GLOSSIER MASTERS THE ART OF PEER MARKETING
The most trusted source of product recommendations definitely comes from our cronies. That's why Glossier, a prime advocate for peer selling, has adopted a word-of-mouth strategy into its business model. "Women are discovering beauty products through their friends, full stop.” says founder Emily Weiss.
The beauty retailer has made swaps across the board to focus on authenticity, its top branding tactic. C-Suite marketing executives are being traded for cool-girl brand reps, and lackluster lab coats for millennial pink jumpsuits. Down to packaging, Glossier wants its millennial consumers to just get it. Who needs Bill Nye to explain ingredients when simplicity is bliss? Descriptions like "the same gentle cleaning agent found in contact lens solution" are what create the clarity buyers want when searching for the perfect product.
To fuel its marketing phenomena, Glossier channels to customer feedback and works from the ground up. Products like the Milky Jelly Cleanser have come to fruition from customer suggestions. In our most recent visit to their store with retail expert Paco Underhill, we determined this tactic to be unfiltered magic--the kind that all retailers can benefit from.
GUCCI OFFERS LUXURY DINING
The idea of creating an experience outside of pure fashion retail has emerged for brands in recent months. These innovators are approaching food and dining as potential customer spending avenues. Gucci's luxury eatery in Florence, Italy is meant to serve as incentive; dining prior to, or after shopping, makes for a worthwhile offline experience.
While the sales of luxury wines, spirits and food rose six percent last year, (more than bags, shoes, and clothing), retailers must hone in on the long term marketing ROI versus immediate profits. "Food is luxury as much as fashion," said Stefano Cantino, strategic marketing director at Prada.
RETAIL AND TECH INTERSECT
Voice assistance has increasingly become a norm among consumers—between Google and Amazon alone 30 million devices have been sold. This year's Consumer Electronic Show boasted a rise in conversational interface, especially with Amazon's quest to create omnipresence by offering Alexa in 4,000 smart devices.
As Google and Amazon compete for artificial intelligence supremacy, retailers should ride the wave to raise brand exposure through voice technology. Similar to AI chat bots, consumer needs can readily be met via voice commands and keyword recognition. For early adopters, this could be a key point of competitive differentiation.
While AI may redefine our workspaces, and there's no escaping the reality of voice and its infinite support.
CHINA INTRODUCES "NEW RETAIL"
"New Retail", the integration of online and offline retail space, has China's e-commerce giants scrambling for the consumer experience prize. Despite massive store shutterings in the US, online retailers like Alibaba are exploring omnichannel options.
Whether it be pop-up locations or the launch of permanent physical stores, the digital brand has already begun its investments in brick-and-mortar innovation. Its interest in tech spaces is high - partnerships with Starbucks and China Unicom smart stores have set the foundation for Alibaba to implement its live community.
Going forward, consumers will have access to 3D object recognition technology along with the Taobao app which enables users to purchase products online and pick up in-store. These kinds of highly engaging features are just a few of Alibaba's integration attempts.
THIS WEEK'S BRIGHT SPOT
Our fashion time capsule has opened again for the comeback of scrunchies. Amid the hype, the elastics can be appreciated for their functional use. The convenience of putting hair into a ponytail without acquiring major dents is a beauty unicorn; it's unheard of!
No matter how much we want to leave scrunchies for the teeny boppers and fast fashion retailers like Forever 21, the revival has debuted in 2018 runway collections ranging from Balenciaga to Mansur Gavriel. Now, the gathered polyester is being rebranded as 'hair clouds.' The fancy moniker, coined by Danish designer Line Sander Johansen, promotes the idea of scrunchies mirroring silk clouds wrapped effortlessly around bundles of hair.
Enticing, right? We're currently waiting on our Amazon Prime delivery of an assorted mix of 'hair clouds.' Hey, we said they were back, not that we hated them.