In today’s competitive retail landscape, selling the same products as everyone else—and especially Amazon—puts brands and retailers on the path to self-commoditization: the race to the bottom on price that is bankrupting some companies and seriously harming others. The path to success, then, is to play an entirely different game. Now brands and retailers are fighting back with exclusive products and collaborations that are only available in their locales.  

A few definitions to set the stage for the report:

  • Collaborations: consumer-facing creative partnerships between two brands that bring together their aesthetics, branding and/or heritage to create a limited edition or permanent collection of products.
  • Private Labels: product lines that retailers exclusively produce, market and distribute.
  • Brand Exclusives: products that brands create exclusively for a specific retailer.  
  • Capsule Collections: limited-edition product collections for specific retailers.

Why We Wrote This

Amazon’s presence lingers in the minds of most leaders who sell consumer products. Should we sell on the platform? When will they come for us? Are we ever safe? These questions are all relevant and there’s no single answer or strategy to fend off threats from Amazon. However, one of the clearest paths forward is to sell and make exclusive products that, by design, will never end up on Amazon.com and hopefully will never end up on Amazon Marketplace. While there is plenty of fluff in the how-to-beat-Amazon dialogue, this report dives into a range of approaches that give brands and retailers a fighting chance. 

— Richie Siegel, Founder and Head Analyst, Loose Threads

Trailblazers

  • Macy’s is enlarging its private label and exclusive distribution after finding that these initiatives increase margins and lead to customer loyalty.
  • Bloomingdale’s uses brand exclusives to create a seasonal, themed “100% Bloomingdale’s” collection that helps differentiate the retailer’s product offering from competitors.
  • Fenty Beauty and Sephora’s collaboration was created to fill a diversity hole in the beauty market, leading to popularity and high sales.
  • Supreme’s long-term affinity for collaborations draws in, introduces and builds hype for consumers of luxury and mass-market retail.
  • Adidas created a omnichannel campaign around its Stan Smith shoe that connected to a trendsetting, authenticity-seeking audience.
  • Ralph Lauren is going back into its archives and reimagining its early 90’s Snow Beach collection, giving the brand a cool-factor that connects with current 90’s trends.
  • Away utilizes collaborations to create brand loyalty in a commoditized luggage market.

Stragglers  

  • Sears created the Kardashian Kollection as a last-ditch effort to reinvigorate its brand but the quality and style of the clothes resulted in an inauthentic and unsuccessful line.
  • Celebrity Fragrance sales have been declining in recent years as they are struggling to remain relevant in today’s media and pop culture landscape.
  • Gap’s attempts to refresh and reintroduce itself to shoppers have fallen flat as the company continually shifts gears, failing to find a place for itself in the marketplace.

1) Retailers are turning to exclusive products and private labels to differentiate their product offerings from Amazon and direct competitors.

Exclusives and private labels differentiate and drive sales for retailers, which are all competing with each other for a share of the same consumer wallet. Not only do these initiatives push incremental sales, but they also facilitate positive brand building, apart from competing on price. In recent annual meetings, department store executives continue to praise private labels: JCPenney says they help the company make quicker decisions because it has control over the entire program and Nordstrom states that private label products bring in higher margins.

Trailblazers: Macy’s & Bloomingdales

With department store foot traffic declining and more shoppers turning to online shopping, Macy’s, like other large department stores, has suffered declining sales for 11 straight quarters as of the end of 2017. To combat this, the company debuted a five pillar strategy called “North Star” to help it focus on key growth areas and connect better to the customer. One of its five points, “It Must Be Macy’s,” is meant to help the company differentiate itself from other retailers, putting a renewed focus on private label and exclusives given that many of the products Macy’s sells are readily available elsewhere. The company states that private label and exclusives have led to increased margins, since these programs help the retailer sell at full price or first markdown. They’ve also boosted customer loyalty, as private label and exclusives are born from its internal research.

Macy’s plans to increase private label from 29% to 40% of its product offering by 2020 according to CEO Jeffrey Gennette in a Q4 2017 conference. As these products feature higher margins, the hope is that sales and profit will also increase. With this in mind, the holding company is also bringing private labels and exclusives to its other brand, Bloomingdale’s.

In 2016, Bloomingdale’s launched a new consumer-facing branded collection dubbed 100% Bloomingdale’s, which pools together exclusives from different designers including Alice + Olivia, the Kooples, Acqua and Tory Burch. The retailer’s merchants work closely with different brand partners each season to create 1,000 on-trend exclusive products for women’s, men’s and the home.

