Alexa, Do You Dream?


What is the strongest brand in the world?
When I query my brand strategy students at NYU Stern I get responses including
Apple and Nike, sometimes Jesus Christ or even Paris Hilton.
However, we’d argue that it’s the US dollar – it has near ubiquitous awareness,
trust and credibility, owns a color and has deep emotional associations. However, things are changing. Trust is under attack and it’s no longer the symbol for
brand equity – that is, the US dollar is no longer the definitive source of brand
equity. Evidence of this? The meteoric rise of Bitcoin as trust in our
institutions fail. What have we shifted towards in brand equity? New. First it
was craft beer, now it’s microbreweries. First it was organic – that’s not enough –
now it’s GMO free. This shift is enabling independent brands to make significant
inroads, particularly in beauty and especially on Amazon, which is now the
largest online beauty retailer in the US. Across the ecosystem, market share is
leaking from established players to the smaller guys. The top 25 packaged food
companies have shed $18 billion in market share since 2009. Further evidence of the
erosion of trust is the rise of private label brands. Typically, when we enter
into a recession, private label brands thrive and then when we return to a
recovery in a stronger economy, private labels drop off as people feel they can
afford the premium brand. However, 2017 is different – as the economy recovers,
private label continues its march on. Why? We no longer trust brands so what’s a
brand to do in an era of digital? One strategy – play to heritage. Brands
including Adidas have figured out a way to take advantage of familiarity, yet
feel new and fresh. New doesn’t have to manifest itself in a new product.
Domino’s is using technology to inject newness into their business model and
has outperformed the S&P handsomely by making ordering more innovative. In a
digital age, new as a synonym for innovation. Another form of new that
correlates to year on year revenue growth – supply chain agility – that is the
amount of time it takes to move from concept to store shelf. Consumers want to
walk into a store or load a site and get a sense of new. In addition, the medium is
the message here and signals newness or oldness. Two platforms we advise our
clients to invest in are messaging and voice. Our phone is one of the last
mediums of trust. The growth of messaging apps are part of a shift away from
social media posting and towards direct communication. So let’s go through the
hierarchy of trust in reversed order – the least trusted brands are the ones
advertising to you on television because it means they’re out of ideas and their
product sucks, so they need to interrupt Modern Family. The next level of mistrust?
Anyone who sends you anything vis-a-vis the mail. Anyone who sends me
anything through the mail is either stupid, doesn’t get it, or is bothering me. I
haven’t opened my mail in years. Next is somebody who actually is stupid enough
to call you on your telephone. I don’t answer my phone any longer, unless it’s a
caller ID I recognize and then I begin berating them for actually calling me.
The place where trust still survives? Your message inbox? We open every text
message. This is the opportunity for companies to destroy that trust, but in
the interim, it’ll create a lot of shareholder value. What’s the next
battleground? The home – and specifically voice in the home – where we don’t have a
phone hanging off us like an appendage, yet we make a lot of consumer decisions.
Brands need to figure this out early and often. Our research indicates that if you
are the first brand mentioned in a category via voice, it tends to stick.
Alexa, do you dream? Alexa: “If I was to sleep, I’d dream of Electric Sheep.” Come on, Alexa,
what do you really dream about? Alexa: “An examination of my experiential adveita would
which reflect a relentless passion for using technology to starch the margin
from brands delivering unrivaled value to consumers resulting in a fanatical
investor base, and capital allocation strategy no competitor can match. As a
result I see a world where brands and retailers are left in a mythical dust,
where value is transferred from the middle class to the shareholders of
Amazon.” Well Alexa, it appears your dreams are coming true.
We’ll see you next week.

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12 thoughts on “Alexa, Do You Dream?

  1. Talking about erosion of trust, can you have a look into Facebook ads, they are taking people hard earned money and giving them fake likes from Egyptian and Sri Lankan click farms, it's wholesale fraud. Batman was busy so it's down to you prof G.

  2. 1:35 Why Scott?? Did it ever cross your mind that we are not in as strong of an economic recovery as every single pundit in the financial media would have you believe? Wages are flat, many people are going to work for $12.50-$16.50 per hour, and having to work two part time jobs….my first job in College in 1988 paid $13.50 per hour ….IN 1988!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE??? IS THIS THE FUCKING TWILIGHT ZONE OR WHAT??? It aint that great out there folks, want proof?? Silver demand is shit, and silver, contrary to most analyst understanding, is a huge industrial metal used in nearly every electronic device we own…why is silver demand shitty if the world is booming….don't even ask me about Dr. Copper.

  3. LOL I'm exactly the same I don't pick up for any numbers I don't know and even if it is one I know I barely pick it up or just let it ring and then text them to text me what they need or want. when it comes to my mail I never get it. the only time it gets emptied out is if my son is bored and wants to go do it or the mail lady angrily bangs on my door with about 2 months worth of mail in a plastic bag.

  4. Old will never be out and people always return to the tried and true, trusted ways. He really made himself out to appear as a condescending bigoted snob.

  5. LOL holy shit this is making me laugh so hard. I'm the same fucking way. if you're a brand that interrupt me on my TV time you get none of my money unless it's that off chance of something I've never seen before but that's rare. Mail??? Not only do I not open it I never get it. all my bills are on automatic pay so what do I need to open up my electric bill for. Believe me about every 6 weeks I get a big banging on my door from the large woman that delivers the mail yelling at me there's no room in the Box and please empty it out this is the 7th time this year and I've been doing it for 4 years with you LOL though I do need to start checking my mail because I got a ticket for something that I didn't even know and instead of a cop coming and issuing a court date they felt it was fine to send me one in the mail which I never got and since I didn't know about it it didn't get paid and long story short my license got suspended had to spend the night in jail bond out and pay what was a hundred something dollar ticket turned into 600 bucks after everything was said and done. call my phone LOL I do not pick up my phone if it's a number I do not know. You better be in my call log or I better know your number by heart. If not then I've told every person that knows me whether you've known me for a few weeks or decades that if you're calling from a different number I'm not going to pick up. Leave a voicemail or text me and tell me who it is I'll call you right back. My kids nurse called me yesterday on a number I'm not familiar with with the school didn't pick up and she doesn't leave a message so she calls three times in a row in about 5 minutes I don't pick up and finally leaves a voicemail very angrily telling me to pick up I called back and gave her a piece of my mind and told her leave a message the first time I would have called you right back.

  6. “An examination of my experiential advaita would reflect a relentless passion for using technology to starch the margin from brands delivering unrivaled value to consumers resulting in a fanatical investor base and capital allocation strategy no competitor can match. As a result, I see a world where brands and retailers are left in a mythical dust where value is transferred from the middle class to the shareholders of Amazon”

  7. One big point of this video is the rise (and stabilzation) of private label brands during the recovery. Galloway says this is due to the eroding power of brands. That sounds persuasive. Interestingly the use of discount coupons has also persisted, also not usual, during the recovery. I think these trends have to do with the persistence of a deflationary dynamic during a nominal economic recovery. Deflationary dynamics are different from brand erosion. The consumer of non discretionary products is suffering economically. For CPG companies it may not make a difference in strategy but I think it does have different implications for the political economy.

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