Improve Lives Through Better Products (Part II)
In part I, we shed light on why traditional marketing channels — social media and emails — are failing to effectively connect brands with customers and introduced a new content channel. In Part II, we provide two additional business avenues that the new content channel allows brands to take in order to strengthen their messaging.
The New Sales Channel
As brands, we sometimes lose sight of what our customers really want and need. Sellers used to be able to drive customers through the funnel, but today, customers choose how they move through the customer journey; they have the ability to ignore what they don’t want, and only patron brands that align with their beliefs and values. Using products as a sales channel gives creators the ability to learn what is most useful to their customers, and like a friend, suggest the things they think customers could benefit from.
Distribution partners for any brand have traditionally been an asset, but they also come with drawbacks. As a third party, distributors may have limited understanding of a product which can lead to a dilution of your brand, message, and mission. A brand is defined as consisting of all touchpoints with a customer. When customers interact with a distributor, consumers may have a poor experience and your brand may suffer as a result. Moreover, distributors get facetime with customers to a degree that brands don’t. When a sale is made through a distributor, that distributor acquires the customer instead of you. Smart products change all that.
Turning your product into a sales channel allows creators/you to organically build rapport with audiences, and learn what a customer values so you can provide helpful recommendations.
A brand that did this seamlessly is Staple Pigeon, the company of streetwear designer, Jeff Staple. He enabled a keychain and used it for both content and sales. The experience was a scavenger hunt throughout NYC, which took fans on a journey to locations that were integral to building Staple’s brand. Telling his story in such an innovative way, brought value to fans who had always been curious about the designer’s story. A few months after the scavenger hunt, Staple updated the keychain to give owners early access to an exclusive sneaker release. Through the keychain they were able to purchase the limited edition sneakers before the rest of the public. Staple identified keychain owners as the perfect audience to promote his sneakers to.
The New Authentication Channel
As creators, we’re really proud of the products we create. It represents our ideas and the work we took to make those ideas a reality, and we take serious precautions to protect that IP. We protect logos, slogans and ideas with copyrights, trademarks, and patents, but what do we do to protect our physical products from counterfeits and imitations?
To protect products from counterfeits (and your brand as an extension of that), Blue Bite authentication has emerged as a solution. Using NFC as a tool to thwart counterfeit goods empowers both creators and customers. Creators can embed NFC as a way to identify real products from fake goods, and customers can keep from perpetuating the sale of fake goods by checking product authenticity before making a purchase.
Also playing into this is customer experience. We create things in order for others to find meaning and utility in them; if a customer unwittingly comes to possess a fake item, they are faced with a bad customer experience, which in turn can lead to marred brand reputation.
Sneaker Con knew the importance of protecting its brand reputation and partnered with Blue Bite to prevent the perpetuation of fake sneakers at their convention. As the world’s premier sneaker convention bringing vendors and attendees to buy, sell and trade some of the most exclusive and sought after sneakers on the market, it was of the utmost importance for Sneaker Con to ensure that the sneakers brought to their convention were genuine. Authenticators at the convention would determine a shoe genuine, and tag it with a tamper-proof LEGIT tag that was enabled with the sneaker’s details (make, model, brand, condition) as well as with a digital seal of authenticity. Once encoded, the tag details could not be changed or reversed. Users could then tap the tag to upload their sneakers to their virtual closet. Tapping was the only way users could get the authenticity seal to upload into the app. Taking this action to protect its fans and brand, solidified Sneaker Con’s reputability, and also made them the leader in setting the standard for authenticity.
Transforming your products into the new channel enables you to distribute content, communicate directly with customers, and authenticate products. Looking at these use cases collectively, we see how they work together to make information more accessible and efficient, and in turn help people live smarter.
Famed writer Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” By enabling your products, you leave a trail.
Be a pioneer; change how people experience the world.
We’re here to get you started.
Read the full piece, here.