Charity here. I've long preached in offline conversations that our industry would grow exponentially if we could as a collective, figure out a way to be nimble and agile enough to keep pace with the constantly evolving demands of the retail marketplace. If this were to occur, our end-user clients could ideally charge retail or better prices for goods they are most often instead giving away for free. And what more does it then do for their brand when they trade such an item for loyalty? When value isn't an issue, price isn't a question. There is never a question about the value of a retail product when it's hot. And, when it's no longer the thing to have, there is something hotter with as just as much perceived value to take its place. I dream of a day when we as an industry are no longer struggling to play catch up and can in turn, stop clawing like cats and dogs to earn ever-shrinking margins.
Second only to the ability to stay on trend, another challenge the retail world is working to figure out is the how-to on marrying the traditional, high-touch/human-to-human interaction sales model with the efficiency of an eCommerce transaction. A few companies are beginning to figure it out and it would be well with us to quickly adopt and adapt this model to fit our industry.
This piece from Inc. nails it for me. So maybe it won't be amazon that cracks the code in our world, but it will be someone.
"Never in the history of retail has the opportunity to build a brand been better..." and never in the history of branded merchandise has the door been so wide open for someone to come in an make a mark so big it stirs the prepared, challenging them to rise to the occasion, and paralyzes others, leaving them no choice but to wonder how on Earth their iceberg melted.