Karen Moon loved fashion at a young age. She read Vogue at age 8 and hand-sewed clothes for her Barbie dolls. Her favorite outfit growing up was a hot-pink and sea-green oil-printed denim jacket, which she proudly wore with a side ponytail and bangs.
Looking back, the co-founder of Trendalytics says her fashion sense was poor, but she embraced it as her way of expressing her individuality. It’s an attribute that serves her well as she steps outside her comfort zone to start her own company.
Moon went to art school in Los Angeles to become a fashion designer, but she wasn’t finding a job that she loved. After earning her MBA at Harvard Business School, she worked in investment banking and at retail corporations for a number of years.
She noticed two challenges all retailers were facing: staying ahead of the curve and predicting consumer trends in order to know what to advertise, buy, and sell.
Although there are ways for retailers to check what’s trending through Google hits and throw up an ad that speaks to consumers, what’s missing is the ability to forecast the future by compiling data across ecommerce websites, social media platforms, and Google keyword searches. That’s where Trendalytics comes into play.
“Trendalytics looks at what’s resonating with consumers at early stages, what influencers are talking about, and what people are searching for on Google,” says Moon. “When you look at online behavior, you see where the demand is growing and predict trends. When you’re working in the business, there are a lot of tough decisions you have to make. If you can make it with confidence, it’s better. You can have the best idea and intentions, but you can’t executive if you don’t have the data.”
The platform serves as a “Bloomberg Terminal” for consumer products. It analyzes the data and delivers them via real-time updates that can be broken down into searchable subcategories. The team’s digital strategists educate clients about opportunities to make better business decisions.
Founded in early 2013, Trendalytics has doubled its number of customers since its software platform launched last December. The company made its first sales hire towards the end of last summer.
“Our clients in total generate $55 billion in revenue and employ 122,000 people around the world,” Moon says. “We work with one of the largest manufacturers globally with major retail chains in the U.S. and some of the fastest growing luxury retailers.”
The team continues to broaden its scope and expand its reach into influential circles by writing blog posts and networking. Recently, it has partnered with thought leaders to help distribute Trendalytics’ content on their websites and databases.
The company is located at WeWork NoMad in New York City, a fact Moon says is extremely important to its success.
“Back when I was working in a café, I was out of the loop and wasn’t sure I wanted to start my own business,” Moon says. “I realize you can’t start a company without a village of supporters. There are opportunities here to meet investors and have office hours. It’s such a great place for first-time entrepreneurs.”
Photo credit: Lauren Kallen