Launching today, StyleGuidance.com is a website focused on giving people ideas, recommendations, and resources to improve their fashion and style.Â¬â€ From basic questions and answers to finding the best deals on fashion, StyleGuidance wants to be the source.Â¬â€ The question is whether this kind of resource is really needed.
The service goal of StyleGuidance is to give quick and easy to get style advice.Â¬â€ Using a combination of expert advice and crowd sourcing, the site aims to let people ask their questions about fashion and have them answered.Â¬â€ The answers are voted upon by other users, giving an overall impression of what the popular style is.
StyleGuidance was created by Andrew Gritt in New Jersey and has been in stealth beta up to the official launch today.Â¬â€ A small cadre of users have been testing the site and are largely responsible, according to Gritt, for the overall look, operation, and focus of the site.
Users can log in via OpenID, anonymously, Google, Yahoo, or directly on the site.Â¬â€ Questions are displayed newest to oldest and users can filter them to show only fashion, perfume, hair styles, etc. if they wish.
Two questions about how StyleGuidance will operate in the market are raised.
First, most fashion advice available on the Web is through blogs, online magazines, and similar outlets.Â¬â€ Although StyleGuidance can be seen as something that would fit a niche, the question of whether it is really a focus with enough interest to do well is hard to answer.Â¬â€ It appears unique compared to the other sites available, but will that be enough?
The other is a question of monetization.Â¬â€ There appears to be no income-generating scheme on the site at all.Â¬â€ No advertising, pay-as-you-go, freemium, or other models present.
The site and Twitter account (@styleguidance) launch includes weekly giveaways of iPod Nanos.Â¬â€ This model of Twitter-based giveaways has been used successfully by other startups as a lower-cost advertising tool.Â¬â€ These types of giveaways often go viral, but returns in terms of active users gained do not always measure well.
An article in American Express’ OPEN Forum in August talks about Twitter ROI for the business.Â¬â€ It’s obvious that not every giveaway or contest has good results.
The final question for StyleGuidance’s success will come down to how many people are really interested in asking and answering questions about fashion and related subjects.Â¬â€ With no revenue model present, it’s a question that cannot be answered without knowing how large the site’s active userbase needs to be in order to succeed.