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Meet the Member: Alan Bento, Head of Business Development, Adopte un Mec
Member news | May 23, 2019
In our latest Meet the Member feature, we spoke with Alan Bento, Head of Business Development for Adopte un Mec. Keep reading to learn more about this unique French online dating concept and how they plan to conquer the U.S. market-
FACC: Adopteunmec.com is a playful dating website (English translation = adoptaguy.com) where women are called to “adopt” or shop, as the logo indicates, for their next partner. The site has been active for over 11 years now and is very much a part of French popular culture. Can you tell us more about the concept and what the advantages are vis a vis other dating sites?
AB: On dating apps, as in real life, men typically assume a more active role, choosing and contacting women in whom they are interested. AdopteUnMec proposes switching the roles: it is up to women to choose the men they would like to talk with. Men instead play a passive role, being chosen rather than choosing.
In addition, the website and the application assume the form of an online store where women are ‘the clients’ and men ‘the products’. As an example, once a female user decides to talk with any male user, she needs to add him to her ‘shopping cart’.
AdopteUnMec presents several differential advantages vis a vis other dating sites:
- It engages a powerful proposal that breaks from traditional cultural practices, suggesting that women take the first step when it comes to flirting.
- In contrast to its main competitors, AdopteUnMec provides its users with the possibility of filling their profile with a great deal of information about themselves. This means that users can choose others based not only on their physical qualities (pictures), but also on their personality.
- The website and the application possess several functionalities, such as a built-in intelligent assistant that enables users to speak natural language voice commands in order to search for other users, or the possibility of researching the ideal match through hashtags, making AdopteUnMec forward-thinking compared to its competitors.
- AdopteUnMec empowers women, thanks to how the application possesses more female than male users (an exception in the sector).
FACC: What are you plans for the US market?
AB: After years of organic growth in Europe and Latin America thanks to its own resources, AdopteUnMec is now aiming to expand into new markets, such as USA, through a new business model based on a partnership: Digital franchising. AUM possesses considerable potential, wielding a powerful brand, a strong concept and an efficient product. It is certain that the company possesses all the elements required for a successful launch in new countries. However, after years of market research and analysis, it is also clear to the company that some markets are extremely difficult to penetrate. Cultural differences, a high degree of competitiveness, a lack of local expertise and the desire to maintain a lean company with small teams represent some of the issues making AUM’s expansion into markets such as the USA, Japan and China extremely difficult and risky.
That is why the company is ready to provide its products, know-how and brand heritage to a local partner that is able to make the best of it, generating revenue and making AUM one of the leaders on its sector in the local market.
FACC: As Head of Business Development, what are your main responsibilities?
AB: My main responsibility is to assure the company's growth through its international expansion. My mission is to identify new potential markets and to define the best business and commercial strategy to reach them.
FACC: In terms of “curation” the site is organized into “regional products”, “new collections”, “styles” and “editor’s choice”. Can principles of retailing and ecommerce be evenly applied to dating websites or is it simply a marketing tactic?
Ironically displaying the website as an online store where women are clients and men the products helps people to not take things too seriously. This fun and entertaining virtual environment thus helps people to start conversations in a light way, easily breaking the ice and allowing for more engaged conversations.
FACC: In France, adoptunmec has achieved such notoriety that recent advertising campaigns do not even mark the name of the website. Do you think it is possible to achieve similar results in the US market and are there any specific strategies you are using to do so?
AB: We believe that thanks to our powerful concept that breaks from traditional cultural practices, it is possible to achieve excellent notoriety in any market in the world.
Why did you decide to join the FACC network in NYC?
Networking and sharing knowledge and information is essential for any kind of business today. Since our goal is to find an American partner, it seemed obvious for us to join the FAAC network in order to gain visibility in the United States.
Interested in connecting with Alan? Log into the FAC Member Directory to send him a message.