Since the advent of the internet we have seen a significant disruption in various industries such as the taxi industry with Uber, and the print news media industries to name a few. The retail industry is now one of many major sectors that faces a number of new and challenging obstacles. Today many legacy brands have been unable to keep up with today’s marketing strategies and maintain relevancy with today’s demographics.
If we look at certain brands like BCBG, True Religion, RadioShack and Toys R Us these Brands were at one point extremely successful, and had the ability to interact and engage with the audiences through print media and television ads. But unfortunately, today many of these brands have lost their ability to maintain relevancy in one of today’s most important marketing platforms, social media. So the question is, what has or what is causing all these brands to essentially become obsolete?
The Increase In Online Purchases Yearly
The amount of people shopping online has increased steadily since the advent of the internet. As a result, more brands are now transitioning from having solely a physical brick and mortar store to now having an online presence as well. Brands that are unable to adapt to this change in market trends are now currently at a huge disadvantage. Strategies applied in the 90s and early 2000’s simply just do not work anymore. Which is one of the reasons why some of the brands listed above have fallen off.
Champion is a perfect example of the flipside of this. Champion at one point in time throughout the early to mid 90’s was a fairly generic run of the mill brand. However, currently we have seen a huge resurgence of this brand in street wear culture and fashion. Through social media and the usage of specific brand influencers, like Kylie Jenner Champion today is now a huge contender, more popular than they have ever been! Why? Because they paid attention to the market and switched their attention to wherever the most eyes were. Today that is no longer billboards, print ads and tv commercials. But its on IG with brand influencers, on YouTube with popular vloggers or through Facebook with paid Ads
Understand Your Customer
As your demographic begins to grow and develop a brand must have the ability to adapt and cater towards what the demographic needs, and areas of attention for that group.
As I mentioned brands that are stuck using methods from the 90s and early 2000’s are at a huge disadvantage because they have not evolved with the demographic. Take Toys R Us for example. During the 90’s and early 2000’s online shopping was much less prevalent than it is now. So your average parent or anyone buying toys for a child was more likely to go into a store and purchase there. Now with the boom of Amazon, Ebay, Walmart online coupled with a growing generation of people having children that have lived the majority of their lives in an internet age, buying online is now the norm. Brands today must be more strategic in placing their products in distribution channels that their customers actually use. Hence the reason Toys are R’s are closing their doors, because they were unable to understand their customer, and how their customer was changing through time and generations.
Emphasis On Market Diversity
Its important to understand the changes in your demographic and understand what services, or products they are seeking and how to reach them, diversity is also very important. Although there is a huge increase in online shopping, some people still prefer to look at a physical product and purchase in store. Amazon for example, a online superpower is now starting to build a few brick and mortar stores. Because they understand that there is still a huge group of people that do not shop online, and they want to also capitalize off this market. Many of these legacy brands tend to fail when they archetype themselves too strictly. There is nothing wrong with having a specific niche, but when it begins to exclude your customer base to heavily that’s where the problems begin.