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Launchpad: No Rock & Roll

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What is it?A new online retailer selling underwear and swimwear aimed at young women. It was set up a few weeks ago by Tynemouth-based entrepreneur and mum-of-three Trina Lamacq.

How did I hear about it?Er…..stumbled across it whilst looking at some stuff on the internet…  How is it different?No Rock & Roll feels radically different from other underwear retailers because it succeeds at being fun, engaging and having personality. This is in stark contrast to other underwear retailers who either take a more functional approach or try to be sexy – with varying degrees of success.

Who is it aimed at? Lamacq claims to have spotted a gap in the underwear market – teens and young women who expect their fashion brands to be affordable and to have some attitude.

What’s the point?Apparently young women tend to have larger chests these days but are not adequately catered for by underwear retailers. Brands available in larger sizes tend to be more traditional, expensive and aimed at an older age group. No Rock & Roll offers these younger women underwear and swimwear that is fun and affordable but also functional – hence the brand name! Given the target audience, the website also aims to educate by providing tips on how to determine your bra size and gives health advice to raise awareness of breast cancer.What makes it interesting?No Rock & Roll reminds us of an important lesson – a good idea doesn’t have to be radical. Indeed the best business ideas tend to be simple ideas that have been executed well. As long as there is a clearly defined target audience with a real need that isn’t being addressed then there’s an opportunity for a successful business. What’s great about No Rock & Roll is the slick execution. Effort has been made to create an engaging brand from the outset, one that will undoubtedly connect with the target audience. This is often overlooked by start-ups – dismissed as being an unnecessary cost. However, this is an idea that will live or die by the quality of the branding, and the signs are good.

Will it go bust?Thankfully Trina Lamacq avoided her initial instinct to launch the business as a shop and instead opted to launch the concept online – critical given the targeted nature of the offer. The biggest challenge for No Rock & Roll will be raising awareness of the brand.

A recent survey revealed that 50 per cent of new businesses launch without any form of marketing or advertising budget. However appealing your concept, if potential customers remain oblivious to it then it cannot succeed.It would be a shame if this smart idea executed so well were to fail due to a lack of support…..

For more info: www.norockandroll.co.uk

Justin Wright is a founder of Mangrove Consulting, a specialist innovation consultancy advising companies on how to grow through innovation and entrepreneurship, and is a director of several small businesses. His life has not been the same since the launch of the 5 blade razor – he finds it hard to remember what life was like with only 4 blades…

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