All the exemplary cases of recent success, those that are praised to the skies worldwide in management seminars and symposia, are brands that have integrated distribution into their value offer. This is the case with Starbucks, Zara, Amazon, Dell, l’Occitane, Sephora and so on: they are all equally brands and distributors. We go to Zara in order to buy Zara.
It is interesting to note that Starbucks, Zara, Amazon and Google, to mention but a few, did not bother with advertising. On the contrary, they invested in training, men, women, architecture, the sensory contact, ergonomy, touch and the like.
It is revealing that all the stars of modern management, presented in all the management seminars, are brands whose shops are a source of enjoyment for the shopper: through the environment, choice, atmosphere and so on. We were already familiar with Galeries Lafayette, FNAC, the Virgin Megastore, IKEA and Nature and Discoveries, but we must now add Sephora, the Apple Store, the Nike Store, and the newlook factory shops that have consequently become destinations in themselves for a busy afternoon of what is now known as ‘retailtainment’.
What is the impact on brands? The brand today is built through retail. What use is recognition if the brand is not to be found in distribution, or even if it passes unnoticed or does not create a value-added shopper experience?
Now all product brands audit their sales points in order to turn them into experiential and sensory levers in five dimensions. These are also crucial links for customer relationship managers (CRMs), who must connect to the customers’ preferred points of sale if the relationship is to be converted into sales.