- Amanda Whittaker
One person's perspective.
BRAND'S MUST LEARN TO OPERATE WITH MORE PATIENCE (than most currently possess), TO DELIVER ON SHOPPER'S IMPATIENCE (which gets worse every day), IF THEY WANT TO GROW AT RETAIL (who have ever-increasing demands.) - Amanda Whittaker
This "and" world is the real-time paradox within the retail environment. It’s no longer about in store or online, it’s both. Reality lives within the digital and the physical. It won't be easy but with an open mind, endurance, and conviction, I believe more than ever marketing matters. What came to me after two and a half days in a Las Vegas convention center were five consistent themes to think about, and at least eighteen new buzzwords I'll add to my bingo card.
1. We are operating in a specialist world. Those who remain OBSESSED with solving a problem will grow faster than those with a generalized "all things to all people" offering. I heard this loud and clear from retailers such as Sam's Club and Uber, as well as newcomers such as Olaplex and vuori.
2. There is untapped value in "functional ease." A product or service that makes something about my life easy is easy to engage with and easy to understand deepens a customer's relationship more than high quality or a perfect rating. Proof is found in the explosion of on-demand services, consolidation of trips, despite inflation, and the post-pandemic economy.
3. Your personal brand is built through the items you recommend. Just as curated playlists have replaced single artist albums; Gen Z is pointing us all toward curated beauty and crowdsourced personal care. This top trend leads me to wonder - how much longer will marketers track brand loyalty as a metric of brand health? Instead, is a better indicator of your brand's relevance and growth potential actually NPS improvement? As Warby Parker CEO, Dave Gilboa so eloquently said, "our customers are our biggest marketing asset" after explaining his brand has maintained an 80+ NPS since launching nearly 12 years ago.
4. You can't put a price on love. It appears there is an ever-rising responsibility within marketing to drive full-price sales. Across small, medium, and mega brands, I consistently heard discounts and promotional events are still in play but taking up a smaller and smaller portion of investments. Trial is less important than repeat confirming it’s not enough for a shopper to "engage" with your brand. To remain a credible function, we need to make it super easy for our consumers to buy, to move them from "I like it" to "I love it" quicker than ever before.
5. Empathy and emotions create value beyond price. There is an uprising in the brand world around self-reflection, bigger than self-care. There's a sense of responsibility brands and creators feel to their audience. It's as if their "thing," whether it’s a hair care product, a digital platform, or a delivery service, has a story to tell which connects the heart, and the mind, making partnerships with influencers or retailers even more powerful than traditional price, feature, and benefit communication.
Paradox is perfectly positioned to take the guesswork out of marketing and help brands make better decisions while remaining obsessed with sales growth. Interested in hearing more, reach out to email@example.com. We'd love to hear what's on your mind and if we can help.