Do You Plan on Using Drops for Your Product Promotions? Luxury players are really getting in on this channel. Check here how to keep drops fresh- and out of the hands of those that engage just to over-buy and resell precious limited edition merchandise.
It started with online flash sales. That was easy. It was electronic. Promote the heck out of it and add a count-down clock with some limited inventory and –whammo– an e-commerce retailer had a fantastic limited time offer event. It created a sense of urgency while offering scarcity.
But wait. Brands also wanted to offer buzz and control their messaging. Niche cult fave Supreme keeps its anticipation way high among fans with an entire strategy based on drops.
“In many ways, if you think about it, drops operate on the same principle as does home shopping or bidding on Ebay. These are all timed events and once product is gone or the promotion is over thats it. ” says The Christine Report
Change has arrived. The luxury players with mainstream availability are now getting in. Moncler, the must-have luxe winter outerwear brand describes a recent concept for their Drop called the “Genius Project”. Its as much a drop as it is an art installation.
Luciano Santel, executive director of Moncler explains their approach: “The amount of business we plan to develop under the Genius Project is not particularly significant as compared to the rest of our business,” Santel said. “But…strategically, from the brand, from the communication point of view, from the design, from the product, it is an extremely important project.”
Burberry also recently announced they are also engaging in drops. The changes mark “the beginning of a new way of conversing with our customers across product, communication and experience,” says a brand spokesperson……
Drops, as cool as they are, have two major challenges.
Just as technology has enabled brick and mortar to leverage the promotion of their drop, it also inevitably produces the dark side. Those with the tech know-how unleash bots to scoop up excess merchandise beyond the normal capacity of a single consumer. Then, that merchandise gets resold online for many, many times over the original price.
Defeating the bots created extra promotional opportunities for Nike. They developed additional human interaction requirements via gamification. In recent coverage by Draper’s Online, they described the successful drop for the SB Dunk Hi Momofuku sneaker in collaboration with restaurateur David Chang. Participants had to locate multiple Nike posters placed around NYC that featured 3D capabilities. Via their smartphone, up popped a full interactive model of the shoe which then they could go on and purchase.
Secondly, Don’t Create Drop Dreary Consumers.
Too many drop events can create a level of over-saturation and remove the interest. As in Moncler, keeping the edge on creativity is key. The gamification of drops and other more sophisticated engagements will also come into play with more interesting technology applications. Luxury brands are also increasing the exclusivity factor. For example, Louis Vuitton is doing drops with little to no promotion and keeping it extremely fresh- as word only gets out the old fashioned way- peer to peer and mouth to mouth.
Every brand will have to evaluate for themselves the value of drops, can they manage them properly and will the sales enhance relationships with their customer or just cannibalize them? Keep the drops real, but also keep them away from the bots!