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Episode 141
January 21, 2020

Monoculture is Dead: LIVE from NRF 2020

Is Omnichannel really dead? How are niche brands reaching an entirely new (or not so new) generation of customers? And does Coty know what to do with Kylie Cosmetics? Find out during our LIVE NRF 2020 episode where Phillip and Brian are joined by Ingrid Cordy!

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Is Omnichannel really dead? How are niche brands reaching an entirely new (or not so new) generation of customers? And does Coty know what to do with Kylie Cosmetics? Find out during our LIVE NRF 2020 episode where Phillip and Brian are joined by Ingrid Cordy!

Main Takeaways:

  • Brian and Phillip are joined by Ingrid Cordy live from NRF 2020!
  • The Future Commerce Vision 2020 Retail Report is out and contains tons of predictions for where commerce is heading in 2020.
  • The Filter Bubble restricts people from ever seeing content from outside their social circle, but how do we expand our social awareness?
  • What brands are going to be making exits in 2020 and why?

Is Monoculture Dead?: What is Monoculture?:

  • There will never be another Michael Jackson in regards to his pop iconography, as many more content creators create content and media.
  • As the world is becoming more fragmented and more niche, you begin to find your niche community that provides its unique perception of reality.
  • Forty years ago, everyone shared the same media experiences (such as the moon landing), which became cultural moments of the world.
  • The visuals we have from mainstream media of pivotal moments in history would never occur today because we now view events through Snapchat and Instagram stories.

The Filter Bubble: The Power of Influence:

Positive Shifts: Sorting Through the Noise:

  • How do aspirational brands reach no customers if the world views of potential clients are so limited due to the filter bubble?
  • Getting people to explore outside of their bubble is a big challenge.
  • Your social circle and the people around you affect the way that you see the world, so smaller niche brands enjoy an audience that is outside of the mainstream culture.
  • Aspirational brands can be effective, but Phillip predicts this will be based on word of mouth and the trust you have from your social circle.
  • Ingrid predicts an increase in the need for social proof and refinement in the next generation of influencers.

Looking Ahead: Shifting from Growth to Staying Power:

  • We are coming out of a period of brands going through explosive growth, but Brian predicts we are entering a period where brands want to become something that sticks with people for a much more extended period of time.
  • Everything today seems to be ephemeral, and what happens today doesn't matter tomorrow.
  • Consumers are starting to get tired of brands always focusing on the "new" and are tired of continually discovering what has changed.
  • Staying power is proving to be more and more desirable from the consumer base, so brands are shifting their approach to be more dependable.

The Power of Niche: Finding Your Tribe:

  • The things that matter to you and that you put a value on will become more niche and more local to your tribe.
  • The social community value of niche brands can be more valuable than broadly recognized brands that everyone has heard about.
  • If we trend towards how communities interact and care about each other, we will automatically create places for sharing things beyond your internet bubble.
  • Each city has its own Chamber of Commerce, which is a great place for brands to share their experiences and advice with other brands.

The New Local: Virtualizing the Physical World:

  • Local isn't just a physical location; it is wherever you happen to be.
  • There's an emerging trend of very young kids in school who will log onto Fortnite, not to play the game, but to be with their friends for hours at a time in a digital locale.
  • Taking local online to digital locations virtualizes and redefines everything we know about local.
  • Most of our shared experiences are very short experiences, and meme culture is rapid and happens in an environment of fleeting recognition.

Coty Buys Kylie: An Enormous Acquisition:

Commerce Current Events: Rapid Fire Hot Takes:

  • Casper just filed to go public, and Coty just bought Kylie Cosmetics, but what other large brands could be making an exit this year?
  • Ingrid predicts that Everlane could be exiting because they have been around for a long time and are doubling their brick and mortar presence this year.
  • Brian predicts that Cuyana will be purchased or make an exit this year.
  • Phillip thinks that Glossier has a tremendous amount of brand awareness and thinks that expanding their reach will be easy with their VC money.

A Virtuous Filter Bubble: Changing the Future Through Choice:

  • Over the next ten years, Phillip predicts that we have the opportunity for technology to enable the consumer to tell the brand how they want to be talked to.
  • Allowing customers to experience things how they want to experience them is a filter bubble that is virtuous.
  • If you don't want to see anything that uses animal products while shopping, there should be a filter that applies across all of your online shopping that removes that content.
  • A more venerated way of the customer telling brands how they want to be interacted with is a future we can strive towards.

Observations and Wishes: NRF 2020:

  • Omnichannel has shifted to be consumer-focused, and that is the new (and better) way to describe what omnichannel was.
  • Amazon has not exhibited in as large of a way as they did at this year's conference ever before and are petitioning themselves as a technology stack for retailers to take advantage of.
  • Ingrid wants to see an interaction with a regular consumer in which they comment on what is happening at the show to get an outside perspective.
  • Phillip wishes there was a section of the show that was dedicated to sustainable solutions.
  • And finally, Brian wants to see a metric that shows what solutions or brands are gaining traction at the show.

Brands Mentioned in this Episode:

As always: We want to hear what our listeners think! Do you agree with the predictions made by Brian, Phillip, and Ingrid? What do you think the next year holds for the world of commerce?

Have any questions or comments about the show? Let us know on, or reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. We love hearing from our listeners!

Retail Tech is moving fast, but Future Commerce is moving faster.

Download MP3 (54.7 MB)

Brian: [00:00:00] Welcome to Future Commerce, everybody. Here we are live at NRF. This is huge.

Phillip: [00:00:06] Is the year four that done Future Commerce?

Brian: [00:00:09] Uh, three...four...somewhere in there.

Phillip: [00:00:10] Three? Something like that.

Brian: [00:00:11] We've been here at least four years.

Phillip: [00:00:12] Ingrid Cordy is with us.

Ingrid: [00:00:14] Hey, everyone.

Phillip: [00:00:18] This is awesome. You know, one of our top ten shows of all time was an NRF show where we declared omni channel dead.

Brian: [00:00:25] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:00:25] It was like the death of omni channel. People love that kind of stuff.

Brian: [00:00:28] It is dead.

Phillip: [00:00:28] I'm just gonna seed in like salacious little tidbits, little soundbites.

Brian: [00:00:33] Well, I have some... I have a hot take I want to get into... We have a lot to talk about today. A lot to talk about.

Phillip: [00:00:38] Yeah. And much too, Steve Dennis's chagrin. I don't see harmonized retail hanging up anywhere in here yet. So that hasn't taken off.

Brian: [00:00:48] Don't be too hard on Steve.

Phillip: [00:00:48] No, I will say we're the only people in the whole world who thought of Vision 2020. {laughter}

Brian: [00:00:54] Oh, the only. {laughter}

Ingrid: [00:00:54] I'm actually shocked. {laughter} But I love it.

Phillip: [00:00:59] Yeah, I've seen it in multiple places.

Brian: [00:01:02] There're are a few places. There are quite a few places.

Phillip: [00:01:04] Obviously. But who's talking about the death of monoculture?

Brian: [00:01:07] Nobody.

Ingrid: [00:01:08] Nobody. Why not?

Phillip: [00:01:09] Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:01:10] So the death of monoculture is a very near and dear a subject in my household.

Phillip: [00:01:15] Oh really?

Ingrid: [00:01:16] Yeah. Well so Tyler, my husband, is a musician.

Phillip: [00:01:18] Yes.

Brian: [00:01:18] Right.

Ingrid: [00:01:19] And so we talk about how there will never be a Michael Jackson again.

Phillip: [00:01:23] We just had this whole conversation. That's true. There won't be. I agree with you.

Brian: [00:01:28] Yes.

Ingrid: [00:01:28] And so what does that mean for all of culture? It's a little bit of the opposite. So some of the things that we talk about all the time is winner takes all. Right? And so we've seen that with Google, with Amazon, with Facebook. And there's very much a winner takes all world that we live in, except for content creators and culture creators. And so the exact opposite, where it's like these individual, big, like shining, bright stars don't really exist anymore. There could very well be someone who has a diamond record that none of us have ever heard.

Phillip: [00:02:03] Right.

Brian: [00:02:04] Yes.

