Ho-Ho-Ho Yo-Yo-Yo How Did It Go-Go-Go??? How Were Your Holiday Sales?

So, how did it go?  Now that we’re getting through January, for sure you have already done your 2016 Holiday Sales review.  So, how did it go?  If you are not happy, hard to believe, but we now only have about 8 calendar months to implement change.  Can we do all that needs to be done in time, this time?

The key question for most brands and stores has become incredibly apparent-

Where did my customer shop?

Did I have a brand presence there?

Was my customer’s experience consistent?

In Other Words

ARE YOU UNIFIED???

Unified Commerce.  It’s not just Omni-Channel.

What does UNIFIED mean exactly?  It means that presence or performance is no longer about where one can buy a product or find their retailer.  As marketers, we call each of these a channel.  Do you know what your customer calls it?  NOTHING.  Sorry to be so blunt.  That’s right, they refer to it as nothing.  Why?  Because our customers really don’t care what a channel is.  They only care about where they are and if they can easily purchase something.  We also need less emphasis and planning around “channel optimization”, “tracking” the target consumer, or “omni-channel” anymore, too.  Technically these efforts will remain, but it is really all about the right marketing mind set and goals.  Its time to truly begin to understand and implement brand transaction strategies from the consumers’ viewpoint.

Unified Commerce.  It’s Technology and It’s Your Consumers’ Brand Experience.

brp-graphic
2016 projected $30B spend on commerce unification software 

 

 

It is about a product or a brand transaction being seamlessly and instantly present across every platform.

 

Why Omni-Channel is Not The Same as UNIFIED

Here is a perfect true life example of my experience with an exclusive department store-           This retailer is definitely Omni-Channel but definitely not Unified.  When I fly into this city, I always look forward to shopping at this amazing destination.  When I purchase something that won’t fit my carry-on, I have to ship it back.  The brick and mortar purchase process will not allow it to be shipped to my PO Box.  So, the sales associate has to physically release the order at the exact right time so that it meets me at my house upon return from my trip and not sit on my front porch while I am away.  Then, I have to worry about my purchase sitting at the retailer for sometimes a week or more, depending on how long I am away. But, when I order online from this store, they will ship my package anywhere- including my PO Box. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Dior Tribal Earrings My Must-Have Item Ordered Via Text Unified Commerce Needed Here
Dior Tribal Earrings My Must-Have Item Ordered Via Text

Most surprising to me was when I needed some extra help buying some incredible just-had-to-have runway earrings and I wanted a couple different pair to collect all at once. 

I called the store long distance and during this experience, I was able to order these pricey earrings from the sales associate literally via texting but, get this- they were not available for order via their website.  

Very confusing.                                                                    

 

 

 

 

Unified Commerce Needed Here The ECommerce, In-Store and Phone Ordering Brand Experience Completely Different
Unified Commerce Needed Here The ECommerce, In-Store and Phone Ordering Brand Experience Completely Different

 

So, time has come where the point of sale is no longer just about technology capability, channels or physical location of the purchase.

THE NEW POINT OF SALE IS THE CONSUMER THEMSELVES

Unified commerce means that no matter where or when a consumer decides to buy, they can seamlessly, readily and easily transact their purchase AND to them, the transaction feels, looks and acts the same.  The consumer experiences little differences in their transaction options and brand interaction.  Also anyone in the organization that may be assisting in the transaction has the same information access and in real time.

Unified Commerce by National Retail Federation
Unified Commerce by National Retail Federation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time flies.  Our consumer continues to expect more unity in their experience.  Can you be totally ready by the next holiday season?  Can you get Unified?

 

 

Madison Luxe Group Where Luxury Meets Reality www.thechristinereport.com www.madisonluxegroup.com

Christine C. Oddo is the author of The Christine Report blog and founder of Madison Luxe Group; a beauty and luxury retail sales, product development, brand curation and digital strategy agency.

Inquiries to christine@madisonluxegroup.com

Donald Trump and Barack Obama Meet After Trump's Historic Win For The White House Presidency

Crash Collaboration-Could Your Brand Successfully Collaborate At This Level???

Its been an intensely provocative week.

First, it was the amazing post-election exchanges between Obama and Trump.  Then it was what I learned at the Dior Makeup Counter. Both of these experiences made me think about collaborative brand relationships.  Of course, since I am in branding and consumer products, I look at most everything through this lens.  Barack and Donald are definitely brands. Just as politicians shape and influence our lives and decisions, so do brands.

Never, ever could it be imagined that Barack and The Donald would have this most gracious of exchanges.  Of course, a hand-off of the office was expected.  The unexpected was this high level of success in civility, cooperativeness and effectiveness.  When brands never thought of as compatible can pull off a major relationship coup such as this, this is what I call a Brand Crash Collaboration.

 

Could your brand successfully collaborate with another at this extreme level?

Donald Trump and Barack Obama
Donald Trump and Barack Obama’s Brand Crash Collaboration.

 

The Donald and Barack Obama together.   This is a Brand Crash Collaboration because it is so unexpected and effective that you cannot take your eyes and attention away from it.

 

 

 

 

What I learned at the Dior Makeup Counter

Also impressive is the collaboration of Dior and Amore Pacific in creating the       DreamSkin Perfect Skin Cushion product.

 

This much openness to a partnership between true competitors in the beauty space is remarkable.  I love the brand collaboration as much as I am loving this product.

 

Dior DreamSkin Perfect Skin Cushion Capture Totale
Dior DreamSkin
Dior Partners with Amore Pacific for the Dior DreamSkin Perfect Skin Cushion Product.
Dior Partners with Amore Pacific for the Dior DreamSkin Perfect Skin Cushion Product.

 

Other successful Brand Crash Collaborations are:

  • Louis Vuitton & BMW– brand behemoths executing at this level is definitely worth benchmarking.
  • Bonne Bell & Dr. Pepper- can you believe this collaboration formed in 1975?!
  • Karl Lagerfeld & The Odyssey at Hotel Metropole in Monaco– historic hotels have taken deep dives into the fickle world of fashion with these catwalk giants such as: Armani, Versace and Diane von Furstenberg.

Karl Lagerfeld collaborates with Hotel Metropole in Monaco
Karl Lagerfeld designs the Odyssey at the Hotel Metropole Monte Carlo

Brand Crash Collaborations are beneficial but require lots of forethought and planning.

Benefits:

  1. Greater Audience Reach
  2. Expanded Brand Identity
  3. Alliance of Expertise
  4. New Creative Opportunities
  5. Expense and Revenue Sharing

Beware:

  1. Extra Effort Coordinating Teams
  2. Authenticity Issues
  3. Execution Complexities
  4. More People Equals More Finger Pointing
  5. Legal Agreements

There is much to be considered and possibly much to be gained through Brand Crash Collaborations.  Every situation requires extreme diligence in assessing viability and pay-off and what everybody stands to gain or lose.

Brands now have a new benchmark high in collision collaboration.  Be careful with your brands and the possible outcomes- just as Barack Obama and Donald Trump seem to be.

 

headshot-from-christmasChristine C. Oddo is the author of The Christine Report blog and founder of Madison Luxe Group; a beauty and luxury retail sales, product development, brand curation and digital strategy agency.

Inquiries to christine@madisonluxegroup.com

www.madisonluxegroup.com