For the Fall 2017 collection, featured above, 100% Bloomingdale’s developed a “varsity” theme. In a departure from the retailer’s general inventory, the collection appears in its own section on the Bloomingdale’s site, its items showcased with high-quality fashion photography. Online shoppers can scroll through multiple subcategories—in this collection, they are stamped with images that mimic Letterman jacket patches with slogans like “God Red” and “Velvet Victory.” Bloomingdale’s is pouring a great deal of resources into the program, as it has used Macy’s success with private label as a testing ground for the initiative.

Stragglers: Sears (Kardashian Kollection)

Although private label and exclusive products can be a powerful tool to differentiate a retailer, the partnership itself is not a cure-all. Sears launched the Kardashian Kollection in 2011, a private label meant to revitalize Sears’ declining image and sales and bring in younger, trendier shoppers. But the line flopped and was discontinued in early 2015 after Sears suffered losses every quarter since the partnership launched. Over that period, the line was constantly discounted.

One of the main issues with the Sears-Kardashian partnership was that it felt forced—a half-hearted and phony attempt at a partnership that neither extracted the best elements of the Kardashian style, nor enhanced Sears’ reputation. The low quality and tacky aesthetic of the clothes was created with the mass retailer in mind, but the items didn’t match the high-fashion aesthetics that were becoming increasingly tied to the Kardashian image at the time. This didn’t make the collection believable to the audience it intended to reach—many of whom watched the Kardashians grow up in wealth, and who knew that the sisters would never shop at Sears. The collaboration also did not make a serious attempt to outline each sister’s unique style as Sears’ marketing claimed (Kourtney’s bohemian look, Khloe’s rocker chic style and Kim’s red carpet flair). In the end, Sears’ transparent last-ditch effort to rejuvenate its relevance did not lead to a comeback.  

The Kardashian Kollection at Sears, Courtesy of Sears

Actionable Opportunities and Questions

Brands and Retailers

  • How can you creatively use your exclusives to enhance your brand identity in a long-lasting way?
  • How can you partner directly with brands to ensure that the exclusive collections they bring you are worth showing at your store and will either bring in new shoppers or retain existing ones?
  • If you’re a brand hoping to partner with a retailer to start an exclusives line, what data, tools, audience, and other elements can you bring to the retailer so that it is assured of a reliable and beneficial partnership? How can you ensure it will be beneficial for you?
  • How will exclusives or collaborations help you compete in the fast-fashion economy? How can exclusives help you increase the speed of product development?
  • How do exclusives impact your SKU count? Do they add to a brand’s vision or muddle the consumer’s understanding of the brand?
  • What are the markdown decisions around exclusives? Does the product have a longer lifespan if it does not compete with other retailers for discounting?
  • How can you determine the right quality and price points for your private label or exclusive collections? What design elements can you reuse to reduce cost and maintain margin?
  • How will exclusives affect your main brand and how will it affect your partner brands? Does your exclusive cater to a different customer than your core base?

Investors

  • What’s the optimal percent of exclusives, private labels and regular collections a retailer should have? How will each distribution generally affect revenue, sales and sell-through?
  • How will private labels help stores increase their margins and foot traffic and ensure they have a regularly evolving product assortment?
  • How will these initiatives affect net promoter score, even if they are short-term?
  • How does a fledgling company negotiate with retailers on design, quality and pricing? What is the point when brand has enough cache to be viable for a retailer’s attention and can instill a strong sense of its own brand identity?

Real Estate Developers

  • How can you help your tenants create collaborations to bring increased relevance to your properties?
  • With the mass mall era dying, how can you create authentic experiences and collaborations in your properties so they meet changing consumer tastes, such as thirst for authenticity?
  • How can you evolve your branding and messaging to show off your refreshed anchor tenants and highlight the exclusive products, collaborations and private labels they carry?
  • What type of data do you have about shoppers in your properties that would help inform your tenants when it comes to private labels and collaborations? The success of private labels means more foot traffic to your properties, so how can you work together on this front?

2) Collaborations should have a strategic purpose and solve a business problem, while bringing something new to both parties.  

Collaborations today are entering an increasingly saturated market. Those that feature unnecessary products and scream for attention fall short compared to ones that fulfill a consumer need or bring something new to the market.