Phillip: [00:02:04] Well, and the older I get, the less likely I am to hear about them anyway. I just learned about Post Malone. So I've got going for me.

Ingrid: [00:02:13] Oh, no.

Brian: [00:02:14] And his Crocs.

Phillip: [00:02:15] It wasn't via that. It's funny the way that we come into contact with those larger cultural icons now changes, too. Right?

Brian: [00:02:23] Yes.

Phillip: [00:02:23] Because the world is becoming more fragmented and more niche.

Ingrid: [00:02:28] Yup.

Phillip: [00:02:28] You find your own little niche community...

Ingrid: [00:02:32] Section of the world.

Phillip: [00:02:33] Right. And you can live there.

Ingrid: [00:02:34] Yes.

Phillip: [00:02:35] And your view of reality is very different to another person's view of reality.

Ingrid: [00:02:40] Totally.

Phillip: [00:02:41] As opposed to the world of 40 years ago where everybody watched the moon landing.

Brian: [00:02:45] Right.

Ingrid: [00:02:46] Right. The last episode of M*A*S*H...

Brian: [00:02:46] Right. Shared experiences...

Phillip: [00:02:46] Right. That's the cultural touchstone that you thought of... The last episode of M*A*S*H.

Brian: [00:02:53] I mean, think about it. Shared experiences.

Phillip: [00:02:54] It is true.

Brian: [00:02:54] Yes.

Phillip: [00:02:56] Those were cultural moments in the world.

Ingrid: [00:02:59] Yeah. And even like you know, when the Berlin Wall...

Phillip: [00:03:02] The Berlin Wall.

Ingrid: [00:03:02] Yeah. There were huge things.

Phillip: [00:03:02] Right. Nowadays that would... Let's talk about that for a second. Sorry to cut you off. The visuals of the Berlin Wall came from mainstream media who were there and on site when it happened, and the visuals that we have of Ronald Reagan saying, you know, "Tear down that wall." That would never happen now because those moments aren't captured and viewed through that lens. It's viewed through Snapchat and Instagram stories.

Brian: [00:03:24] Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:03:25] Yes.

Phillip: [00:03:25] And it's whatever the perspective of the person who captured it is now.

Ingrid: [00:03:28] 100 percent. Everything is personal filtered. Right?

Phillip: [00:03:31] Right. And that's the filter bubble that we were talking about.

Brian: [00:03:34] Yes. Totally.

Phillip: [00:03:35] So if you were to go back to the Vision 2020 report, which is the basis of where we're actually getting this, and you can get it right now at, and you can get that report right now. You can download it.

Brian: [00:03:46] Or if you're just outside of this podcast booth you can get it...

Phillip: [00:03:48] Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. Which by the time you're listening to this podcast...

Brian: [00:03:52] It's real life. It's paper. It's beautiful.

Phillip: [00:03:54] We still use paper.

Brian: [00:03:55] Wow.

Phillip: [00:03:56] WIt's 2020, and we still print things on paper.

Brian: [00:03:58] So much paper at this conference.

Phillip: [00:04:00] There's a lot of paper here. Let's talk about waste in a second, because I'm going to quiz everybody on what they do with the carpet in this place. But that's a whole other story. But yeah, it's the filter bubble. I think the filter bubble has been discussed in retro as like a bad thing. Like in 2016, we talked about the filter bubble a lot with the election.

Ingrid: [00:04:18] Yeah. And Facebook determining the election.

Phillip: [00:04:21] Right.

Ingrid: [00:04:21] And the news that you get to...

Phillip: [00:04:22] We are in another election year.

Brian: [00:04:24] They just came out and said they're going to determine the election again, by the way. Facebook. They're like, "Yeah, we're going to have an influence this election.".

Ingrid: [00:04:30] Yeah. Of course.

Phillip: [00:04:30] Well two and a half billion people participate in the three properties that Facebook owns that control communication in the world. So, yes, of course they will.

Brian: [00:04:39] Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:04:39] Well, it's similar to... I think it's similar and different from, and I'm curious to get your point of view on... So obviously television was the first disruptor in politics, right?

Phillip: [00:04:49] Yes.

Ingrid: [00:04:49] So you have that famous like Nixon and Kennedy debate and Nixon's all sweaty and gross and JFK is this like dapper, charismatic, handsome man. And so many people said that he wasn't the frontrunner going into that conversation. And then after it was publicized and people saw it on television, it really changed things. And so now Facebook is having a similar culture shifting moment. And I think the difference is, is that television still had editorial standards.

Brian: [00:05:21] Right.

Ingrid: [00:05:22] And there were things that you had to prove about what you were saying before you said it, which is not held to the standards right now.

Brian: [00:05:30] Totally. Now people can say whatever they want. And if you have a follower base that cares about what you have to say, then they're going to believe you.

Phillip: [00:05:37] Well, there's interesting how, this is a very timely story right now in that Facebook has recently taken a stance on not fact checking political ads while allowing them to still participate on the platform...

Ingrid: [00:05:50] Right. First amendment sort of...

Phillip: [00:05:51] Which are very different to the fact checking requirements on other platforms that...

Brian: [00:05:56] Twitter won't even allow political ads.

Phillip: [00:05:58] Right. And I think that's a really interesting line in the sand of sort of the different way that social media brands, or media brands in general, see their responsibility to the world and the exchange of ideas.

Brian: [00:06:14] Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:06:14] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:06:15] And I think about that a lot. So, you know, when we crafted our mission statement for Future Commerce, we wanted to be dedicated to the discovering exchange of ideas of how commerce connects people. And when you think about just how people connect people, I just think it's fascinating that we're back into the same conversation four years later about the filter bubble. But I think that if you change it a little bit, that could be a positive thing.

Brian: [00:06:41] Right. I think that's actually one of the things we've talked about was like now you can filter by things that like are going to actually be good for your life, like finance. You can make... There's going to be a financial bubble, and you're gonna be able to live within your means. And there's going to be a sustainability bubble, and you're going to be able to only focus on things that are sustainable. And this is huge for brands and retailers that are here because as we see this sort of progress, and we change the way that we go and browse the web and view the world through browser extensions or through other means, brands and retailers are going to have to play into that and figure out how to get into those bubbles and address all those bubbles...or not.

Ingrid: [00:07:22] That's fascinating, because one of the things that makes me think of is how is an aspirational brand going to live within this world?

Brian: [00:07:31] Great question.

Ingrid: [00:07:32] How do you change someone's or how do you evolve someone's tastes and point of views if their filters are getting more and more narrow and their exposure to things that are outside of their world is so limited now?

Brian: [00:07:46] Yeah, we talked a little bit with Evan Moore from NBC about this and his view about how to interject into people's like tired routines. And like how to actually help them do some new discovery and get outside of their bubble. And I actually think the big challenge.

Ingrid: [00:08:08] That's become really important. How do you get people out of their comfort zones a little bit?

Brian: [00:08:13] Yes.

Phillip: [00:08:13] I think there is a unifying theme here, which is I think it comes back to your social circle and the people around you really affect the way that you see the world. And using myself in his example, you talked about aspirational brands. I've never heard of the brand Aime Leon Dore. I don't know how to say it. I've never heard of them. But Clayton Chambers was tweeting about them about like new luxury, aspirational luxury, streetwear. It's not all Gucci and Supreme. It's other brands, smaller brands, that are doing things really interesting.

Brian: [00:08:51] Carhartt.

Phillip: [00:08:51] In particular, ALD is focusing on these... {laughter} Carhartt.

Ingrid: [00:08:56] I heard you sneak that in.

Brian: [00:08:56] I did.

Phillip: [00:08:56] Yeah. Always be selling. That's what Brian's doing. In that world, these smaller niche brands enjoy an audience of people I think are outside of the mainstream culture of what might be considered hype and streetwear.

Ingrid: [00:09:13] Right.

Phillip: [00:09:14] And so they're like focusing on, you know, aging Gen Xers who want to participate in the streetwear trend but do it on their own terms. And I find that really fascinating because he built the brand equity for me based on his recommendation and talking about the things they're doing right. And not because they had some sale or drop that no one can get a hold of.

