Make it better, not free.
Let's talk about marketing strategy, "free" price spiral and retailers' behavior, discussed in a groundbreaking article by Artemis Berry, Director of Content at blog.shop.org, which recapped the recent "Innovative 2011" conference in San Francisco.
Consumers are still recovering from the austerity of recent years and it seems that a large proportion of retailers have solved challenging each other in a race to the "bottom of the barrel" when it comes to sales prices and discounts. At "Innovative '11 - The Retail Marketing Innovation & Conference" recently held in San Francisco, Kevin Kelly, author and founder of the famous magazine "Wired", shared with the audience his thoughts on how to develop brands and products capable to make it in the "land of the free". Kelly analyzed those trends and movements in the "digitally-empowered" world of retail showing an impact on how we interact with everything and everyone around us. So here are the six trends Kelly identifies as capable in helping the business to be competitive and effective without getting lost in the spiral of "free".
1. Screening. Screens are everywhere, not just the computer where you type. They can be found in kiosks, tablets, on your mobile and maybe one day in glasses for reading. Now attention aims at screens and where attention is directed money will follow. Retail will happen in the world of screens.
2. Interacting. It's all about interactivity. And digitally speaking, interactivity never gives up evolving.
3. Sharing. Everything share-able, will be shared.
4. Flowing. If it is not done in real time, it won't count. In the ocean of these flows (e.g., Twitter, RSS, etc.) there are plenty of opportunities to create and sell.
5. Accessing (not owning). Access is better than property.
6. Generating(not copying). Values will turn generators on. As soon as you see a large shift towards the free, the value is placed on what can't be copied. People will pay for immediacy, personalization, authentication, customization, accessibility, interpretation and find-a-bility.
What a lesson? Let the sharing of products be easy. Embrace the access trend rather than possession. Think about the brand as a generator making your product hard to imitate in the consumer's mind. Whatever you sell, you are working on how to make it better rather than free.