ECOMMERCE: After enabling Postmates, anytime a local customer checks out from your online store, they’ll be able to select Postmates as their delivery method. When they do, simply pack the order and request a pick up. In minutes, a Postmates courier will show up at your door to take the order wherever it needs to go. No post office, no lines, no delays.
DATA: As it turned out, the system has become so automated, that just about anyone can pretend to manage an ad campaign. Twenty-somethings with no clue of how the system actually works buy ad space on behalf of their clients, who are just all too happy to be part of the trend. Display advertising is a big hit, because there’s no way to check if it works, so there’s no accountability.
BRAND: But unbeknownst to an audience of more than 64,000 people, Beyoncé dropped several easter eggs in the midst of her Made in America performance back in September 2015. Right before she performed her hit single "7/11," several images flashed across the screen. You see Bey and her squad sporting the IVY PARK athleisure clothing line.
DATA: Foursquare isn’t the only company creating enterprise software from aggregate data. Ghostery, a browser extension that shows people how many ad trackers are on sites they visit, also collects data to sell to companies that want to know what tags and ads are being shown to their site visitors.
ECOMMERCE: Uber believes its riders spend tens of millions of dollars at merchants shortly before and after rides, its Director Of Partner Management March Mahrus tells me. That empowers Uber to influence where this money ends up. A niche shop on the far side of town is effectively much closer in terms of cost and time needed to get there thanks to Uber.
DATA: The tools of data capital are available to all companies, not just to startups. In fact, enterprises have a distinct advantage in amassing stocks of data capital because of the volume of their interactions with customers, suppliers, and partners. Three principles show how to exploit this advantage.
MEDIA: Vice launched Viceland in February with backing from A+E and has made an agreement with Nielsen not to disclose ratings during its first six months. A distribution deal with ESPN, which remains a top destination for millennial men, especially on digital and mobile, could help to boost awareness of and interest in the new cable channel.
ECOMMERCE: The online retailer still remains firmly outside of the luxury industry, as Amazon does not carry high-end brands, but its success nevertheless permeates all income classes. Brands need to prepare for the giant’s potential entry into the luxury space by beefing up digital purchase channels.
Last Word: your brand is a product too.
At home, there is a Mac monitor devoted to the last 12 years of brand mention data for the 27 small, medium, and large brands that I closely follow. Some are doing just as fine as ever, some have peaked, and some of have yet to do so. The monitor serves no other purpose than understanding who's winning or losing, peaking or falling. In a world of highly-funded challengers, incumbents lose ground on a daily basis.
For the brands that have peaked, the most frequent reason is a divestment in brand statements and an increase in the focus on programmatic ads and other automated means to maintain a level of visibility. Brand statements include: experiential retail, ambassadors, branded content, and efforts to maintain a community around the product that you sell.
The misconception is that a brand is just a bi-product of your efforts. Some business owners see it as an inconsequential, invisible possession. I'd argue that the brand is the most important SKU in the portfolio. It's the most important product that a company manufacturers. We're watching product market fit shift beneath companies at an accelerated pace and often enough, a strong brand is what separates the stable and the depleted. A strong brand is worth the investment.