Ingrid: [00:09:34] Right.

Phillip: [00:09:35] And I think that aspirational can happen, but it's going to be dependent way more on the word of mouth and the trust that you have and the social proof that you have in your social circle.

Ingrid: [00:09:45] Definitely.

Brian: [00:09:45] Trust. I think that is the key.

Phillip: [00:09:45] And the way that you like tap into that is the differentiator because that's the secret sauce. How do you make people passionate promoters of your brand? Everybody here wants to do that. Everybody.

Ingrid: [00:09:58] Of course.

Phillip: [00:09:58] Right. That is the hardest thing to do.

Brian: [00:10:00] Although interestingly enough, I think that there are people out there that are better passionate promoters than others.

Phillip: [00:10:06] Well sure.

Brian: [00:10:06] So it's not about just getting anyone to be a passionate promoter of your brand. It's about finding people who are passionate promoters and then getting them to buy into your brand.

Ingrid: [00:10:13] Well, it's like the, you know, Malcolm Gladwell book, "The Tipping Point.".

Brian: [00:10:18] Right.

Phillip: [00:10:19] Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:10:19] Like you have the people who are the connectors, and you want those people that were wearing the Hushpuppies to be... Yeah. And it's the same. So it's interesting because I think that this all then culminates into this whole social proof world. And I actually do think that might be my Ingrid addition to the predictions, which is an increase in the need for social proof and a refinement and a sort of like next iteration of influencers. What does that mean for brands? What does that mean for consumers? What cream is rising to the top in this very oversaturated influencer world? And then what are we doing to, you know, make sure that people are actually getting what they want?

Brian: [00:11:02] Yeah. In fact, we talked a little bit about that in our sustainability prediction, which was that I think brands are going to look to outside validation to trumpet when they're doing something.

Ingrid: [00:11:14] Right.

Brian: [00:11:15] And I think that's true across the board. So I think it kind of plays into what you're saying, like third party validation and third party tools and third party, you know, third party everything. Brands are going to need to look outside of themselves to get the trust that they need to have that sort of ability to speak into other people's lives.

Phillip: [00:11:33] Not every single interaction, though, is like a technology enabled interaction that creates that opportunity to share it.

Brian: [00:11:42] True.

Phillip: [00:11:43] And as much as I'm a proponent of... The Clayton Chambers Twitter thread was... It was just him on Twitter, right? His means was already there, it was his audience that was the differentiator. He's probably been talking about this IRL for some time. Anyway, having these like cultural touchstones... I think we'll always have a Kim Kardashian in the world, but I don't know that we'll have people with decades long staying power. You know, 50, 60, 100 years of culture defining moments from a brand perspective, from... I agree with you, Ingrid... From in the performing arts... Everything's ephemeral and everything doesn't matter tomorrow. So whatever you do right now only matters in the moment. And that's where I think we're gonna have to... We all have to solve for that, because it's...

Ingrid: [00:12:36] What does that mean? It's feeling a little bit like a sense like we're all just floating around in...

Phillip: [00:12:41] Existential dread of like nothing matters. This is why I'm a nihilist now. Yeah nothing matters. Everything...

Brian: [00:12:47] Let's temper this. Let's temper this a little bit. I think that going into this coming year...

Ingrid: [00:12:50] Bring us back to earth, Brian. {laughter}

Brian: [00:12:51] That's what I'm here for, although that's not usually my role. But no, looking ahead at this decade, we've talked about brands that have gone through explosive growth cycles. And it's all about just, you know, adding customers and adding audience, grow, grow, grow, grow, grow as fast as you can and then monetize. Right?

Ingrid: [00:13:13] Yeah.

Brian: [00:13:13] Now, I think we're looking at more sustainable models where we want to be brands that stick with people for a much longer period of time.

Ingrid: [00:13:21] I love that. I'm so down to that.

Brian: [00:13:23] Yes, profitability, sustainability...

Ingrid: [00:13:27] Reliability.

Brian: [00:13:28] Yes.

Ingrid: [00:13:28] I think consumers now it's almost like they were a kid in a candy shop for 10 years, and they're just like "New. Oh, this is now. Oh, and we don't do that anymore. Yesterday we were doing that. Today we're doing this." And like there's this excitement and sort of fervor around what was new. And now I think consumers are starting to get tired.

Brian: [00:13:47] AYes.

Ingrid: [00:13:47] And they're kind of like over having to every single day rediscover what's new..

Brian: [00:13:52] Yes. Refresh. Rebuy.

Ingrid: [00:13:52] There's something really satisfying about walking into a Nordstrom. And knowing that I will most likely find what I'm looking for here.

Brian: [00:14:00] Totally. Yes.

Ingrid: [00:14:00] You know, and for you, Costco. {laughter} That's my favorite thing to bug you about.

Brian: [00:14:07] Hey, it's true.

Ingrid: [00:14:07] And hey, I love Costco, but you feel what I'm saying?

Brian: [00:14:09] Yes. I do. Yes.

Ingrid: [00:14:10] There's this tired dread that has come with all of this newness that used to be exciting.

Brian: [00:14:15] I was just talking to someone on the plane out here who was coming out to NRF as well. And he was talking about his Gen Zs that are 21 years old. And he said that he has been kind of tracking their purchasing behaviors for a while. And this plays right into sort of a new thing that we've introduced on Future Commerce, which is a persona called Carly... "Can't afford real life yet." And he said that three years ago all they wanted to buy was H&M. And now they don't want to touch H&M. They want to buy Louis Vuitton. And they're willing to sacrifice their food budget to get it because they want stuff that's going to stick around with them for a long time.

Phillip: [00:14:57] Fewer and better.

Brian: [00:14:58] They'll buy one item a month.

Ingrid: [00:14:59] The Marie Kondo thing.

Brian: [00:15:00] Yes.

Phillip: [00:15:01] Yeah.

Brian: [00:15:02] Yeah. Exactly.

Phillip: [00:15:03] %%It's interesting.

Ingrid: [00:15:04] Paring down of everything.

Phillip: [00:15:05] That's actually...

Brian: [00:15:07] Staying power.

Phillip: [00:15:08] That's what's covered in the report.

Brian: [00:15:09] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:15:09] There is a real trend towards fewer, better. And so if you actually were to look at... It's under sustainability, I believe. The idea here is... Let me see where the data is. 42% of customers that were surveyed said that they browsed or purchased from a physical secondhand thrift or consignment store, and 30% said so they did the same online. And that's across all. It's not just Carly, right? It's across all.

Ingrid: [00:15:39] I do that.

Brian: [00:15:40] I do that.

Phillip: [00:15:40] Right.

Ingrid: [00:15:41] Yeah. That's like one of my favorite things to do when I'm visiting a new city is like, let's go to a higher end consignments or something like that.

Brian: [00:15:48] Yes. Oh, that's good.

Phillip: [00:15:48] Oh wow.

Ingrid: [00:15:48] And you look at... Because then you just get all this education about the people that live there and how they lived. And then you're like, oh, I can score some really great stuff. You know how much I love like The RealReal.

Brian: [00:15:59] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:16:00] Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:16:00] Thredup and all this. I love that. I think it's so great sustainability wise. And also just things that you can't really get anywhere else anymore.

Brian: [00:16:09] Right. Unique items.

Phillip: [00:16:11] I was just listening to The Modern Retail Podcast, and I believe it was Janice Sullivan, who is the president of Rebecca Taylor. And she was saying that they see resale as an opportunity for an owned channel at the brand. And so they actually run their own resale.

Brian: [00:16:29] So smart.

Ingrid: [00:16:32] Wow.

Phillip: [00:16:32] So they want the experience to still be a Rebecca Taylor experience. They don't want it to be a RealReal experience. They want it to be owned. So...

Ingrid: [00:16:38] Is that their new outlet?

Phillip: [00:16:40] It's their... Yeah. And they're doing it both in brick and mortar, and they're doing it online. And the idea here is that they will reclaim goods from customers at a discount on the next new item purchase and use that in the resale channel. And then, you know, it's an authentic item. And then you also know that you're going to get the same type of experience you've come to expect from a premium brand. Also, you know what I loved? Is their idea of appealing the psychographics of the can't afford psychographics. They can't afford psychographic actually spans a lot of different demographics.

