Our second hero is Mat Braddy, Brand Founder & ex-CMO of JUST EAT and now co-founder of digital hair appointment booking app, ROCK PAMPER SCISSORS.
Mat joined JUST EAT in 2009 and set about establishing the company as the leading brand in takeaway around the world, resulting in one of Europe’s biggest tech IPOs for a decade in 2014. Mat has a long history leading online brands having worked for The Financial Times, toptable and gameplay.com.
Today Mat is building a new beauty appointment booking brand & app for the ‘everything now’ generation; ROCK PAMPER SCISSORS.
As an exciting challenger brand, ROCK PAMPER SCISSORS is a small business on the rise. As it pushes to redefine the way consumers book salon appointments it faces everyday challenges to growth, technology deployment and right-sizing its business model.
1. Tell us a bit about ROCK PAMPER SCISSORS
ROCK PAMPER SCISSORS is a new app that enables consumers to discover and book appointments with talented stylists through a dedicated digital platform. The app is about bridging the world of skilled salon stylists with today’s digital generation.
While many existing salons feature in directories with an aggregate star rating, so far these haven’t been able to give an insight into the specialities, and ratings, of individual stylists. At a strategic level, we are about talent discovery not business discovery.
We started ROCK PAMPER SCISSORS in 2013 with one objective: to create salon appointment booking for the Tinder generation. We kicked off ROCK PAMPER SCISSORS in Leeds and have quickly expanded to Manchester and, more recently, London.
2. What’s your role at Rock Pamper Scissors?
As founder, my focus is on the marketing, strategy and product sides of the business. Before ROCK PAMPER SCISSORS, I spent six years as CMO at JUST EAT, helping it grow from a startup to the successful public listed business it is today. I’ve always been a strategy person and during my time at JUST EAT I started to ponder what it is that makes a business last. Analysing the market is incredibly important both from a strategic point of view but also in solving the problems of today’s market. I saw a gap within the hairdressing market in particular and founded ROCK PAMPER SCISSORS with a couple of talented colleagues; Bertie Cordingley - an entrepreneur and founder of Fill My Belly, and Chris Osborne - ex-product guru for FT.com and social shopping entrepreneur.
3. Why did you start ROCK PAMPER SCISSORS?
Mobile technology has changed consumer buying behaviour. In today’s ‘everything now generation’, people no longer plan ahead. A look at the high street confirmed this thought for me. Booking restaurants online is almost second nature to us now, and I started to wonder why so little of the hairdressing market is digital. To tap into this new buying behaviour, we have built an infrastructure optimised for the ‘everything now’ generation that gives consumers direct and accurate insight into the availability of stylists and salons.
4. How much time do you spend on admin?
As little as possible so that we can focus on core activity around growth activity. We don’t want to be spending our time on admin nut it’s obviously important to get this aspect of the business operation running efficiently. Time spent on admin means time not spent developing the app and our service so we’ve committed resource up front to automating key admin/business processes to make them as efficient as possible. This way, processes which could be a distraction are actually an asset to our business, helping us work quicker and more efficiently.
5. How digital do you consider ROCK PAMPER SCISSORS’ business operations?
We are highly digitised, it’s built into our DNA. At a time when consumers expect services to be delivered in an instant, staying connected with the customer is essential. In today’s always-on economy, access to data around the clock is essential, as this is the foundation of the relationship with our customer.
As a mobile application, ROCK PAMPER SCISSORS relies on the power of the cloud and of connectivity. This approach is as applicable to our operations as it is to our product. We use a range of digital productivity tools at an operational level for project planning and internal messaging. These digitally connected tools are essential in making the business as lean as possible, ensuring workflows are efficient and support us in providing a reliable and frictionless service to salons, stylists and our own employees.
6. What’s the one piece of tech you couldn’t live without?
It has to be the smartphone and the 4G network. Not only is the smartphone an essential productivity tool, the app we have developed for mobile platforms is our means of communication with stylists and the way that we engage with our customers and consumers.
The digital tools that we’re working with internally are also optimised for mobile meaning that I’m as operational at home with the kids or with a customer in their salon as I am in the office.
7. What barriers to growth have you experienced?
One of the key challenges we have experienced is simply having too many ideas, deciding which to focus on and having the time run with them.
The natural process of building a service that people want to use always involves starting off with several hypotheses and working to identify which are the ones that will work, which are built well and which are the ones consumers will want to use.
This takes time and requires a focus on the end goal. In our case, we had the right idea but needed to address it in a different way.
We have seen dramatic growth over the past six months since we started focussing on the problems that stylists and salon managers face, and identifying digital solutions that are easily accessible by their customer, the consumer.
8. If you could give one piece of advice to other small business, what would it be?
It’s easy to start a business but continued growth is rooted in the ability to futureproof. Connectivity is the driving force here, a mobile strategy is becoming increasingly important for businesses who want to stay ahead and remain competitive. Connectivity will only become more important. Building a customer-centric business model means automating information so that it is working hard for you, meaning you and your staff can focus on the customer, and not on unnecessary everyday processes.
9. What does success look like for you and ROCK PAMPER SCISSORS?
Our purpose is to get a market online that hasn’t been well supported and enabled to go online up until now. For me, building a brilliant product experience that exploits the fantastic infrastructure we have created is incredibly important. However, real success to me will be building relationships with our partners, I want them to love what we do enough to spread the word about what it is that we do. This is how we will maintain the great growth we’ve seen to-date.
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