modèle commercial.

Mais qu'en est-il de ceux qui hésitent encore à acheter des meubles en ligne ?

It’s time to go physical.


Passer du numérique au physique

For those among us who want to feel, see and touch a mattress or couch that we want to buy – ordering one online might evoke anxiety or fear. Are you really going to be happy with something that you buy before trying?

Heureusement, c'est exactement le concept que ces entreprises explorent. Casper a r√©cemment conclu un partenariat avec le g√©ant de la distribution Target et pr√©voit en outre d'ouvrir 200 magasins Casper √† travers les √Čtats-Unis.

In the case of Burrow, the young company originally entered physical spaces in the form of partnerships with co-working spaces and breweries – you can even apply on their website to host a showroom in your space.

Now, they have a showroom in the SoHo neighborhood of New York. This gives customers the chance to experience Burrow’s products IRL.

According to an article from Fast Company, “visitors can hang out in front of a fireplace, watch movies in a private screening room, and also play around with making their own videos in a green screen studio.”

Of course, the initial goal of these store concepts isn’t just to sell products, but it’s also about giving customers a positive experience that helps increase brand loyalty. 💛


  • Pour perturber un secteur, il faut identifier et √©liminer les points douloureux.
  • Comment pouvez-vous am√©liorer votre exp√©rience client ? Les clients quittent-ils votre entreprise avec un sentiment positif ou n√©gatif ?
  • This concept reminds me quite a bit of a quote from Sujan Patel, co-founder of Web Profits, “Customers may forget what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.”


There are a ton of inspirational companies – startups and legacy companies alike – out there doing amazing things. And we can all certainly learn from them. 🧠

But it’s not just about learning from companies in your industry. SaaS companies can learn a lot from seeing how things are done across a variety of industries.

Not only in fashion or news media or furniture, but also healthcare, in the case of startups such as Capsule Pharmacy and Oscar Health. 💊

Or even in eyeglasses – with companies such as Warby Parker or Zenni Optical.

La liste est encore longue.

So, next time you’re interacting with a company or making an important purchase, stop and think for a moment about the things that they’re doing right (and wrong, of course) and think about how you could inject a bit of that experience into your own startups. 💉


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Ali Colwell