Brian: [00:17:15] Yes.

Phillip: [00:17:16] So someone very early on in life who might want the Rebecca Taylor piece may not be able to afford it, but someone who's much later on in life with three kids in college that is paying tuition also might not be able to afford the brand new item. And so the resale market actually penetrates both. So there's a bell curve of like the new purchase activity in a brand that's a premium brand or aspirational brand that they will buy new for a window in their lifetime. But they might buy used at all other times in their life.

Brian: [00:17:46] Right.

Ingrid: [00:17:47] Right.

Phillip: [00:17:47] And having that as an owned channel is 2020 and beyond.

Ingrid: [00:17:52] It's brilliant. Yeah. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:17:52] Because the idea that you would let that experience only happen with Rent the Runway or with... In rental and in second hand, I think we've proven it out. Consumers want it, but I think the brand experience and having a relationship with the brand is the opportunity.

Ingrid: [00:18:09] I feel like this is sort of remember how, you know, 20 years ago, brands higher end brands started having outlet stores, outlet malls?

Phillip: [00:18:18] Yes.

Brian: [00:18:18] Yes.

Ingrid: [00:18:18] And then they started sort of cutting corners there a little bit and they started creating product quickly for outlet...

Brian: [00:18:25] J Crew...

Ingrid: [00:18:25] Oh, my gosh. The list is endless.

Phillip: [00:18:26] They are the worst at it. Yeah

Brian: [00:18:28] Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:18:28] Yeah. Banana Republic... Like all of them. And so this might be another way to do sort of like off price.

Brian: [00:18:36] Yes.

Ingrid: [00:18:36] And it's more sustainable.

Brian: [00:18:38] It is.

Ingrid: [00:18:38] The other thing is, I know that Rebecca Taylor does do a rental program. So they probably take out items from the rental program and fill it into...

Brian: [00:18:50] Right and fill it into their second hand market.

Ingrid: [00:18:52] Yeah.

Brian: [00:18:52] Totally.  Yes. I think that's a... We've been talking about this for 18 months. This is the future of... I think you're right. Actually, you made a point here that we haven't made, which is I think this could actually out pace that whole sort of...

Ingrid: [00:19:06] The Outlet ecosystem.

Brian: [00:19:07] Yeah, totally. Absolutely. We can maybe even see like second hand groupings of stores.

Phillip: [00:19:15] Like a second hand mall.

Ingrid: [00:19:18] Yeah.

Brian: [00:19:18] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:19:18] Yeah. It's funny...

Brian: [00:19:19] I'd go to that.

Ingrid: [00:19:20] Me too.

Phillip: [00:19:21] So I'm late to all of this. So I have an interesting story which doesn't need to be repeated here on this show. I have a really weird story. And...

Brian: [00:19:31] Now you have to tell the story.

[00:19:33] No, no, no. I'm just saying, I have a really weird story as a consumer of not really paying attention to the experiences that I'm in. And it wasn't until like I walked into an Ulta, and I'm like, what is going on here? This is different to every other experience that I've had. And I walk in and I'm like, why is everything's grouped by a brand? And then they have a stylist shop, and they have like hair color, and they have like you can try the products. Like it seemed different. But now that I go into like Saks, I'm like, oh, it's this. This is what that is. It's just done for the mid-market. So it's not that these experiences have never existed before. It's that like you've probably... You might hear stories of borrowing or swapping, you know, like swapping with someone else's...

Ingrid: [00:20:27] Yeah like girls having parties where we like swap clothes.

Phillip: [00:20:31] Yeah. Thank you. That's what I'm trying to say. These things have existed in the world. It's just they've not existed on a global digital scale.

Ingrid: [00:20:38] Yeah. Which is exciting.

Phillip: [00:20:39] Which is the most exciting opportunity.

Brian: [00:20:41] It makes it fair. Fairer, I think. There's opportunity right now in the secondary market for someone to get totally taken in a transaction.

Ingrid: [00:20:51] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:20:51] Yeah.

Brian: [00:20:51] It used to happen all the time, like when things were, you know, peer to peer and there was no way to like gage things and there was no way to have controls in the secondary market, which is actually really bad for the brands that's being transacted.

Phillip: [00:21:02] New item counterfeits are bad. What happens when you have secondary...

Ingrid: [00:21:09] Secondary items...

Phillip: [00:21:09] Yeah. Yes. Used counterfeits.

Brian: [00:21:12] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:21:12] You know, the hype-est shoe that you can buy it in the sneaker world is not the off-white Virgil Abloh collab. That's expensive. You could probably buy for thirty five hundred dollars, but you'll find it, and you'll find it in your size.

Ingrid: [00:21:26] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:21:27] It's getting an OG 1985 Jordan 1.

Ingrid: [00:21:30] Dead stock... Yeah.

Phillip: [00:21:30] Even if it's worn, even if the heel is falling off. Just getting it is impossible.

Ingrid: [00:21:37] Yeah. And that's luxury access.

Phillip: [00:21:38] That is luxury. Right? And so I think that is where things are heading. And I think that if you were to bring it back to the death of monoculture, I think that the things that matter to you and that you put value on will become smaller and more niche and more local to your own social groups.

Ingrid: [00:22:08] Tribe.

Brian: [00:22:09] Yes.

Phillip: [00:22:09] Yeah. Tribe. Your tribe will value something much more than another. And that's probably how it's meant to work.

Ingrid: [00:22:15] Yeah, I think there's something so cool about, like, you know, walking around with a particular sneaker or handbag or something like that. And it's like I don't need every single person walking by me to register what I've decided to wear or represent myself with or express myself with.

Brian: [00:22:34] Yes.

Phillip: [00:22:34] Right.

Ingrid: [00:22:34] It's like I care infinitely more about Brian who knows that these sneakers were, you know, the X, Y and Z, if I even decide to wear them in public.

Brian: [00:22:44] Right. Totally. {laughter}

Ingrid: [00:22:44] {laughter} I just mean it's that social community value that...

Brian: [00:22:51] The people that are in the know will look at that and be like, "That person's in."

Ingrid: [00:22:54] Yes.

Brian: [00:22:55] Yes. Totally.

Ingrid: [00:22:55] You should show up at that smaller party. And that's where it matters most.

Phillip: [00:23:00] Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's the Jeep wave.

Brian: [00:23:01] Yeah the Jeep wave. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:23:01] Have you ever driven a Jeep?

Ingrid: [00:23:05]

Phillip: [00:23:06] There is like an unspoken social thing...

Brian: [00:23:07] It's real.

Phillip: [00:23:08] Jeep wave is real.

Ingrid: [00:23:10] What is it?

Phillip: [00:23:10] People that drive a Jeep Wrangler will just like signal or wave to other people passing that are also driving Jeep Wranglers.

Brian: [00:23:16] It's real.

Phillip: [00:23:16] It's a real thing.

Ingrid: [00:23:17] Stop.

Phillip: [00:23:18] Check this out.

Ingrid: [00:23:18] That's so cute.

Phillip: [00:23:18] Yeah, it is so cute. You didn't know about the Jeep wave?

Ingrid: [00:23:23] No.

Phillip: [00:23:23] It's a thing. The Jeep wave is a thing.

Ingrid: [00:23:25] I love that. That seems like something that like a Subaru owner would do.

Phillip: [00:23:31] I love that. Yeah. There are sort of like subtexts or like smaller versions of the culture.

Brian: [00:23:37] So you said a word in there that I think we should focus on for a minute, which was local. And we talk about sort of communities that sort of span across location, certainly. But one of the predictions that we have in the report, as well as like actual local communities where people really know each other. Talk about social proof and trust.

Ingrid: [00:23:58] Hotbed.

Brian: [00:24:00] Yes, exactly.

Phillip: [00:24:01] Yeah. That's local. Right.

Brian: [00:24:03] If we trend towards back to Main Street.

Ingrid: [00:24:07] Yeah.