Target was the harbinger of high-low collaborations beginning with Issac Mizhari in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Through its partnership with high-fashion apparel brands, the discount retailer transformed into the modern-day Tar-zhay. These collaborations gave shoppers a reason to visit Target instead of Walmart and bought the company PR buzz, long lines and consistent consumer excitement.    

Some of the most successful collaborations in recent years have been between companies like Apple or Gap and PRODUCT (RED), an organization founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver that partners with brands and donates 50% of profits to fighting AIDS in Africa. Over its ten-year collaboration with (RED), Apple’s sales amounted to $350 million in donations. On the one hand, this business model amplified demand for the (RED) products, which were often red in color and branded with the organization’s logo. On the other, selling mission-driven products gave consumers another reason to buy a company’s products, helping retailers increase their general brand value and their incremental revenue by millions of dollars.

Trailblazer: Fenty Beauty

A notable, modern trailblazer in the collaboration space is Fenty Beauty, a makeup line created by Rihanna, Kendo and Sephora. A hugely successful collaboration, Fenty’s sales surpassed both Kylie Cosmetics and Kat Von D in the few months since its September 2017 launch—it’s darkest shades sold out at multiple Sephora stores just days after Fenty’s release. In LVMH’s full year 2017 earnings call, the company calls Fenty Beauty one of its stand-out product-lines, contributing to the parent company’s record year and 13% year over year revenue increase.

Fenty’s 40 shades, Courtesy of @fentybeauty on Instagram

The success of the line comes from Fenty’s unique, strategic stance: that foundation should match every type of skin tone. Fenty’s products span over 40 shades, covering the lightest and darkest skin tones, and everything in between. It fills a void for black, hispanic and other customers of color whose needs have been largely ignored by the beauty industry.

Rather than simply slapping a celebrity name on a makeup line, Fenty creates an authentic marketing strategy around its products. Rihanna herself is a large part of the marketing strategy—in interviews and social posts, she adds her voice to the ongoing conversation about diversity, discussing why she felt a need to introduce her beauty products.

Trailblazer: Supreme

Supreme originally grew out of skate culture, creating a loyal following that reflected the interests and desires of 18-25-year-olds. Founder James Jebbia opened the original Soho store in 1994, where he first sold Supreme products alongside other skate brands. As the brand grew, Jebbia moved to selling only Supreme products and today, his company is perhaps best-known for its wildly successful product releases—small batches released weekly in addition to larger collections released a few times a year—that build massive hype around the brand.

But the brand’s collaborations—a quality inherent to the skatewear industry and quintessential to Supreme itself, which has maintained a strong pro-collaboration strategy since the late nineties—continues to bring in new faces to Supreme from both the lower end (Hanes, North Face) and luxury (Louis Vuitton, Comme de Garcons).

One of Supreme’s most popular collaborations occured in 2012 when Supreme partnered with Comme de Garcons to create a line of shoes, tees and shirts that were sold as ready-to-wear streetwear. This partnership coincided with Comme’s desire to expand its mass market relevance, creating synergy and growth for both brands. According to Jebbia, the partnership “opened a lot of doors, a lot of eyes” and catapulted Supreme’s relevance to the realm of high-fashion and elite circles, further elevating its status as a coveted high-fashion brand.

Supreme’s subsequent collaboration with Louis Vuitton also had a dual purpose: it helped the streetwear brand cement its iconic and high-fashion credibility. While it brought Vuitton press, sales and authenticity with items that were more accessible to a broader—and younger—customer base.

This collaboration also upped the ante on Supreme’s low-supply/high-demand model; the collab was only available at select Vuitton stores and Louis Vuitton x Supreme pop-ups—the items were not sold at all at Supreme’s brick-and-mortar stores or on its site. There is reason to believe that Louis Vuitton’s subsequent Spring/Summer 2018 collection featuring street-worthy items (a bag dripped in blue paint with large block lettering, tropical-themed skateboards) is based on the Supreme tradition of pop-ups and traveling shops.

