Is it time for Brands to Go Direct to Consumers Online?
It’s time for brands to seriously consider cutting out the
middlemen. In this case, that would be retailers, according to Bob Egner, VP
of global marketing for EPiServer, in an opinion piece on the Brandweek website.
to Mr. Egner, you need only look to the likes of Apple and Nike to see what
they have done with their own direct-to-consumer selling ventures (Apple Store
and Niketown) to understand the potential of brands to grow by controlling
the retail experience.
The most direct means for brands to reach consumers
is through the internet and some, such as Procter & Gamble and Columbia
Sportswear, are moving in that direction.
Brand marketers, Mr. Egner wrote, are
wise to go in this direction because it helps them reduce the number of "missed
merchandising opportunities such as cross-sell and upsell" that occur
when a retailer with no particular reason to sell one brand over another is
handling interactions with consumers.
Mr. Egner sees brands and retailers on
equal footing today when it comes to developing a web presence.
"New technologies makes it faster and quicker for companies to be able
to engage visitors, manage the transaction processes, incorporate social tools
such as blogs, ratings and product reviews — all to deliver a more engaging
online experience overall," he wrote.
Discussion Questions: Is it time for brands to take greater control of the
brand experience by selling directly to consumers either online and/or in
stores? Are there lessons for all brands from the experience of others such
as the Apple Store, Niketown, Procter & Gamble, etc.?