10 Dec Creating growth in the space between work and play
How Happy Socks maintains their playful approach while staying on top of a continuously growing and diverse product portfolio.
SPREADING HAPPINESS THROUGH EVERYDAY ESSENTIALS
Happy Socks was founded in 2008 by Mikael Söderlindh and Viktor Tell with a vision of spreading happiness by turning everyday essentials into small pieces of colorful design. They found that the industry lacked a different take on how socks could be worn as a fashion statement, instead of just a daily necessity. By introducing Happy Socks, they wanted to revolutionize the market and make room for appreciating the small everyday things.
One of the most significant features of Happy Socks is the various collaborations with the artist, designers, and influencers, who help make each collection unique and special. Adding a limited edition line with famous collaborators next to their main collection helps create a certain hype surrounding each new collection. This makes Happy Socks updated and continuously relevant to their customers.
Getting customers and various media to embrace their vision, Happy Socks achieved a turnover of 1 million EUR within the first year, which since has grown into a turnover of 200 million EUR in 2015. Experiencing that amount of growth in just a couple of years can be challenging for any company due to the sheer size of the demand, but Happy Socks managed to meet this demand due to a strong communication, and a clever use of the tools available to create an efficient overview.
MANAGING MULTIPLE COLLABORATIONS
A vital part of the company’s values is to make sure that they maintain a high amount of quality and craftsmanship in every single product. Being able to trust the collaborators to interpret their idea of Happy Socks, also means letting go and delegating parts of the process.
At Delogue we had a conversation with Per-Olof Markström, System Manager of Happy Socks, about working with multiple collaborators while ensuring a high quality in production: “During product development, we are working proactively with systematic quality processes. We are also conducting on-site inspections at the factories for every major production batch, and all collaborators involved in the production process have access to Delogue. They use Delogue to add new styles and utilize the information when communicating internally and externally. We are also looking to include our suppliers directly in Delogue, to simplify communication and improve efficiency.”
ALLOWING PLAYFULNESS THROUGH STRUCTURE
For a company that from the very beginning experienced a massive popularity, it doesn’t take a lot to get overwhelmed with the vast increase in demand. At Happy Socks, they had a goal of being global from the beginning, and through a strong business strategy, they managed to meet this goal. Even though Happy Socks is not corporate in their way of working, they have established a structure to make sure that the ability to play and be creative is an advantage rather than a waste of resources. The reason they can achieve this advantage is due to their high focus on keeping a structure in the entire product development process.
At Happy Socks, the key to gaining a structure is a simple solution that works universally throughout the company: “We try to use as few points-of-contacts as possible. Furthermore, we use Delogue as a single source of truth with regards to production specific product information.” – Per-Olof Markström explains.
Happy Socks strived to become a global company with a strong brand, and through a high level of innovation and a strong business strategy, they managed to get there at an incredible speed. Their products feature an endless variety of colorful designs and original patterns, and with a still growing production, we asked Per-Olof on how they plan to maintain their success, and how their future might look like: “We have established Happy Socks across the globe through distribution, e-commerce, and license. However, there is still a lot of potential in each individual market. We aim to be THE global brand for colorful socks and underwear. Our ambition has always been to bring happiness and color to every corner of the world by turning everyday essentials like socks and underwear into a colorful design piece at an affordable price.” – Per-Olof concludes.
Happy Socks found Delogue as the main tool for helping build up valuable data along with the production. Managing tasks, and keeping track of all product information, prices and orders create that unique space between work and play that Happy Socks values. Being able to balance structure and playfulness, Happy Socks are able to create high-quality products without any loss of growth, while still keeping their colorful and iconic approach to design and product development.
Photo: @thefilteredfit – Instagram