Brian: [00:24:07] Right? And we trend towards back to having communities that actually interact and care about each other. There's your place for sharing because you're going to have communities that that's where you get all the intersection and all of the diversity. That's where you get out of...

Ingrid: [00:24:23] Authenticity. Diversity. Exposure. Social. It's like all of those things that consumers are now fiending for and not really getting because everything is so like the loudest, most obvious thing is what's going to ultimately grab your attention...

Brian: [00:24:39] Right. And you're also stuck in your little like Internet bubbles.

Phillip: [00:24:43] Yeah.

Brian: [00:24:44] Your local community is the way to get out of that.

Ingrid: [00:24:46] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:24:48] It's interesting because I follow this person on LinkedIn who was talking about they just can't seem to get like an online meetup group going that they wanted to get all these merchants together or retailers in their community to get together. And they couldn't figure out how they started this meetup. They couldn't drive people there. They have 40 members, but no one ever shows up to anything. They schedule stuff. No one ever comes. And someone, like, slid in and was like, have you tried joining the Chamber of Commerce?

Brian: [00:25:23] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:25:23] This is a thing that exists.

Brian: [00:25:25] Yes.

Ingrid: [00:25:25] Oh my gosh. You're right. It's like we don't think about that.

Phillip: [00:25:26] The Chamber of Commerce exists in every city, and it is meant to be a place where local merchants meet up and and exchange ideas and help to grow each other's businesses effectively.

Ingrid: [00:25:41] What's up with like a Chamber of Commerce, like Instagram handle?

Phillip: [00:25:45] Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:25:45] Twitter handle. And they just like post about the local businesses around.

Phillip: [00:25:50] Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:25:50] And just share...

Phillip: [00:25:51] That's what it should be like. That is the digital evolution of something that actually effectively already exists in real life.

Ingrid: [00:25:55] Exactly. And that's what I mean. Like, let's do that. Like get people to start sharing and get them to hire some social media people.

Brian: [00:26:02] And this is what we talked about with Alistair, from Hero, when we had him on the show. Why not champion people...

Ingrid: [00:26:10] Like the store associates.

Brian: [00:26:11] Brands should be championing their ambassadors in those communities because they're probably from those communities.

Ingrid: [00:26:17] Definitely.

Brian: [00:26:18] They're people that people know. It's you know, it's so-and-so's son that works at the hardware counter now.

Phillip: [00:26:24] Yeah.

Brian: [00:26:25] You know, being able to lift those people up and train them to be active and influential on their community. That's huge.

Phillip: [00:26:34] Can I kind of take a crazy left turn here?

Brian: [00:26:37] Let's do it.

Phillip: [00:26:37] I only just heard it like three hours ago on the Morning Brew podcast. So it's been in my brain.

Brian: [00:26:43] Awesome.

Phillip: [00:26:43] But this idea of local isn't always just a physical location. Local is wherever you happen to be. There is this emerging trend...

Brian: [00:26:52] It's like Zombiland Double Tap. I just watched that on the plane.

Phillip: [00:26:54] How in the world is it possibly like that? Explain that to me. {laughter}

Brian: [00:26:57] That's the whole point of the movie. Home is wherever the people that you're with... Blah, blah, blah...

Phillip: [00:27:01] OK. No, it has nothing to do with this. But yes, I love that. You didn't have to reference the movie. You could have just said the idiom is home is wherever you are.

Brian: [00:27:10] Yeah. I could have.  The movie was more fun.

Phillip: [00:27:13] {laughter} Was it a fun movie?

Brian: [00:27:14] It was fun. Yeah. It was good.

Phillip: [00:27:14] I haven't seen it. My wife is a big fan of the zombie genre, and she loved Zombieland.

Brian: [00:27:21] I mean, who doesn't love Zombieland?

Ingrid: [00:27:22] That's a cult classic.

Phillip: [00:27:23] IThis is what I was going to say is... Thank you, Brian.

Brian: [00:27:27] You bet.

Phillip: [00:27:27] For the non-sequitor. Local is wherever you happen to be. There is an emerging trend of very young kids in school who, after curfew or whenever they have to be home, will log on to Fortnite not to play the game, but to be with their friends on Fortnite for hours and hours and hours at a time.

Brian: [00:27:49] Yes.

Ingrid: [00:27:49] Yeah. It's the new chat room.

Phillip: [00:27:50] It is the new chat room.

Brian: [00:27:51] It's the new social network.

Phillip: [00:27:52] But Fortnite is local because Fortnite, when all your friends are together and that same place, there is like a virtual locale.

Ingrid: [00:28:01] Oh yeah.

Phillip: [00:28:01] And so it's like we're all gonna meet in this one place, and it's you are there, but you're virtually there.

Ingrid: [00:28:06] It's like where I used to hang out at the mall. You're still hanging out. Yeah. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:28:10] Yes. But to take that one step further, I know this is kind of maybe refutes the monoculture take, but bringing experiences to Fortnite might be a way to bridge into the dichotomy of having to like be physically local somewhere, and you can be virtually local somewhere. Apparently, I don't play Fortnite, but having read a lot of the write ups about Rise of Skywalker, there is a lead up that actually sets up the opening crawl of Rise of Skywalker, which was an event that happened only in Fortnite. And so this whole Palpatine returns thing at the end of the Star Wars saga happened in Fortnite. It didn't happen anywhere else. It happened in a Fortnite. And if you were in Fortnite or you logged on at that time, you saw that happen.

Brian: [00:29:00] That is genius.

Phillip: [00:29:00] It was a cultural moment that happened locally, but only for people that happened to be local at the time. I think that that's an interesting evolution of a thing that...

Ingrid: [00:29:10] Like redefining local.

Phillip: [00:29:12] Correct.

Ingrid: [00:29:12] What does local mean?

Phillip: [00:29:13] But it's a virtualized version of that. Right.

Brian: [00:29:16] I don't think you're saying... I don't think this gets rid of the whole monoculture is dead thing at all. Because when you have communities that are specific to something, you end up creating unique content within those communities. So I don't think it negates it.

Ingrid: [00:29:30] Yeah, I don't either. I think it's even like the e-sports culture.

Brian: [00:29:34] Yes.

Phillip: [00:29:34] Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:29:34] It's like what's happening in there. There're things that happen in that culture that will never see like the main stream, but it's billions of people

Phillip: [00:29:43] It's huge. Right.

Ingrid: [00:29:43] And it's and it's similar with Tik-Tok, you know, like something can get 5 billion views, with a "B," and you've never heard of it or have seen it or whatever, and it's like just the amount of the pool of people that have access now to these digital media.

Brian: [00:30:01] Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:30:02] Is just so vast that you can now broadcast out to this many people and still not make even a small spike in what like monoculture used to look like.

Brian: [00:30:12] And actually... Yes. Maybe it's a change in monoculture because actually you've had something really interesting right there. Most of our shared experiences are very, very short moments. So like YouTube, viral sensations... We have all watched Damn Daniel at least once. Those are shared experiences.

Phillip: [00:30:32] I don't know what that is.

Brian: [00:30:34] Oh. There we go.

Ingrid: [00:30:35] "With the Vanns..."

Brian: [00:30:35] Yes, exactly.

Phillip: [00:30:36] How do I not know this? I don't know.

Brian: [00:30:37] So there you go. Maybe I'm wrong about that.

Ingrid: [00:30:39] You've obviously see that. Yeah. The other problem is the meme culture is so...

Phillip: [00:30:43] It's rapid.

Ingrid: [00:30:44] It's so rapid. So like to your point.

Brian: [00:30:46] But it's just so fast.

Ingrid: [00:30:47] Right. But that was like five years ago. Damn, Daniel.

Brian: [00:30:51] Yes. But we all, except for Philip, know what this is.

Phillip: [00:30:55] {laughter} That's ok.

Brian: [00:30:55] If you took a poll at this whole conference, it would be like 75% of people would know exactly what I'm talking about. "Back at it again with the white Vanns." Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:31:04] Or like the Tommy bit my finger.

Brian: [00:31:06] Yes, exactly.

Phillip: [00:31:07] Oh yeah. Charlie.

Brian: [00:31:09] Charlie.

Ingrid: [00:31:10] Charlie. Yeah. That's OG YouTube.

