Playbook: How to approach virality as a consumer brand

From cronuts to fidget spinners, the rise and fall of viral products are clouded in mystique. Largely outside of a company’s control, viral products gain momentum thanks to myriad external factors, as they spread throughout social networks and…


How much of virality is simply novelty?

From cronuts to fidget spinners, the rise and fall of viral products are clouded in mystique. Largely outside of a company’s control, viral products gain momentum thanks to myriad external factors, as they spread throughout social networks and…


PrimeTime: Amazon Channels reigns over television subscriptions; Amazon upgrades its beauty shopping experience, will launch the Marketplace Appstore for sellers, is closing customer accounts because of returns; Whole Foods tests a store-in-a-store housewares concept, Acer’s new laptops are integrated with Alexa

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon Channels continues to take more of the television subscriptions pie from TV networks. The service, which allows Prime customers to purchase streaming subscriptions to television channels is now…


The Grinds: Bulletin opens its third New York store, Aesop expands its retail footprint, Shopify moves offline, Walmart will sell Harry’s razors

Bulletin is opening its third New York store, continuing its quest to champion women in business. Bulletin, which began as an online magazine in 2014 featuring digitally-native women-led brands, will open its third flagship store in the historic…


How brands can achieve and maintain cultural resonance

“Lifestyle brand” is a buzzword that has lost meaning in the consumer economy. Either imposed or self-ascribed, companies with the label use it as a justification for their ambition to become much more than a brand, but a way of life. Some are…


Disney World: How Disney used entertainment and hospitality to build an ecosystem, both online and offline

“Lifestyle brand” is a buzzword that has lost meaning in the consumer economy. Either imposed or self-ascribed, companies with the label use it as a justification for their ambition to become much more than a brand, but a way of life. Some are…


PrimeTime: Amazon is using 3D body scanning to collect data to grow its apparel business, halted its expansion in Seattle, added a children’s book subscription to Prime, launched a new private-label pet brand called Wag

The latest news on everything Amazon   As its apparel retail business grows, Amazon’s 3D body scanning department will collect data on how body size and shape changes over time. The company acquired a startup called Body Labs in 2017 that…


Culture drivers: A framework for brands that create culture

“Lifestyle brand” is a buzzword that has lost meaning in the consumer economy. Either imposed or self-ascribed, companies with the label use it as a justification for their ambition to become much more than a brand, but a way of life. Some are…


PrimeTime: Amazon will sell an Echo Dot for kids, raise its annual Prime membership fee, stream Thursday Night Football, double its credit line, sell Chico’s apparel; Amazon is attempting to win over HQ2 finalists and growing its retail business with profits from AWS and advertising; Private equity firms want to consolidate top Amazon sellers

The latest news on everything Amazon   Amazon will begin selling the Echo Dot Kids Edition in May 2018—a smaller device with a protective case, two-year warranty, and a year of the FreeTime Unlimited Family Plan, including child-oriented…


Social(ism) — with Brian Schechter of SelfMade

#66. SelfMade provides Instagram-in-a-box for entrepreneurs, giving small businesses the tools and services they need to succeed on social media as conducting business online moves from websites to Instagram accounts. We talk with co-founder Brian…


The difference between Brand and The Brand, and why neither are defensible

“The brand is defensible” is a phrase increasingly muttered across the consumer landscape. The challenge with a statement like this is that “brand” usually lacks a definition, further perpetuating an important misunderstanding: people are mixing up…


Ignoring effective frequency: why buy buttons failed

Many considered buy buttons—little additions to social networks that allow users to buy what they were seeing—a major step forward for social commerce. Instead, they faltered. Conversions were dismal. Buy buttons failed for two reasons: 1)…


PayPal is an emerging brand’s best friend

To many people in the tech world, PayPal's days as an innovative company are long gone. The company brings up memories of an early frontier in web payments in the mid 2000s. But for an emerging brand, which often lacks a consumer's trust early…


Augmenting commerce with social, not the other way around

Companies across fashion and ecommerce have tried to bridge the divide between social and commerce by throwing boatloads capital at the problem. These efforts have been largely unsuccessful. Buy buttons and its ilk don't convert as expected,…


Emulating Facebook’s News Feed will fix fashion’s inventory problems

Fashion's retail cycle is dominated by endless sales and markdowns, which is highly problematic for brands and retailers. This is the ultimate race to the bottom: sales start earlier in the season, prices drop lower than before, all with the hopes…


Press is like crack and how fashion brands can stay off it

The fashion world looks at press as the holy grail. The common wisdom is that press is the best way to build a company and brand. The thinking is often along the lines of: If only we get press on this will the brand take off and we'll make a…


The fallacy of an online-only brand leading to immediate prosperity

When you start a new venture in a new industry, it’s easy to question why certain things exist. This is healthy, possibly mandatory, if you want to make an impact and stay ahead of the curve. But it’s highly problematic to take action without…


“I’m building a lifestyle brand”

I always laugh when people say they are starting a "lifestyle brand" from day one. You don't get to choose if you're a lifestyle brand; you have to earn it. Ralph Lauren didn't say he was a lifestyle brand when he first started selling ties. He had…


Gestures matter: thoughts on customer service

A brand is a set of values. Some of these values will influence how you treat your customers. These customers can be individuals you sell directly to or wholesale partners or distributors who you work with seasonally. Early on, you’ll have to figure…


It’s not all about money

Early on in a business, it's easy to think of success in a black and white manner. Is the business making money or not? Does this decision make me money? This is an easy lens to filter all of your decision through, but using it as a…


Watch Your Cash Go (Sorry, I Mean Cash Flow)

I’ve never spent money faster in my life. It wasn’t recklessly, it just kind of happened. One second you had thousands of dollars in your bank account, then you had hundreds. Welcome to the game. Manufacturing, and specifically fashion, has one of…