It happened. It was one of my typical very early mornings watching CNBC. When I heard that Amazon was buying Whole Foods, yes, I let out the stereotypical huge gasp.
Jim Cramer also gasps when he breaks the news that Amazon is buying Whole Foods.
Once I got over the initial early morning caffeine-stoked shock, I came to the same understanding as the rest of the world. OK, this is finally, finally, finally it. Now do we all get it? It really is mobile 1st and digital always from here on out.
Technicolor memories of my retail career then started to ramp up. Growing up in the Mid-West, shopping was everything. There were tons of amazing department stores based in Chicago. Consumer products became my career of choice. Then, all the department stores started to disappear. These were massive stores. They were institutions. One by one, they faded away.
Check out the timeline below for the disappearance of some of Mid-West’s biggest retailers:
As you can see this started happening waaaaay before Amazon came around. I loved these stores, but I could see the writing on the wall, even back then. Maybe I am lucky. Maybe me and my retail career have been primed all along for this tectonic shift.
“I loved these stores, but I could see the writing on the wall. Sure, we are where we are now because of the Amazon might. However, I argue this a bit differently. I say we are where we are now because the consumer decided it so. “
People vote clearly and loudly with their purchases choices. See the yellow line below in the graph? Look to the far right and you will see the Amazon growth acceleration, especially since September 2015.
If you are in marketing, you know this already- Ultimately, the consumer is always the boss. So, while Amazon is the latest key player, they are not the total reason. It is, as always, all about the consumer. It always has been and it always will be.
Maximalism versus Minimalism. If you created a campaign using a meme, which way would you go? Which visual style is more representative of your brand?
More than ever before, visual impact takes the lead role in brand presence. Memes are an excellent tool for delivering incredible visuals while identifying with your target consumer. In the not-to-distant-past campaigns relied heavily, and successfully, only on their creative and production capabilities. Our digital media world has changed all that. Creative is no longer perceived and judged just as award-winning art-for-art’s-sake. It now has to be conceived with the notion that it can go viral – and we all know that creating the magic of going viral is the killer hack in digital branding. Now not only does creative have to be flawless and fitting, it must also be able to go into full viral motion.
Memes are a leading way to instantly deliver your brand message.
So, will you go with the Maximalist pow and deliver eye candy straight between the reader’s eyes? Or, is it more fitting for your brand to play it cool and draw them in with a I-couldn’t-care-less-about-how amazing-I-look-‘tude?
Gucci’s latest Watch campaign is obviously continuing their trend in Maximalist fashion.
Check out some of their recent campaign memes. The copy is critical too!
Want to understand how Gucci is utilizing memes into their campaign?
Now that you have experienced Maximalism, let’s see the difference with Minimalism. What Vetements just did is simply way too cool.
Burberry’s Art of The Trench campaign is iconic for its minimalist imagery and impact. They further capitalized on their viral success with a flawlessly linked execution via brick & mortar and engaging user generated content.
What Burberry’s did is extremely important. It illustrates the opportunity for how a brand can lead an entire robust campaign with a single piece of developed creative.
We now know the importance and opportunities of memes. So what will it be- Maximilism or Minimalism?
Christine C. Oddo is the founder of Madison Luxe Group a beauty and luxury product retail sales and digital strategy agency and author of The Christine Report blog.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.