Winners and Losers … Scott Galloway on brand success in the age of Amazon

June 20, 2017

Scott Galloway is described as “honest, outrageous and provocative” … he’s a marketing professor at NYU Stern School of Business where he teaches brand strategy and digital marketing to second-year MBA students and is the author of the Digital IQ Index, a global ranking of prestige brands’ digital competence. He’s also the founder of L2, a subscription business intelligence firm serving prestige brands; and Prophet, a global brand strategy consultancy.

His new book is The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google

Instead of buying the myths these compa­nies broadcast, Galloway asks fundamental questions. How did the Four infiltrate our lives so completely that they’re almost impossible to avoid (or boycott)? Why does the stock market forgive them for sins that would destroy other firms? And as they race to become the world’s first trillion-dollar company, can anyone chal­lenge them?

In the same irreverent style that has made him one of the great provocateurs of our time, Galloway deconstructs the strategies of the Four that lurk beneath their shiny veneers. He shows how they manipulate the fundamental emotional needs that have driven us since our ancestors lived in caves, at a speed and scope others can’t match. And he reveals how you can apply the lessons of their ascent to your own business or career.

Winners and Losers 

In this keynote session from Amazon Professional Sellers’ Summit NYC 2017, Galloway explains how Amazon is changing the future of retail and which brands are ruling and will continue to shape the face of the digital marketing space:

What do winning companies have in common? They don’t just have a lot of users – they also glean data about those users’ behavior and use it to improve the consumer experience. The biggest winner here: Amazon, which could soon be the first trillion-dollar company. The site’s algorithm constantly looks at what you’re shopping for and displays the most relevant products, in addition to ensuring that prices are the most competitive on the Internet. A loser: Snapchat. While the platform is innovative, they’re not using their algorithm to personalize the experience. Another surprising loser: Apple. The company’s music algorithm has changed little since the early days of iTunes, opening the door for Pandora and Spotify.

Winner or loser? Tesla, which is trading at almost six times revenue. The brand’s biggest innovation is not its electric engine, but its proximity to the consumer. Winner: Brands mining data about users’ digital behavior to create physical products. Based on data gleaned from their apps, Airbnb just launched a print magazine and transit app Citymapper is launching its own bus service. Winner: Apple, the first company in the US to cross an $800 billion market capitalization. Here’s what Apple should do with all that cash. Loser: Every apparel brand blaming Amazon for its woes. Fast fashion is just as responsible for retail’s decline.

Loser: ESPN, as subscribers flock to streaming platforms and ad revenue declines. Winner or Loser? Nike, for its $1 billion deal with Cristiano Ronaldo. Winner: Salespeople. With influencers losing trust, brands are now recruiting “expert” salespeople to rep their products. Winner: Students turning to GoFundMe to cover the cost of their college educations

Winner: Niche brands, which are grabbing share from established CPG enterprises. Winner: Zola, a startup that disrupted the wedding registry industry by getting digital right. Loser: Remote workers. IBM will no longer let staff telecommute, following in the footsteps of Bank of America and Aetna.

Loser: Facebook, which is rapidly being eclipsed by Instagram. Winner or loser?, the failed content farm trying to reinvent itself as a collection of niche sites called Dotdash. Loser: Millennials missing the boat on investing. As many as 80% are not investing in the stock market.

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