“The era of the store as media is upon us” - Doug Stephens, Retail Prophet
With his eloquent delivery and passion for his products, Steve Jobs could sell ice to an Eskimo, or so the saying goes. But Jobs, if you asked him, never sold a thing. Former Apple VP Allison Johnson divulged that Jobs hated the word marketing. He didn't want to be a marketer or a salesman. He wanted to effectively communicate what's so great about Apple's products and what made the experience using them so enjoyable. In other words, he wanted to be a storyteller (and boy, was he ever).
What he was describing-selling vs. storytelling-has become the greatest showdown in retail history, leading to the downfall of decades-old brands like Staples, Radio Shack and JC Penney. Following the lead of Amazon and Zappos, younger, smaller, more agile brands likeWarby Parker, Thrillist and Birchbox took to the Web with innovative business models. They pushed established retailers to the fringes of relevancy by pairing content with commerce-providing customers with brand journalism, personality, customization, personalization, information, convenience and free shipping, all just a click away.