Straggler: Celebrity Fragrances

The celebrity fragrance industry, which rose to prominence in 1988 and accelerated with the success of J.LO’s Glow, has recently hit roadblocks. While even a few years ago, traditional celebrity fragrances performed well (Someday by Justin Bieber was the highest-selling perfume in America in 2011), both Elizabeth Arden and Coty terminated many of their celebrity fragrance lines because of plummeting sales. Elizabeth Arden’s net fragrance sales shrunk from $736 to $572 million between 2014 to 2016, due to lowered sales of Britney Spears, Ed Hardy, Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift fragrances. According to the company’s CEO, “the celebrity fragrance category, and the weakness in that category, has been a real crippler for us the past couple of years.” For Coty, celebrity fragrance sales declined from 7.1% of sales in 2013 to 4% of sales in 2016 as per its full year 2016 transcript.

As shoppers see through the manufactured appeal and marketing around celebrity fragrances, what was once a cash cow for brands is turning into a liability. One of the main problems is in the business model. When mass media more tightly controlled the messaging of and access to celebrities before Instagram, a celebrity fragrance felt like an authentic way to connect and even “smell like” the celebrity behind the bottle. But in today’s more transparent media landscape where fans can stay in touch constantly with celebrities through social, this strategy comes off as inauthentic. There is also no need for these fragrances today, given their oversaturation in the marketplace and that consumers are opting to buy fewer fragrances at higher price points instead.  

Actionable Opportunities and Questions

Brands and Retailers

  • How can you create a sound strategy by releasing collaborations outside of the seasonal structure? How often should you do them? What additional resources will you need to make these additional collections work?
  • What type of consumer research can you perform to ensure these collaborations are giving your shoppers and potential shoppers something they’re looking for? How can you ask shoppers what collaborations they want to see?
  • What is the purpose of the collaboration? Does a collaboration fill a void in the market, provide a new lifestyle category or enhance brand perception through affiliate marketing?
  • What audiences do you hope to reach with your collaborations and how do you see them growing in the future? Are they one-off experiments or recurring partnerships?
  • How do you structure royalty agreements and contracts for collaborations? What are the profitability implications versus new customer acquisition upsides?

Investors

  • How can a brand use partnerships to improve or evolve perceptions about the its quality?
  • Should the brand try to up its prestige and consider entering the new and popular accessible luxury space? Or, should the brand try to become more relevant for a mass audience? How could collaborations help on either front?
  • How is the brand using collaborations to test out concepts it can use for future permanent lines and products?
  • Are collaborations profitable for the brand given partnership agreements?

Real Estate Developers

  • How can you create marketing campaigns that feature the exclusive products your tenants carry? How can you use this to make a splash and bring new, diverse people to shop at your properties?
  • What can you provide brands to help them display their special collections? How can you facilitate these different needs with your store sizes, display windows and other architectural features?
  • How could you create your own guides for your properties depending on the different special and exclusive products your tenants are carrying? How can you strategically choose the collaborations you highlight based on what your shoppers will like?

3) Brands can use multiple collaborations, exclusives and limited edition items to regain favor and rebuild their identity.

As many brands redefine their strategies to incorporate partnerships and special drops more regularly, collaborations are becoming a standard part of business. In particular, direct-to-consumer companies’ separation from wholesale enables them to ignore seasonality and the traditional wholesale and showrooming process. Collaborations also ignite inspiration and new ideas for future campaigns, as companies incorporate learnings from these partnerships to their permanent lines. However, with the growing popularity of collaborations in mind, it is important to think of collaborations as part of a larger strategy that supplements— rather than provides—core brand relevance.  

Trailblazer: Ralph Lauren

Recently, companies have been applying their own intellectual property to capitalize on the popular “90s nostalgia” trend that is particularly popular with millennial shoppers. Called “nostalgia marketing,” many companies are going back in time to move forward, looking to earlier designs that showcase their decades-long brand value.

Wholesale-driven brands are experimenting with nostalgia by using their existing intellectual capital to create renewed demand for the brand and attract new audiences. Especially for older companies such as Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren, nostalgia allows heritage brands to repurpose their old creative and ideas in a modern light.

Snow Beach Collection, Courtesy of Ralph Lauren

In January 2018, Ralph Lauren released a successful limited edition ten-piece “Snow Beach” collection that includes reissued and reinterpreted pieces from the brand’s 1993 collection—its first edition launched and sold out in less than a week.

