CEO Summit discusses how brands make their mark

At the CEO Summit, it was again proven that you must have a good concept to stand out from the crowd. In our fast-paced, technological world, the only way to carve out a share in the market is to be strategic. Google, Ideeli, Polyvore, PepsiCo and Shopkick all stand out as case studies worth checking out, with tactics such as personalized shopping sites or unique flash-sale platforms to interactive social media initiatives, reported WWD.

Google: Breaking away by daring to be different

Google put this philosophy to work when creating its brainchild, a unique shopping site that allows shoppers to fashion their own personalized boutiques, sharing and discovering new products. By labeling the styles and brands they love and the ones they hate, they can find the items that interest them.

“We really set out to do something different, and we wanted to break the mold,” Gaurav Suri, head of commerce sales for Google’s emerging businesses, said to WWD. “We knew that what worked for hard goods wouldn’t work for fashion. We needed a discovery engine, not a search engine.”

This sense of discovery has proven popular with users, who have found it pays to personalize their boutique. “They’re addicted,” Suri said.

PepsiCo: Adapting in a digital world

At PepsiCo, they believe in the need to adapt to survive. So the company is always concerned over its “digital fitness”: the ability to keep up with changes in the digital world. Thus PepsiCo10, an initiative to connect technology, media and communications entrepreneurs with PepsiCo brands in order to activate pilot programs in the fields of digital media and social marketing. The resulting 500 submissions have been weeded down to 10.

“Digital is the beacon of culture,” Bonin Bough, global head of digital, told WWD. “It’s permeating every aspect of our lives.”

Polyvore: Going with social networking has hit the jackpot by bringing together social networking and fashion styling. With more than 7 million unique visitors per month, the site is the biggest community of tastemakers and stylish out there online. The site works by fashion mavens crafting collagelike set of their fav designer goods, which can then be distributed on Polyvore, Facebook and more.

Users have gravitated toward featuring shoes. “Shoes feature disproportionally large in sets because they’re sexy, fun and complete the looks,” Katherine Crane, the site’s advertising director, said to WWD. “And often the top-used shoes were also the top sellers from designers.”

Ideeli: Flash sales in a new way

Even in the huge field of flash sites, Ideeli has distinguished itself, through distinct editorial content and a strong concentration on shoes. Brands, especially in the mid of economic woes, have enjoyed unloading excess inventory on companies seeking items for quick sales.

“Because we have the right audience, we can help brands find an incremental customer in their target market, tell a longer brand story and even help them drive traffic to their core channels,” Paul Hurley, company co-founder, said to WWD.

Ideeli started out a marketing platform. “We want to listen to the customer and her wants and respond quickly,” he said. These wants, apparently, are content and commerce.

Shopkick: Sales through rewards

Shopkick was introduced as an application to give customers rewards when they scan in-store items. But the company is not sitting back, but rather constantly working to improve the shopping experience of its customers.

“The future of online is really offline,” said Jeff Sellinger, co-founder of Shopkick Inc., to WWD.

To inspire loyalty and make the app more focused, it also boasts location-based items.

Tagged in: google, ceo summit, ideeli, pepsico, polyvore, shopkick, strategy,


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