The Amazon Effect
Companies will sink or swim based on their ability to continue to move further away from the competition, most often by creating new market categories or exploiting whitespace in the industry.
To date, Amazon has been a leader in this strategy, creating new demand and revolutionizing the way the retail industry works, effectively destroying the brick-and-mortar paradigm. What they have done is not a paradigm shift, but a paradigm decimation.
Each week brings news of another retailer shuttering storefronts and shifting to a digital only presence or, worse, filing for bankruptcy and scrambling to survive. Commentary and public opinion are mixed on the long-term effect on the retail industry.
Some praise the ‘Amazon Effect’ as a means of pushing retailers to modernize and become more competitive on price and product range. Critics bemoan it as the death of retail industry, questioning what it means for product quality and truth in advertising when you can’t touch or feel something before you buy it.
Adding to the confusion, Amazon’s foray into its own brick-and-mortar storefronts is popping up across the world as we speak. The difference is that Amazon brings additional value to their stores by making the experience more customer friendly and focused.
I’ve had the opportunity to go to an Amazon Books store and my experience was quite positive. The stores take some customer-favorite Amazon.com features, like reviews and customer ratings, and bring them to life in an in-person experience. In store, only books rated 4-stars or better are available, meaning you can feel confident in your purchase.
What’s powering all this? Amazon’s ability to take big data and use it in stores to curate products that they know will resonate for markets and consumers and drive customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Amazon’s latest move – their proposed acquisition of Whole Foods, Inc – has commentators and industry and armchair experts speculating on Amazon’s motivates and future plans, and what this means for the future of another market, the grocery industry.
Personally, I’m hoping this move will result in better pricing and selection, as well as customization and personalization of the experience. Also, I’d be very happy to have my Whole Foods order dropped by Drone onto my front porch. This idea seems like just a dream, but the truth is that drone delivery isn’t that far-fetched.
The Process Behind Disruption
Disruption might be the biggest business bandwagon of all time. But ask most people what their idea of disruption is, and they’ll stare at you with a blank look or start rattling off a set of disjointed ideas.
Why Turnaround Specialists Need Market Invention
Turnaround specialists can be called in at all stages of failure, from decreasing working capital to impending bankruptcy. While the work of a turnaround specialist in these situations is irreplaceable, it can be effectively supplemented by incorporating Merit’s Market Invention strategy. This unique partnership turns a rather dire situation into a net positive by implementing change and inventing a new opportunity for a business to not only survive, but to thrive.
Public Relations and Market Invention
“We need public relations!” We hear this command frequently from big and small organizations across the country. However, we promptly question what exactly they’re seeking. Every organization needs a smart PR strategy, but most don’t know exactly how.
Video and Market Invention
You’ve probably heard of Market Invention, the strategic process of creating new markets through a shift in audience, category, channel, or branding. It’s the discipline behind disruption, and it rests on good communication. That’s where video comes in.
Web Design and Market Invention
Web designers are the architects that create the visual elements of the site, the stuff the user sees. Web developers create the functionality that works in the background. When working together, the two disciplines deliver a seamless, clean experience that ignites a buyer’s interest.
Design and Market Invention
Understanding how to use—or not use—design archetypes is at the core of a well-planned Market Invention strategy. Market Invention can use a shift in brand imaging or messaging to pivot into a new market and target unreached customers.
Five Lessons From the Growing Artisan Economy
We hear a lot about the artisan economy. It’s a movement towards personalized, hand-made, small-scale production that has been gaining lots of momentum in the US. So much momentum, in fact, that artisans are taking a measurable chip out of mid-sized manufacturers. According to the Inter-American Development Bank, if the artisan economy were a country, it would have the fourth largest economy in the world. While larger sized businesses obviously cannot compete with some aspects of the artisan economy, they can certainly reflect on some of the principles that are propelling artisan growth and apply them to their own organizations.