Before this, in the fall of 2017, customers lined up overnight to shop Ralph Lauren’s re-released ‘92 Stadium collection—later, some of the streetwear-inspired items resold online for double the retail price. The attention Stadium received from streetwear enthusiasts was intentional—the remastered collection added an early-90s flavor to Ralph Lauren products instead of merely appropriating the trends in streetwear and hip-hop that companies like Supreme and Adidas have been playing to for years. Company representatives told Complex that it wanted Stadium to be as authentic as possible, specifically for consumers who are more in touch with current trends. The collection gave Ralph Lauren more clout with the streetwear crowd.

Tommy Hilfiger, Forever 21, Calvin Klein, Versace, and even KFC have also used nostalgia marketing to drive short- and long-term brand relevance and sales for their brands: Tommy Hilfiger’s 90s Tommy Jeans collection, Forever 21’s collaboration with Honda, Calvin Klein’s reimagined #MyCalvins campaign, Versace’s throwback collection honoring its late founder, Gianni, and the return of the old Colonel to KFC.

Trailblazer: Adidas

In 2012, Adidas took the Stan Smith sneaker off the market for two years, increasing demand and intrigue for consumers who could no longer find the popular shoe, first introduced in 1963. Two years later, the company re-launched the Stan Smith, sending personalized versions to select celebrities like Ellen Degeneres and showcasing influencers and other fashion icons wearing the sneaker.

The re-release helped Adidas’ Stan Smith surpass Air Jordans as the number-two sneaker brand in sales—for the first time in decades, Nike lost market share to Adidas, suffering a drop in sales in every geographic market it sold to, inverting perceptions of which sneaker brand brought the “cool.” It gave Adidas a strong fashion look, which was further cemented after it signed a Kanye West collaboration. Adidas’ nostalgia marketing strategy worked because it was authentic to the brand and helped to inject creativity and relevance to a brand that had always lived in Nike’s shadow.

In response to Stan Smith, Nike re-released its Cortez sneaker—one of its earliest models—advertising by having celebrities and other influencers pose with the shoe. But the re-released Cortez didn’t align with brand equity and values for Nike, a sneaker company better-known for its athletic collaborations and technologically innovative shoes that utilize new materials and enhance performance. Since the flop, Nike has shifted its focus to innovation and sustainability, which has more successfully lifted sales and supported the Nike brand name.

Adidas still reigns supreme as the chosen shoe for Millennials and Generation Z. The manufactured scarcity of the Stan Smith, coupled with social media, new media and the white sneaker phase, led to an 80% increase in sales for Adidas Originals in 2016.

Straggler: Gap

Gap has had less success in the collaboration and exclusive space because it is trying to preserve its “basics” aesthetic while searching for its identity among stints of different creative directors, logos and aesthetics.

While other brands like H&M and Target were moving towards fast fashion and other collaborations, in 2012, Gap released a “dress normal” campaign, which doubled down on its basics-driven strategy. The campaign featured multiple celebrities like Zosia Mamet from “Girls” and Elisabeth Moss from “Mad Men,” but its messaging fell flat on consumers who didn’t want to spend money on “normal” clothes that they perceived as lower quality. Sales fell after the campaign’s release, even though it was during the holiday quarter.  

Gap needs to give people a reason to buy its products while standing out from other brands in the same space. Leaning further into its basics strategy means offering commoditized product at an elevated price point, even though shoppers can go elsewhere to find similar clothes for less money, or higher quality clothes for the same price.

In January 2018, Gap tried its hand at nostalgia marketing with the “Archive Reissue Logo Remix” campaign and product release, a capsule collection with apparel pieces featuring heritage logos and aesthetics. However, the campaign lacks a strong execution and represents a misunderstanding of the success of heritage trends.

One of the main traits of a successful nostalgia campaign is to elevate and refresh heritage styles. Tommy Hilfiger, for example, brought back its Tommy Jeans line, which was hugely popular in the 1990’s. It took its signature red, white, and blue color combination and refreshed it with some green and yellow. Ralph Lauren also brought back its Stadium collection, which was hugely popular among streetwear aficionados around the same time.

Comparatively, Gap’s identity has changed so constantly that it’s Logo Remix campaign comes off as yet another attempt to find its identity, rather than anchoring to a strong past identity. The messaging around the campaign tells the shopper that Gap’s logo is “one of the most recognized in the world,” instead of showing us that it is one, like Tommy and Ralph did with their collections. The statement does not land since Gap tried to modernize its logo in 2010 and was then forced to change it back after consumer complaints. Without a strong anchor in the past, nostalgia marketing can’t have its intended effect.  

