Brand Experience is Rushing to the Point of Sale
In L2-founder Scott Galloway’s No Mercy / No Malice post, he nails the modern dilemma of branding in a world of atomized attention:
The key issue facing … manufacturers’ brands blessed with aspirational appeal and irrational margins — is that brand building has moved from broadcast to point of purchase, and their points of purchase suck. ~Scott Galloway
When resellers, discounters, grey-market sites, and, quite frankly, the entire Internet have become your point of distribution, your brand experience suffers. In this context, Amazon’s 20% + YOY revenue growth is partly explained by its nearly limitless inventory. But nearly limitless inventory can be explained by non-Amazon partners willing to sell there. Why? Because the customer and brand experiences are predictable and consistently excellent.
And the digital winners that haven’t hitched onto the e-commerce giant’s diesel engine are those that control their brands in different ways. These are direct-to-consumer companies like Everlane for clothes, Dollar Shave Club (purchased by Unilever in 2016 for $1 billion) for grooming. Even offbeat upstarts like Sippify can deliver your monthly supply of adult beverages.
The common denominator? Each brand fanatically manages its customer and brand experiences at the (often digital) point-of-sale. Even Nike, with its ubiquity at thousands of retailers, has said it plans to grow its digital and physical direct-to-consumer business to $16B by 2020 from just $6.6B in 2015.
Advertising will always be an essential brand-building exercise, but one experience economy commandment: Thy point of purchase shalt not suck.