Fickle lot those socially savvy consumers eh!
Let's be honest with ourselves, retail adopted the homogenisation and the blandness of 'corporate multiple retailing' long before the internet and Covid kicked it in the balls.
Add to this the constant pressure on rising cost, the not very environmentally friendly splurge of fast fashion and a simple lack of 'retail theatre has created the opportunity to re-invent what was.
In the past, consumers had no choice but to pay attention to what brands had to say across a handful of radio or television channels, print media, corporate website, trade show, and eCommerce site.
Today, every single TikTok, Instagram/Facebook page, or Twitter account is a media outlet in its own right. Social media has democratized share of voice; people are no longer passive consumers, but creators in their own right.
To succeed in a world where commerce has a conscience, brands need to focus on speaking honestly and acting transparently.
The idea that brands need to be infallible in order to be trusted is dated. Instead, develop a transparent means of communication with customers in channels that create dialogue (loyalty, CRM, social media) and invest in adding value to local communities.
People today don't have to go to your website, in fact it's probably one of the last places to go to, they also don't have to be interrupted with your intrusive adverts.
They can block out your digital intrusions across multiple devices, they have greater control over how/if you can use personal data,.....as a result inertia is very much with them, not you!.
Not too many years ago the biggest threat in any sector was to come from your nearest and perceived biggest competitor.
This was a time when businesses were locked in a 'macro' mindset.
They were sure that smaller businesses, or start-ups would take a long time to have any real impact on what they did, where in the world they did it, and of course they had nowhere near the financial and resource access that big business had.
Fast forward to today and not only is the macro player under pressure with a competitors website, there's a new aggregated 'micro' threat that is using stealth and free to use social media platforms to come along and screw up your safe haven.
Very few companies purposely set out to 'disrupt' themselves, in my experience they are always in a constant state of what I would call 'protectionists ignorance' which in simple terms means let's keep doing what we've always done, so its no surprise that most disruptive innovation comes from external sources.
The modern consumer is extremely demanding and also very impatient with a brand, the 'I want it now' generation' is what is driving these changes via the global adoption and take up of social media platforms.
What if the next biggest threat to your brand/company didn't come from an existing recognised industry competitor, what if that next threat came from the many thousands of 'micro' influencers operating across social media?
Gen Z, Millenial's, or any other media agency diced and sliced consumer 'targeting' buzzword that describes people who disrupt the status quo have already disrupted it, these are the people who are already driving the next wave of retail via 'Social Commerce'.
Social media isn't a place to move your advertising budget to post your 'offers', services, and talk about you.
It's a place to be social, and if you don't really understand the 3 pillars of being on social you will always lose out to your competitor, or as described above a competitor who is yet to be born.
- A great personal brand - NOT a CV
- An aligned and engaged business network.
- Great storytellers.
Oh, and they all need to be great listeners!!!
if marketing’s great myopias tell us anything, it’s that focusing or fixing one part of customer behaviour creates a new set of unintended consequences. In a frictionless future, the next generation of problems are already beginning to emerge. Making it easier to buy than ever lowers customer tolerance and patience, erodes brand loyalty and turns brands into commodities in a world of auto-subscriptions and one-click buys.