Trailblazer: Away

Because earned media is the sole marketing strategy for many digitally-native direct-to-consumer brands, nascent companies often enter the marketplace screaming for attention, but without a fully-formed identity. While they often create a quality flagship product and release all subsequent products with fanfare to build a following, when collaborations are added to this business strategy, brands have a surefire way to market themselves, borrowing brand equity from more established companies while maintaining quality.

Since it started selling products in 2016, Away, a digitally-native, direct-to-consumer brand has done a number of limited collaborations. Its collaborations introduced additional color and design to Away’s luggage, which was originally released in a number of neutral colors without a strong design point of view.

One of Away’s first collaborations was with Pop and Suki in early 2017, producing luggage in the “Millennial Pink” color that was trending at the time. That summer, Away released products in collaboration with the movie Minions, which featured bright yellow suitcases and accessories, standing out from other main brands that almost always use a neutral palette. The collection fostered PR and press, YouTube unboxing videos, and most likely, incremental sales. A recent collection with photographer Grey Malin features Malin’s original and sought-after travel photography on the lining of the suitcases. According to founder Jen Rubio, this partnership helped the company align itself with aspirational travel, connecting even more luxury-minded shoppers with Away.

Away’s business strategy is a smart way to keep product development costs low, since it can create innumerable versions of the same, quality suitcase, which only differ in fabric, color or design. With limited-edition collaborations, Away circumvents the seasonal structure, as it doesn’t need to rely on wholesale and showrooms. This gives the company the flexibility to surprise and delight shoppers anytime of the year. Additionally, it can use collaborations to test its ideas for more long-term design changes or new permanent products while boosting its equity and buzz from popular brands, trends and influencers.

Actionable Opportunities and Questions

Brands and Retailers

  • If you are an older brand, how can you effectively use your existing intellectual property in capsule collections? How will a short-term collaboration or capsule collection help you bring back a brand identity you’ve lost or enhance your brand identity for modern times?
  • What are the risks in relying too heavily on collaborations? How can you mitigate these risks by quickly testing and learning?
  • How can you use social media and influencers to help authenticate your collaboration in a way that draws hype and attention?
  • How can you ensure that the team has diverse voices to create collaborations that tap on the pulse of the market? How can new voices help ensure that your campaign doesn’t come off as tone death? If a collaboration exposes holes in the structure and/or abilities of your team, how will you harness this opportunity to adapt your team, whether it requires reorganization or hiring temporary/freelance employees?
  • How should you mold your in-store and online experience for the campaigns and collaborations? How can you ensure you have the right messaging at the right places and that your messaging shines through?
  • How much context is required to understand collaborations? Does the design translate to a wide audience even if the cultural connotations are not initially apparent?

Investors

  • How does the nascent brand you’re looking at plan to grow in a saturated market? How is it looking at collaborations as ways to grow its relevance? How can you ensure that the company you’re looking at isn’t planning on using collaborations for collaborations sake, but is using them strategically grow?
  • How is the brand looking to bypass traditional barriers around collaborations and special collections such as showrooms? How can you ensure that the brand is contributing enough value to bypass these customary rules?
  • How can you ensure that exclusives don’t create false expectations for quarterly revenue growth, especially if one collaboration leads to an artificial sales bump?

Real Estate

  • If a brand is only doing collaborations in a limited amount of retail stores, how can you ensure that your property is chosen? What sorts of services or incentives can you offer to increase the likelihood?
  • How can you shift your email, social or WiFi campaigns to effectively show off the new inventory your properties are constantly bringing in through tenants’  collaborations? How can you ensure that these new collections are constantly communicated to your marketing teams so they can disseminate the information in a compelling way?
  • Even though younger brands might seem riskier or less permanent, how can you sniff out the ones that have staying power? If they have collaborations with big names, what does that mean for their relevance?
  • How can you use new social media platforms to help drive your consumers to stores that have compelling exclusive products? How can you use Snapchat filters, Instagram stories and other platforms to drive engagement?

Going Forward

While exclusive products and collaborations are currently instrumental in growing brands and retailers, there is a risk of oversaturation. Investing in a strategy that only focuses on private labels or exclusives is risky, as they will eventually lose their meaning if overused. In this instance, patience will be rewarded to the companies that act with bold intent, rather than those that cling onto the latest trend. There is a lot to gain from these strategies, but associating with the right partners at the right time is essential.