Tristan Nicolas joined French Ideas team few weeks ago. It’s actually a long story with our MD, as they were both working for Ogilvy few years ago. Entrepreneur, bike blogger & lover, start-up observer and sometimes mentor, Tristan brings a very deep knowledge in e-commerce and digital marketing. Hard worker, perfectionist, and always aware of the last digital developments, we are happy to have this 5-Minute break with him. Oh, and he’s just back from a 2 hour run in London. Who said that digital guys were not sporty?

Welcome Tristan! So tell us more about you: I heard you like riding and tuning bikes?

Hi ! I am 25, I’m French and even if I was born in a wonderful place in the south of France, my origins are from Brittany (which I am weirdly proud of).

I really like biking and it is one of the things I love the most about London, a lot of people actually use their bikes to commute to work, not only on sunny Sundays. I came to London with a very old bike that I painted in blue (my mountain bike is red), and I will tune it even more now that I am here ; London has some many cool bike stores. If you ever see a blue bike in London, say “Hi“, it may be me :)

You’ve already been working for agencies but you’ve also launched few years ago “Ben & Fakto”, fashion e-commerce platform dedicated to “happy fashion”: what was it all about?

When I was studying marketing at a business school, I realized that “business as usual” was not for me and might not be possible anymore. There was such a difference between the world I was seeing through Internet, the new forms of marketing, the expectations from customers, the new projects and what I was actually learning.  At that time, I had never seen start-ups up very close but I was following people from PR agencies on Twitter; I thought it was a good place to experience the new forms of marketing (I know, PR, marketing, isn’t it supposed to be two different things?).

After working for an agency, I had the opportunity to work for a startup, eCairn, which I think really understands the way Social Media works. It was a great experience and I still really enjoy using their service. But working for a startup wasn’t enough, I wanted to work for my own startup.

Two friends of my business school had this idea of creating an online store dedicated to what we called “happy fashion”. The idea was that traditional ethical clothing did not work because it was mainly not fashionable. But times were changing and more and more small brands were launching with a social or ecological concern. But we wanted to do more than just promoting these brands, that is why we partnered with a micro-credit lending platform, connecting online lenders to entrepreneurs. 10 % of every purchase was used to finance the project that the customers had chosen. That was our little contribution, trying to make the world a better place.

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A lot of people think that Social Media is dead: what’s your opinion?

I think they could not be more wrong. It is in the human nature to connect one another. Internet has given us the opportunity to connect easily but it did not create the need for connections. Unless the human nature changes entirely, I think social media has a great future. Will it be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+, it is another debate but finally it doesn’t matter that much.

What can we expect from you within French Ideas?

Help brands make more meaningful connections with their stakeholders. Explore more ways to do business, learn and build the future of marketing.

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How do we contact / follow you?

You can follow me on Twitter at @tristan_ (I try to talk about bikes as little as possible) and I read all my mails !