“Every Company is a Media Company” and other Lies We Perpetuate

PLUS: Mustard Skittles
July 28, 2023

While you are soaking up summer, we’re busy seeing around the next corner so you don’t have to! 

Here’s your end-of-week briefing on the Future Commerce oeuvre of content to keep you informed: 

  • Dispelling Myths. A lie has circulated around the SaaS industry that every company should be creating longform business operator-focused media. Tommy Walker of The Content Studio thinks that’s a mistake, and offers up the problem, agitation, solution in this deep-dive on what not to do in SaaS media.

  • Language is a Game. The language of digital commerce is heavily weighted towards speaking in terms of computer interfaces and digital design. As human communication around commerce evolves, our language adapts to the power that the machine holds in our relationships. This deep-dive on “language games” by Brian Lange will have you rethinking power testing in website design (like Drake Related, for instance) in a different light.

  • Good leaders are born. Great leaders are taught. The greatest leaders develop other leaders. In eCommerce, where the rate of change is accelerating, it’s more important than ever to put your ego aside. But how? Ingrid and Orchid break it down step by step on the newest episode of Infinite Shelf.

  • Take good advice. We all need to look to a wise and mature leader to help us make decisions. Adobe Commerce thinks that their position of leadership — from analytics and customer data, to marketing cloud and personalization — gives them the ability to act as a Sage to the broader ecosystem. Host Kristen Vencel guides us on the path of the Sage on the newest episode of the Archetypes podcast.

OpenStore Grows Jack Archer. DTC aggregator OpenStore has scaled Jack Archer, the men’s athleisure brand it acquired in 2022, from $1 million in sales to nearly $10 million in sales. 

Our Take: OpenStore has been shipping feature after feature recently. In March, co-founder Keith Rabois announced their new operating solution, Drive, that would give owners the ability to test-pilot handing over operations. Last month, they announced a new Marketplace functionality that would link stores across brands to reach a bigger audience.

And earlier this week, they announced Gumdrop, an app to help brands broker affiliate deals with content creators.

But none of this is useful if the Miami-based aggregator can’t fulfill on their original promise — creating a connected network of brands, and cross-selling against a growing market of profitable businesses.

So, can they actually operate these businesses effectively? It appears so, given this latest news. In Step by Step Season 11, we had Jack Archer founder, Miguel Facusse on the podcast to talk about his experience selling his men’s clothing brand to OpenStore. “I'm good at building from scratch and then by the point I launch, I'm really tired because of all the work involved,” said Facusse in our interview.

“Some people might see it like I give up too quickly." It's like, "No, I built a product and I'm selling it. The product is a business." At least in the case of the Jack Archer brand, OpenStore is demonstrating their ability to grow those businesses.

Full disclosure: OpenStore is a former advertising partner of Future Commerce.

Really (Really) Big Hummer. The Rainbow Sheikh of the United Arab Emirates (aka Sheikh Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan) has commissioned a Hummer that is three times the size of an average Hummer. Called the X3, the vehicle is over 21 feet tall and also has a toilet and sink on board. After the Jacquemus campaign, we find ourselves questioning the reality of any internet video. This one included.

Neighborhood Watch(ed). Athleisure brand, Feat, creeped out some of its customer base with a “catchy” sales email. The abandoned cart campaign purported to be a concerned neighbor that was peeping on the would-be shopper “walking around in their underwear all day.” 

There’s a New Skittle in Town. To celebrate National Mustard Day, which is coming up on August 5, French’s and Skittles have partnered together to make mustard-flavored Skittles. Customers can try the new flavor via their online sweepstakes, as well as at 3 Mustard Mobile pop-ups in Atlanta, D.C., and New York.

Food Fit for an Alien. In 2024, McDonald’s is planning to test a spinoff restaurant brand called CosMc’s, based on a McDonaldland character from the ’80s-’90s. Apparently CosMc is “an alien from outer space who craves McDonald’s food.”

More Palate News. Daily Harvest, the once darling of Instagram influencer meal kits had a great unraveling after a major food poisoning issue, and Bloomberg has detailed it all. And TRUFF is getting in on the faux IRL content from brands.

Aliens Exist. In case you missed it, a House hearing just happened to discuss the existence of aliens and UFOs — or what is now called UAPs (unidentified aerial phenomena). Tom DeLonge of Blink-182 has been basking in this news proving he’s been right all along. What’s his age again?

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