I remember being 12 and getting my arm stuck in a vending machine after my 6oz bag of Cheetos got its corner wrapper caught in the twist of death. It wasn’t that I loved the feeling of my tender, tweenaged under-arm skin being pinched, but rather the fact that I adored those dusty orange, deep-fried corn niblets. Cheetos’ jazzy carnivorous front man, Chester, has always stood out to me, as questionably related mascots of food brands should (here’s lookin’ at you Count Chocula). It’s no revelation that branded experiences guide everyday buying behavior. Furthermore, it’s no secret that, without branding, some shopping experiences turn into an uninspired browse down the generic cereal aisle. As Chester sits atop his swirly perch and beckons my name through the glass, I contemplate mega, mega-retailers whose brand experiences leave something to be desired.
In 1994, Amazon came onto the playing field like a juiced-up sophomore with his homecoming date in the stands. Amazon’s hormones raged, and his harem of products built the biggest vending machine ever. That is when the problem arose for brands; as a brand, “how do I separate myself from all the other brands that basically copied me, and now sell it for slightly cheaper?”
Nike was one of the first to figure out that, if a customer buys from its own online store, they make three times the profit. What most brands do not realize, is that the distributors and large retailers are not scared of the brand selling their own merchandise, but are really worried about being undercut by Amazon’s good looks and being attacked by a rogue Amazon drone.
Now, what we are left with, is a whole bunch of high-end brands that have never dealt with the pain of being a retailer. The new goal for brands is to create a better experience than billion dollar retailers. The answer: allowing customers to engage with products in a new way that leaves Amazon’s hands clean of orange dustiness. Just like the new Coke Freestyle machines that have 300 flavors, the future of eCommerce looks bright. One of their newest shining stars has emerged, click here to get the full experience.