Brands listen up; get your products off the shelves - and put them on pedestals instead!

Cosmeticsonapedestal

Place your products where they belong: on pedestals

Ecommerce has rewritten the playbook for Direct to Consumer (or ‘D2C’). Where once it meant clunky mail-order, 28-day delivery windows and fulfilment courtesy of a man with a van, it now means state-of-the-art payment processing, next day shipping and as many whizz-bang plug-ins as your server can handle. More importantly, D2C lets brands develop their relationship with their customers at the most pivotal point: the bit where they stop looking up and start coughing up. That’s huge.

So why is most D2C so painfully uninspiring? Let’s take a look at Dyson for a second. You’d expect the most innovative company in the UK to do something really different and exciting with the ‘Shop’ section of their website, but no. You browse to a category, you choose a product, you add it to a basket and you checkout. That’s exactly the same, innovation-free experience you’d have at Currys, or Amazon, or John Lewis. The only real difference? You’re likely to pay about 25% less if you shop around than if you buy direct.

Which is crazy. Brands should be putting their products on a pedestal, not on


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DIRECT TO CONSUMER: WHY BRANDS NEED TO PUT THEIR PRODUCTS ON PEDESTALS, NOT SHELVES

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Quick. Think of a brand of vacuum cleaner. If you thought “Dyson”, you’re not alone.

But it’s a different story over on Amazon UK’s Upright Vacuums landing page. You’d expect Dyson to dominate but, in its default “sort by popularity” view, you have to scroll way, way down - past dust-suckers from Gtech, Morphy Richards, Zanussi and Bissell - before you get to a single product from Sir James & Co. Now, there are probably very good reasons why that works for Amazon (who control the algorithm governing that page-view), but it’s obviously less than ideal for a brand who famously obsess over its R&D, production and marketing only to finds its positioning diluted by the promotion of their competitors.

So, what do you do when retail’s no longer your best friend? Well, there’s really only one option: you start selling direct. Ecommerce has rewritten the playbook for Direct to Consumer (or ‘D2C’). Where once it meant clunky mail-order, 28-day delivery windows and fulfilment courtesy of a man with a van, it now means state-of-the-art payment processing, next day shipping and as many whizz-bang plug-ins as your server can handle. More


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Disintermediate! Disintermediate! How startups might exterminate agencies

Disintermediate! Disintermediate!

Two utterly fascinating articles from Giselle Abramovich recently on Digiday, the self-styled "Authority on Digital Media, Marketing and Advertising" (it really is, mind you - it's excellent). The first highlights how brands are cosying up to startups, directly approaching innovators to develop and float new ideas and platforms. Of course, that used to be the role of agencies, who would then sub-lease these fresh new goodies to their clients.

So it's no surprise that a recent follow-up article lists Five Ways Brands Are Cutting Out Agencies - a pretty terrifying read if you happen to work 'a-side'. Once again, it refers to this disintermediation of agencies - the way that brands are increasingly cutting out the middleman by sourcing and managing all the tools and resources they need to achieve success.

It goes without saying that the immense democratisation of recent technology plays a huge part in this. Where, once upon a time, you needed an agency to secure you the best rates for display ads, these days it's all done by machines with very little leeway for the creative flair agencies once brought to the table. As for social... well, which would you choose to nurture the bond between


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