Huddle 2018 - Content Hub

Swim Fast or Sink: Digitally Native Brands

Eric Heller, Wunderman Commerce 

“Why do my eCommerce share reports keep showing brands I don’t care about?  Where are our real competitors on these charts?!”  How many brands have heard this cry of frustration in their meetings over the last five years as brands no one had heard of rose to prominence seemingly from nowhere?   

The growth of eCommerce and, more importantly, marketplaces, has fundamentally changed the shopper journey and, in turn, the market we all compete in.  Whereas it used to be relatively linear:  Awareness, Interest, Decision, Action, it now is complemented and complicated by social inputs, reviews and even supply chain.  Brands that understand this and tailor their products and fulfilment for the channel are securing the lion’s share of revenue in the channel.  As a case in point, look at Anker, which is estimated to have already exceeded $400M USD on Amazon alone as far back as 2016.  How did a brand most people haven’t heard of come from nowhere to be one of the biggest brands in eCommerce?   

These brands have grown by natively understanding how shopper behaviour has changed and tailored their approach and even their products to fit that.  In some cases, individuals are assigned to monitor social content daily not just for their own products but also for competitors.  Data like this can be used to visualize where your product is winning but also where improvements are needed and even the same about key competitors: 

These “digital natives” look for something like this and see a word like “waterproof” again and again, and then they feed that back to development to increment the product in the next 90 days to win the next phase of sales. 

All of this represents a massive change going on within the marketing industry but it is a mistake to think traditional brands can’t adapt, especially when working in partnership with their agency.  Brands big and small need to evolve quickly to be digitally native or they will not exist at all.  For example, in a customer centric eCommerce solution, agencies and brands update content frequently instead of once a season or only at launch, depending on input and feedback on search terms and customer generated content.  Reviews play a critical role in the eCommerce customer journey and can be one of most important piece of content that will determine success.  Years ago, brands would have done almost anything to see what customers were thinking yesterday or even a month ago.  Now we can see it almost live every single day on every single product.