Corporate Eye

Fancy Takes Pinterest Business Model One Step Further for Brands

fancySocial discovery meets e-commerce with open arms in Fancy, a startup with one million users and growing by 10,000 users per day. It’s like Pinterest but instead of simply pinning images, video, and text on virtual bulletin boards (i.e., visual bookmarking), Fancy wants people to “fancy” products and directly buy those products that they fancied.

The Fancy iPhone app that launched earlier this month has the e-commerce utility built right into it, making it even easier for consumers to purchase products they find through the products they fancy or other users’ fancied products.

The Fancy leaders are welcoming brands with open arms, particularly high-end brands. According to AdWeek, Fancy Founder Joe Einhorn wants Fancy, “to be the Amazon of everything cool that you didn’t know about.” In other words, luxury brands are the top guests at the Fancy party. Einhorn reports that Fancy plans to launch a new feature through its app that will enable users to take a photo of products anywhere and anytime that will instantly be identified using Fancy’s image recognition technology. Not only can users find the image on Fancy but also they can buy it immediately.

Clearly, this type of immediate purchase capability will be something that brands and consumers will love. While Fancy is targeting high-end brands today, Einhorn expects it to extend to mass market brands in the future as well. The question remains whether the Fancy audience is the type that will actually purchase the high-end products currently being shared. Furthermore, when Fancy expands to lower-end brands and products, will the Fancy brand promise become confusing?

We’ll have to wait and see how the future of Fancy shakes out, but one thing is for sure, the marriage of offline and online commerce through mobile devices and social discovery is here. Calling all brands — keep your eyes on Fancy and similar sites and tools that are sure to launch in the next few years. These sites must be on your radar, and you need to be considering them as part of your overall marketing plan. In other words, if you’re ignoring them, you might find down the road that your brand missed a huge opportunity.

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

If Pinterest took me by a storm, fancy came as a silence thriller, really! I never knew a fragment of this social e-commerce site and Susan you are my torch bearer in this! I love pinterest and its members as it is the most exciting social media that is a pleasure to the eyes. Fancy sure is taking this business model of pleasing the customer eyes and sense by actually entertaining them to buy the goods more quickly! Very unique and amazing.

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