With the erosion of competitive advantage, the collapse of distinction and the homogenization of pretty much everything, it’s time to admit that what we sell isn’t that different from the competition.
So something has to be.
What’s exciting is, the explosive growth of channel and device choices, combined with the connection prowess of the Internet, means that distribution is the biggest opportunity for brands to reach the right people at the right moment with the right product.
If you’ve been wondering how to get your products into the customer’s hand, consider asking a few of these scary distribution questions:
What if we rewarded customers for planning their shipments months in advance? What if we offered non-monetary online redemption coupons? What if we had a mobile food truck stationed at strategic locations? What if we had a monthly subscription program so customers never had to think about replenishing? What if we had premium delivery options for impatient people? What if we had a discount aggregator offering daily deals?
What if we had home pickup like the milkman from the fifties? What if we had smartphone delivery tracking? What if our customers never had to leave the house again? What if we had alternate payment options? What if customer content was the coupon? What if there was no such thing as a physical retail store? What if we had amazing relationships with third party vendors that operationalized restocking issues and socialized the middleman?
What if we text messaged real time inventory updates? What if we built a bat phone customers could ring during emergencies? What if we used geotracking to deliver to people’s cars? What if we used local businesses as pick up depots? What if we created non-traditional sampling locations? What if we used reverse logistics, invited customers to fill out their weekly calendars and we delivered according to their schedule?
Advertising is dead. Technology is alive.
Distribution is the new marketing.
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