The following is the first of a five-part series from my friend and colleague Perry Seelert. 2013 is a year of change and new opportunities for Perry – it should be exciting to see these come to life.
New Year, New Beginnings, New Actions
The New Year always brings a sense of energy, optimism and fresh eyes on accepted routines, and for this reason, it is always really welcomed in my family. This year I embraced the newness and retrospection more than ever (especially as I look to new career opportunities), and there are five facets to retail and retail branding that will be especially important in 2013.
Amazon is a freight train
When you look at an Amazon warehouse it is logistically awe-inspiring, and the idea of overnight service and immediate gratification (starting with premium membership and Staples “lockers”) will eventually be the universal expectation.
Just 12 years ago Amazon was a $1 billion company and today it is $48+ billion, and there is no end in sight. Ask the people at Walmart what their greatest fear is, and Amazon and the B-to-C digital experience is what they will mention, and it is also the reason why they are investing so heavily in Walmart.com.
While the distribution infrastructure is mind blowing, it is really the consumers’ acceptance of digital that requires equal thought and consideration. The barriers to purchase are gone. I look back at my holiday shopping in 2012 and virtually all of it was done digitally, and I barely even entered a store. All of the in-store merchandising for impulse, all of the holiday theater, all of the Burl Ives background music had absolutely no effect.
With the shoppers’ continued acceptance of digital, there are huge considerations for the marketing of private brands. The side-by-side pricing comparisons, the story-telling and the communication behind the reasons to believe all need to be retrofitted for the digital shopping experience. The way we “push” these stories in a digital environment versus relying solely on “pull” will need to have a new balance, something Amazon will need to learn if they want to sell more private brands.
Perry Seelert is retail branding and marketing expert, with a passion for challenging conventional strategy and truths. He is the former co-founder of united*, CMO of Daymon Worldwide and VP of Saatchi X and has strategically partnered with retailers and CPGs like Lowes Home Improvement, Pepsi, P&G, CVS, A&P and many others. If you would like to reach Perry you can contact him at his new email, firstname.lastname@example.org