The relationship between consumers, brands and retailers has changed significantly over the past decade. With e-commerce and social media providing more opportunities for consumers to interact with brands, creating a consistent experience across channels is becoming increasingly important.
Previously, brands had near complete control of how they sold their goods—they picked which retailers could sell their product, set pricing models and even had control over how they were represented within a store. The proliferation of discount retailers shifted the balance, giving retailers more control over pricing models and brand selection. Then came the internet and e-commerce, which has completely shifted control to the shopper. Now the consumer is armed with huge amounts of information and can choose where and when to buy a product. This sea change has shifted how retailers and brands interact with consumers, as well as how marketing is used as a tool to drive sales.
Social Media Disruption
Prior to the rise of social media, brands were in control of their own narrative. But it’s no longer a narrative, and instead an active dialogue. Brands that have successfully turned their focus from telling consumers a story to building a story with their consumers have best positioned themselves for the future.
Consistent Brand Experience
Instagram is an excellent platform for retailers to curate their content on social media, creating a landing place for their aesthetic. Increasingly, instead of thinking how a brand can live online, retailers are reversing their thinking and instead, creating an in-store experience that mimics what they’ve curated on social channels. With more interaction with the consumer online, brands are focusing on creating consistency, where what happens in the store fits seamlessly with the online and social experience.