Key Shifts in Retail | Part 1: People Power

November 13, 2019
Canopy Views
Key Shifts in Retail | People Power: from Brand Authority to Consumer Influence

The holiday season is all about celebrating customs and rituals, but the cultural landscapes of the retail sector are anything but traditional – they’re shifting as we write. Over the next few weeks, Canopy will be digging into key changes in retail, shopping and gifting to help brands get ready for the holiday season.

People Power: from Brand Authority to Consumer Influence

At the moment, a brand’s value, reputation and cultural identity determines the value of its products and/or services. Being a “premium” brand has usually been associated with higher quality and reliability, whilst mass market brands frame themselves as authorities on accessibility and functionality.

However, the rise of direct-to-consumer trade and the ease of providing and accessing online feedback means that shoppers themselves have a greater influence. As a result, the value of products and services, are being determined by consumers more democratically and collaboratively.

Brands that are adapting to this are placing the end users of their products at the center of their retail offer, enabling them to aid in the design of the product or service they will go on to buy.

Key examples:

Online retailer hosts an annual Made Emerging Talent Award, where budding designers can submit their work, which is voted on by consumers. Products receiving enough votes are put into production, giving the consumer-designers a bit of exposure and some royalties.

Adidas MakerLab offers consumers and designers access to its equipment, archives, and talent, allowing them to engage directly design products which are later released and sold through a StockX IPO (Initial Product Offering).

Last year, IKEA launched Co-Create IKEA, engaging consumers at every stage throughout the process. The platform allows consumers to submit product designs, attend test labs and prototype shops, then vote on products that they would like to see in stores – they’re even eligible for cash rewards if their ideas are used.
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