Phillip: [00:31:12] Yeah.

Brian: [00:31:12] Those are our shared experiences of today.

Ingrid: [00:31:14] Yeah. YouTube.

Brian: [00:31:16] YouTube. YouTube. Short videos with like a single phrase.

Phillip: [00:31:20] I know this is an interesting hot take. I saw an unnamed VC on twitter complaining about something, because that doesn't ever happen. And they were saying, "Why aren't brands taking advantage of advertising on YouTube more?" The only brands that I ever see as YouTube pre-roles are Allbirds and Rhône. Full stop. That's it. Those are the only ones.

Ingrid: [00:31:44] Interesting.

Brian: [00:31:45] Not Turbo Tax? I feel like everybody sees Turbo Tax.

Phillip: [00:31:48] I don't see any Turbo Tax.

Ingrid: [00:31:50] Interesting.

Phillip: [00:31:50] None. But it's also I mean the time of the year makes sense to have tax companies, but why we aren't like consumer brands... I mean TurboTax is a consumer software brand. But why wouldn't...

Ingrid: [00:32:00] But well, I have been served an Allbirds ad.

Phillip: [00:32:03] Really?

Brian: [00:32:04] It's targeted.

Ingrid: [00:32:05] You are well in your bubble, my friend. {laughter} Case in point.

Brian: [00:32:08] Monoculture is dead.

Ingrid: [00:32:12] Yeah. Never once.

Phillip: [00:32:13] What is your experience for YouTube pre-roll? What are the things that you see over and over?

Ingrid: [00:32:19] So I'm a strange YouTube consumer because I consume it in like four different places that are not consistent. So like on my Roku in my living room, I will be plugged in to the one that like Tyler uses sometimes or I use sometimes. So they haven't figured it out. They think that I really, really love the NFL and Gary V, but then also really love Vogues skin care videos.

Phillip: [00:32:48] Yes.

Ingrid: [00:32:49] They're very confused by my purchasing habits.

Brian: [00:32:53] I mean, I could see those things going hand-in-hand at some point with somebody, but maybe not you.

Ingrid: [00:32:58] I don't know. I haven't noticed like a pattern in YouTube.

Brian: [00:33:01] You haven't seen like NFL focused skin care?

Ingrid: [00:33:04] No. No, I get like very big box ads. I'll get Tide. I'll get like CPG.

Phillip: [00:33:12] Really?

Brian: [00:33:12] Yes.

Ingrid: [00:33:12] Yeah. Do you get that, too?

Brian: [00:33:14] I get that.

Ingrid: [00:33:15] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:33:16] Interesting. I don't get any of that.

Ingrid: [00:33:16] Maybe I'm more boring than you.

Brian: [00:33:17] But that might be because I share stuff with my wife, and we end up like...

Ingrid: [00:33:21] That's what I'm saying.

Brian: [00:33:21] We confuse the system.

Ingrid: [00:33:23] That's what I'm saying. I get a lot of the stuff where they're like, "I have no idea who this person is. Obviously she's going to need detergent at some point. Give her a Tide." {laughter}

Brian: [00:33:33] Yeah. Totally. That's Tide's whole strategy.

Phillip: [00:33:34] Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

Ingrid: [00:33:36] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:33:36] Speaking of which, Something Digital has Tide pins as swag.

Ingrid: [00:33:40] Oh, that's cute.

Phillip: [00:33:40] It's so cool.

Brian: [00:33:42] Yes.

Ingrid: [00:33:42] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:33:42] It's the coolest thing.

Ingrid: [00:33:43] So practical.

Brian: [00:33:43] I'm going to take that home.

Ingrid: [00:33:44] So practical. Well it's the back to Tide sort of going... It's the spray and pray method.

Brian: [00:33:51] Yes

Phillip: [00:33:51] Right. It is.

Ingrid: [00:33:53] Which has some virtue.

Phillip: [00:33:54] Which by the way is the entire CPG strategy. And then if you look at what Venture Capital's investment in consumer brands has done, CPG winds up being the beneficiary of all that brand. All that brand investment has now been bought up by more and more CPG. Who just bought Billy?

Brian: [00:34:15] I forget.

Phillip: [00:34:16] Procter and Gamble, I think, just bought Billy for a ton of money.

Ingrid: [00:34:23] Wow.

Phillip: [00:34:23] And you see Target has a tremendous investment in Casper.

Brian: [00:34:27] Yep.

Phillip: [00:34:27] So a lot of this like brand building... Harrys went to... I should know these things before I bring them up.

Brian: [00:34:36] Unilever?

Phillip: [00:34:37] Yeah, right. So when you look at the landscape, big CPG has benefitted tremendously.

Ingrid: [00:34:45] CAnd in the beauty world. So Coty bought Kylie Cosmetics which like can we talk about that?

Phillip: [00:34:50] Yeah.

Brian: [00:34:50] We haven't really talked about that.

Phillip: [00:34:51] No, we haven't.

Ingrid: [00:34:52] I'm fascinated by that. Like six hundred million dollar acquisition for Coty. We know Coty is maybe struggling a little bit. They are a little over leveraged.

Brian: [00:35:04] I mean, it was like Disney buying Pixar. That's how I see it. You have a brand that's absolutely crushing it...

Phillip: [00:35:12] Could you say that Disney was struggling when they did that though? I don't know.

Brian: [00:35:14] When they bought Pixar they were. Oh, yeah. When Disney bought Pixar, it was almost like a merger more than an acquisition.

Ingrid: [00:35:21] I think that was because Steve Jobs orchestrated it that way.

Brian: [00:35:25] Yes.

Ingrid: [00:35:25] I think the perception that he...

Phillip: [00:35:26] %Let's go back to that actual thing we're talking about.

Brian: [00:35:28] Yeah, but my point in saying that was I think it was them buying something they saw as the future, and they are going to leverage that.

Phillip: [00:35:36] Oh for sure.

Ingrid: [00:35:37] So I agree with that. I think the difference between the Disney sort of analogy is Disney maybe knew a little bit more about what to do with Pixar.

Phillip: [00:35:48] {laughter} Yeah. Yeah.

Brian: [00:35:49] That is a really good point. Actually, that is really, really good point.

Ingrid: [00:35:54] That's a little bit my concern here. I don't 100% know if a big sort of more legacy brand and conglomerate like Coty will do justice to what Kylie has built to make its worth.

Brian: [00:36:13] I like that hot take.

Phillip: [00:36:13] Do you need to give a disclaimer that the thoughts are your own...

Ingrid: [00:36:17] These thoughts are very much my own.

Phillip: [00:36:19] And they don't represent those of your employer.

Ingrid: [00:36:22] They do not represent those of my employer.

Phillip: [00:36:22] I'm just trying to keep you safe.

Ingrid: [00:36:27] Thank you.

Phillip: [00:36:27] I tend to...

Ingrid: [00:36:28] Should I say that at the beginning of every episode? I felt like I said it once, and I feel like it's in perpetuity.

Brian: [00:36:35] You said it once. It's in perpetuity.

Phillip: [00:36:36] I wonder myself if any large holding company or any large, you know, global conglomerate of brands understands the most modern of brands. LVMH seems to be doing OK with a bunch in their portfolio. So they have...

Ingrid: [00:36:58] Fenty...

Phillip: [00:36:58] Right. But that's down the line. So it's actually Kendo is the LVMH property. Kendo manages Fenty.

Ingrid: [00:37:06] Right.

Phillip: [00:37:07] And but Sephora is in there, too. And you have to believe that Sephora's strategy is worlds different from the Fenty strategy.

Brian: [00:37:16] Right.

Ingrid: [00:37:17] But they leverage each other. So Fenty has a huge, you know, like store space in all of Sephoras.

Phillip: [00:37:27] Right. They can work together.

Ingrid: [00:37:27] There's work there that is synergistic.

Phillip: [00:37:32] How could Coty leverage that? Do they have similar synergies in the world of Kylie?

