The Recalibration of Retail

Shifts creating new opportunites in changing times

The continuous advances in technology, increased consumer consciousness and AI insist on companies innovating to stay relevant to future customers. Here’s a few shifts to take note of:

Direct-to-consumer

2018 is proving to have brought Direct to Consumer “D2C” strategies mainstream. Brands like Casper, Brooklinen, and Lola, to name a few, have made D2C business models their battle cry, cutting out the middleman to lower cost for customers, creating simple straightforward value that increases their bottom line.

Customers now have a more tailored brand journey, which a third party can’t mess up with outdated technology or hidden shipping costs.

 

What do you stand for?

 

Now more than ever, consumers are socially conscious. Brands, whether multi-national, multi-billion-dollar or single-person start-ups, are increasingly aware that alignment with positive causes is not only good for the planet, but also for their bottom line. Take Versace for example, who recently announced – No Fur for fashion.

Whatever your brand, business or startup, it’s important to know why you are in the game in the first place; and those values should be in line with your cause for activism. Sincerity to yourself and your customers is key.

If you’re unclear, start with “why” and work your way out. Some of you already imbue values which you are not employing in your strategies; take a step back and assess your message to the market.

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 Sustain to sustain

Brands can damage the planet in many ways, and its people and consumers are holding brands responsible for their actions. Studies found that consumers no longer find the traditional brands desirable, especially in the “luxury” market. Instead, brands making conscious efforts are capturing the hearts and minds of consumers.

So, how can traditional, especially luxury brands, adapt and stay relevant?

Take a stand and work to manifest your values in the world, make commitments (whether to values, culture, the environment, ethics, or society) and share those values by adopting a “language of conscious consumerism.”

It’s no longer about possessing more goods. Consumers are looking to express who they are in terms of being “ethical, creative, connected, and tasteful.”

By seriously engaging with issues like inclusion and diversity, greenhouse gas emissions, raw materials, and product design, or labor issues, brands can build winning brand strategies.

Collaborate and Leverage

Collaboration enables you to trade your skills to open doors to a wider audience. Collaboration in the fashion world is now standard practice; key partnerships last year include Adidas x Yoshi Yamamoto, Public School x Jordan, Louis Vuitton x Supreme, inter alia. Yet the possibilities extend well beyond the world of retail, with apparent collaboration in hospitality and co-working spaces like Spring Place & Eleven Madison Park or Dirty Lemons and Sweet Greens.

By assessing your capabilities and seeking out new potentials for creativity, you can create new possibilities for your brand.

One thing is for sure, wonderful things are on the horizon with great areas of opportunity in the instability. Being flexible and able to adapt while remaining authentic will bring forth new relationships and opportunities.

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