Ingrid: [00:37:40] There might be some under the surface that I'm not necessarily drawing from. I do think that, you know, taking a more positive view on this, if Coty sees what Kylie has done in order to build this brand and uses... You know, a lot of times brands will leverage a buy other brands in order to acquire their talent and to get into "OK. You've obviously tapped into this demographic and the psyche that we're trying to grow...".

Brian: [00:38:09] Walmart with Jet.

Ingrid: [00:38:11] Yes, exactly. So like, how do we then operationalize or learn from this  niche market that you've been able to develop? And how can we then use that to...

Brian: [00:38:20] That's hard.

Ingrid: [00:38:21] Oh, my gosh. I know. I think if they can do that... Wow. Like look out world.

Brian: [00:38:26] Yeah. Back to my Disney Pixar example. That's exactly what happened. John Lasseter took over Disney. He was Pixar.

Phillip: [00:38:33] Didn't he get "Me, too-ed?" Are we not allowed to talk about him anymore? He's canceled.

Brian: [00:38:39] Oh. I don't know. Probably.

Phillip: [00:38:40] Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:38:40] I think he got "Me, too-ed."

Brian: [00:38:41] All CEOs are "Me, too-ed?"

Phillip: [00:38:41] We're certainly an interesting, interesting world from a brand perspective. If we had to read some tea leaves a little bit... I love... We're right being the year, so we do predictions.

Brian: [00:38:57] Let's do a few hot takes after this show.

Phillip: [00:38:59] What's another Casper filing their S-1 and planning an IPO. That sort of was interesting and surprising. Kylie, in Q4. That acquisition was pretty surprising. Is there another big consumer brand that, you know, is either audience first or Venture backed that you think could be making an exit this year in 2020?

Ingrid: [00:39:27] Maybe Everlane?

Brian: [00:39:27] That's a good take.

Phillip: [00:39:28] That's a really good take.

Brian: [00:39:29] Yeah, I like that. Definitely.

Phillip: [00:39:32] Their brick and mortar strategy is really, really interesting. They say they're opening... They have twelve stores, I think. They're doubling the footprint this year.

Ingrid: [00:39:39] Yeah. They are setting themselves up.

Phillip: [00:39:40] They're going somewhere with that. I feel like they've been around for a long time actually. They're ten plus years old.

Ingrid: [00:39:49] Probably ten years. Yeah. I'd say so.

Brian: [00:39:50] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:39:52] And not for nothing, they just had a recent story about them and some pretty tough labor practices. Sounds like there's talk of unionizing in some of their plants and factories. I like that take. I think that's super interesting. They could benefit from, you know, a little more capital and probably a lot more press.

Ingrid: [00:40:16] Definitely.

Phillip: [00:40:17] Just brand campaigns.

Ingrid: [00:40:18] Like awareness.

Phillip: [00:40:19] Right. Big time.

Brian: [00:40:19] I think there are a lot of smaller, maybe not quite at Everlane scale, brands that are going to be acquired this year. Like a lot of the brands that are starting to see success as well. Some of these like brands that have got really strong brick and mortar strategies. They've got, you know, really strong technology roadmaps. And they are profitable. The ones that are profitable as well.

Ingrid: [00:40:45] That's the thing is we don't even know who's profitable.

Brian: [00:40:47] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:40:48] Yeah.

Ingrid: [00:40:48] Like, what's the deal with that? When are we going to figure that out? Probably never with these private companies.

Brian: [00:40:53] Yeah. Well there are some out there that a hundred percent owned so that, you know, 100 club companies... Those have a better shot I think.

Ingrid: [00:41:01] Right. Are those ever going to go public?

Brian: [00:41:05] No, but they'll get purchased.

Ingrid: [00:41:07] Right.

Brian: [00:41:07] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:41:08] They could. I mean if you've gone the hard route and spent a decade building a brand, unless you're just as a founder or as a leadership team, you're just tired, why would you give anything up if you've already come this far? I think that that's the question to really ask.

Brian: [00:41:28] Yeah, that's true.

Phillip: [00:41:30] Did you make a prediction? You said Cuyana.

Brian: [00:41:35] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:41:36] Okay.

Brian: [00:41:36] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:41:36] So Everlane and Cuyana. See, I should have had one in my back pocket before asked a question like that. That would make a lot of sense. Didn't make a lot of sense.

Ingrid: [00:41:47] What do you think about Glossier?

Phillip: [00:41:50] It's the hype machine is so big, I don't think they have to do anything at this point. I don't think we'll see that this year.

Ingrid: [00:41:58] No.

Phillip: [00:41:59] I don't think so.

Ingrid: [00:42:02] What are they going to do this year? Like they have to keep anteing up.

Phillip: [00:42:06] Well, the brick and mortar strategy has been very good for them doing discoveries in like all the discovery boxes... FabFitFun, Birchbox, that sort of thing has penetrated middle America. I think they have a tremendous amount of brand equity. How do you get more people to buy and how do you grow the awareness? It could be as easy as advertising on HGTV. I'm not kidding.

Ingrid: [00:42:36] Television.

Phillip: [00:42:37] Right. Over the top, on demand digital, and doing more out of home that's not in New York City subways could be a huge strategy for them, but it's expensive.

Ingrid: [00:42:48] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:42:48] But if any brand could do it, they probably have the VC money to spend on it.

Ingrid: [00:42:55] Oh yeah.

Phillip: [00:42:55] Although VCs will tell you if they're on a podcast that they don't want to spend money on things like that because it's not durable, but building brand is durable. So I think there's a fine line there. There are a bunch of really interesting smaller apparel brands, especially in the athletic space that I'm really intrigued by. NOBULL. Do you know NOBULL? They're like a CrossFit brand that is now in like lifestyle clothing who apparently do some crazy... Like 35 million online or something crazy. They're doing a decent amount of business for a very small sort of niche audience brand. I think we'll see a few of those fold into other companies or acquire some of themselves. But you know, for every brand that says every athletic brand says they don't want to be Nike, they all want to be Nike.

Ingrid: [00:43:53] Who doesn't want to be Nike?

Brian: [00:43:55] Tracksmith talked about this. They said, "When Nike started, they were like us."

Ingrid: [00:43:59] Yeah. Oh, that Phil Knight book, "Shoe Dog." It's one of my favorite books.

Phillip: [00:44:05] Is it though?

Ingrid: [00:44:06] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:44:06] I found it tough to get through.

Ingrid: [00:44:08] There's a big chunk of the middle, not big chunk. I would say like there's a good hundred pages or something in the middle that gets a little bit slow and tedious like after... You know I don't want spoilers. But yeah. Yeah. Got to get through it. But I really do think that it was great.

Phillip: [00:44:24] I love the hustle. I do think there's something special about a founder and there's something special about entrepreneurs. This is sort of the kind of like, let's cap it off. And for those who may never have listened to the show before us, you know, a recurring theme for us is that commerce connects people. You can't live in a society without engaging in commerce in some way. And so part of our thought... A lot of our thoughts are how do we help brands engage in that in the most equitable way that is sustainable for your relationship with your customer, but also treats them fairly as people and makes you ask the hard questions of like, "Is this something that is right and just for us to be engaging in?" Whether it's in the way that we talk to people, the way we build urgency, the way we build FOMO, the quality of the products... Apparently in this era is the way we treat our employees.

Brian: [00:45:23] Yes.

Ingrid: [00:45:23] Yeah. yeah.

Phillip: [00:45:23] That's an important part of it, too. And not for nothing, Nike has gone through a good bit of that themselves, even in this last year with Nike Oregon project and a bunch of... There's been a lot of accusation in it's own organizational training team.

Brian: [00:45:39] It's been tough.

Phillip: [00:45:40] But this is why... We should hold them accountable, especially when they have the platform that they do. But at Future Commerce, those are the things we want to tease out because I think that we're... A new brand is born every minute on Instagram, and they can all say the right things. They all know what to say. They all understand what consumer expectations are right now. But that doesn't mean that they're actually delivering on those promises.

Ingrid: [00:46:12] Definitely. And there's no one checking on them actually delivering on those promises. So it's kind of like you can sum it all up. So my biggest like retail thesis of all time and probably will remain is do not ever forget about your consumer and what commerce means to the consumer and why they're there in the first place. They have a need or an emotion or like a problem that they're trying to solve. Let's make sure that we're actually doing that for them. So going back to like, you know, before we had malls, there were like little retail strips or even like bazaars where you just go and get your groceries and things like that. You developed a relationship with the person that was selling you your meat. You developed a relationship with your grocer. They saw you every Sunday. That's when you go and you buy your bread. Human contact, a need for that has not changed. It's just the world has expanded exponentially. But how do we make sure that every single thing that we do is rooted still in that very, very fundamental exchange?

Brian: [00:47:18] Real relationships.

Ingrid: [00:47:18] Value exchange and relationships world.

Phillip: [00:47:22] Let's go back to the filter bubble, because I think this is important. I think that the next 10 years we have an opportunity for technology to enable the consumer to tell the brand how they want to be talked to. I so appreciate when I go to unsubscribe from an email and they say, "How often would you like us to email you? Once a month? Once every other month?" And and they give me the opportunity to give them more meaningful feedback than you're driving me crazy. Instead I can say, "I want you to engage me on my terms. I don't engage you on your terms." And if I had to take tiny little cues as like the things that happen on the Internet, that might be social cues of what's to come or like a foreshadowing of what's to come. Small little things like every app getting a dark mode, is a really good indicator of...

Ingrid: [00:48:13] Thoughtfulness.

Phillip: [00:48:14] Of we want you to experience this in the way that you want to experience it. And not in the way that we're trying to force it down your throat.

Ingrid: [00:48:21] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:48:21] And I think if we have more of that, that is a filter bubble that is virtuous.

Brian: [00:48:25] Right.

Phillip: [00:48:26] That the consumer can control for themselves. I don't want to see products that were manufactured with animal products or animal testing. I should be able to have that defined as a criteria in every shopping experience that I have. Because that is something that I find to be very important for me. And I think we're getting there. The next 10 years as it plays out, like this is on the customer's terms and not necessarily left for us to try to rediscover what that is with every single customer. A more federated way of us expressing as a customer how we want to be engaged is a future that I think we can all dream for.

Brian: [00:49:07] Absolutely. And as we're looking at this show today, what are you... Well, first of all, if you've seen anything here, any comments on that? Second of all, what do you hope to see at this show? What do you wish that you would see in this show at all these booths? One thing that I will say is that our omni channel is dead prediction, I think is absolutely true because it is dead.

Phillip: [00:49:32] We're not saying it, but...

Brian: [00:49:33] Not omni channel...

Phillip: [00:49:34] The hype train on omni channel...

Brian: [00:49:36] Yeah, it's a different kind of hype train now.

Ingrid: [00:49:37] I think omni channel has shifted to being consumer focused. That's the new,  and I think a better way, to describe what the intention behind building things for omni channel was.

Brian: [00:49:48] Yes. Another thing that I thought was really interesting is that Amazon is here in a big way.

Phillip: [00:49:54] You just say that because there's an AWS booth next to us.

Brian: [00:49:57] No, no, no, no. There's also giant Amazon signage everywhere.

Phillip: [00:50:01] They have some money.

Brian: [00:50:03] They have not exhibited in this way at NRF before.

Ingrid: [00:50:07] Yeah.

Brian: [00:50:07] And their tag line and I don't have it in front of me now. I should have taken a picture of it...

Phillip: [00:50:10] Yeah. It was striking. I forget what it was. Built for retail...

Brian: [00:50:15] By those who've gone ahead or something.

Phillip: [00:50:17] No, no, no, no that was not it at all.

Brian: [00:50:20] That wasn't it. I grossly misquoted that.

Phillip: [00:50:20] It was at the AWS platform. It was like built for retail and like purpose for retailers. They're trying to position it as a technology stack for retailers to take advantage of. It's web hosting.

Ingrid: [00:50:34] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:50:35] Come on.

Ingrid: [00:50:35] I'm like that's a big leap from...

Phillip: [00:50:38] Changing the world one Web site at a time. Amazon.

Brian: [00:50:41] Yeah. But what it does... It is interesting because in the past Walmart has been a here in force and Amazon hasn't.

Phillip: [00:50:49] Yeah.

Brian: [00:50:50] And so I think it's an indication of like Amazon recognizing that it's like we saw in the letter from Jeff Bezos, their third party marketplace...

Phillip: [00:50:59] You're going to close... We have five minutes left in the show. You're going to close it talking about Amazon?

Brian: [00:51:03] Oh man. Alright. Fine.

Phillip: [00:51:03] We almost made it through the whole freakin show without you talking about Amazon.

Ingrid: [00:51:07] Well, we have to talk about Amazon.

Brian: [00:51:09] %Amazon's important.

Ingrid: [00:51:11] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:51:12] Is it?

Brian: [00:51:13] Fine. Let's move on. What do you want to see at the show? We got five minutes. 60 seconds. Go, Ingrid.

Phillip: [00:51:18] Wouldn't it? Oh, go ahead.

Ingrid: [00:51:19] Well, I would want to see an interaction between a consumer and... Imagine I'm someone that just walked off the street and I've never been to a show like this. I don't work in retail. I don't know anything about it. For them to explain all of the things, well not all the things, but like, you know, give a 80% of the things that are happening in retail and like get regular people to comment on it or to give feedback on like, is this going to be helpful to me? Is this solving a problem for me? Like, I'm not sure.

Brian: [00:51:54] I like that.

Ingrid: [00:51:55] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:51:56] I want to see more. I haven't seen it yet here. It would be great if we had a little corner that was devoted specifically to sustainable solutions, whether it's like packaging or signage or... Oh, by the way, trivia. What do you think happens to all this carpet that is over there like three hundred thousand square feet?

Brian: [00:52:22] I don't want to know.

Ingrid: [00:52:22] Oh I don't think I want to know.

Phillip: [00:52:23] It's used one time, and it's rolled up and thrown in the garbage. That's what happens to stuff it expos like this.

Ingrid: [00:52:31] Are you serious? Why wouldn't they reuse it?

Phillip: [00:52:31] Yeah. And then the next conference of rolls in next week it's the same thing. I look around and there's tremendous amount of waste at shows like this from the paper and the signage. Everything's used once and thrown away.

Ingrid: [00:52:45] Wow.

Phillip: [00:52:45] I would love to see some technology or some other like a vendor section that's specifically trying to attract attention to brands and even technologists that care about sustainability.

Brian: [00:52:56] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:52:57] But all that aside and the doom and gloom we are talking to and partnering with a lot of consumer brands for certifying and providing certification criteria for ethical business practices and balancing purpose and profits, so I would love to see Certified B at a show like this.

Brian: [00:53:18] Yes.

Ingrid: [00:53:19] Cool.

Phillip: [00:53:19] I would love to see Good On You at a show like this.

Ingrid: [00:53:23] EWG.

Phillip: [00:53:23] And we need more of that sort of representation. And having Allbirds onstage is a big leap forward. But we need more on the enablement side because the long tail of retailers that aren't Venture backed that can spend the money on innovation are the ones who actually need to take hold of that, and they need the enablement. We got two minutes. What's yours?

Brian: [00:53:43] What I want to see out of this show, and I've already got a peek into it a little bit. So the innovation lab this year, there's a lot of the same companies that were there last year, but they have a startup zone now. So I think maybe they've sort of separated them. I would love to see something to show some way for us to know what's actually picking up traction. I think there are a lot of solutions out there that, you know, like I have no way to gage, you know, if Fine Mine is like doing well now or not. I wish there was a way in this show that I could see like trends or like types of technology and what kind of penetration they have.

Ingrid: [00:54:27] Like a scoreboard?

Phillip: [00:54:28] If only we were a market research company that could bear that out.

Brian: [00:54:32] Oh wait. Hold on.

Phillip: [00:54:33] We are actually.

Brian: [00:54:34] Maybe we should do this next year.

Phillip: [00:54:35] Well thanks so much for listening to Future Commerce. Maybe this stuff will pay off. Maybe it won't. You can hear more from us by visiting, and sign up for our email newsletter that goes out every Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.. And that's it. Wait 30 seconds to spare. No, four seconds. All right. That's it. Thanks.

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