CRITICAL THINKING

Critical thinking doesn’t start and stop with the project brief. We are forever evaluating the world around us and thinking about the future of your industry. So when the time comes to take your brand to the next level, we’ll be ready.

PERSPECTIVE VIDEO

THE PERENNIAL | DCM 2021 BRAND LEADERSHIP OUTLOOK

January 14, 2021  

Over the past year, many brands rose to the challenge to stay connected to consumers and drive innovation through adversity. As we head into 2021 and continue adapting with the times, what comes next? How does your brand stay relevant amid ever-changing consumer behaviour?

perspectives

perspectives

Our point of view on current industry challenges, emerging trends, and shifting need states that we think deserve better solutions and more strategic thinking.

THE PERENNIAL | DCM BRAND LEADERSHIP AWARDS

As a leader in retail consulting and design, Perennial | DCM has worked with great brands and leaders for over 30 years. In that time, we’ve seen them not only lead in the face of adversity, but use that adversity to drive positive change. With 2020 coming to a close, great brand leadership has never been more apparent—so we’re celebrating it: Introducing the Perennial | DCM Brand Leadership Awards. Chief Brand Officer Kevin Lund has the details in this latest video.

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OWNING THE DELIVERY CHANNEL

In our latest Perennial Perspective video, DCM’s Chief Brand Officer Kevin Lund looks at a solution for reclaiming brand relevance among food-service businesses in the delivery channel. While delivery apps are now a revenue mainstay in the industry, they have made restaurants beholden to a business model that works against them. Delivery is undeniably convenient, but when executed by a third party, it disconnects customers from the restaurant brand. Restaurants need to consider the channel as part of their own business—not someone else’s.

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HOW THE GROCERY SECTOR CAN REVOLUTIONIZE YOUR HEALTHCARE EXPERIENCE

Today the healthcare experience takes place across a variety of touchpoints, with the patient bearing the responsibility of connecting the dots. The opportunity to unify that experience, under a single brand, exists in the grocery channel. The retailer that delivers on this will achieve a new level of customer intimacy and loyalty, maximizing wallet-share potential.

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UNLOCKING THE POWER OF CPG: DIRECT TO CONSUMER IS THE KEY

Direct-to-consumer models have been an industry game-changer for CPG players, unlocking highly coveted access to individual, consumer-level data. But the model also brings with it the risk of mediocrity: simply creating an online catalogue of an in-store offering is not enough. Here’s how we believe CPG companies can use the model to achieve maximum value.

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empty malls

CAN BRANDS THRIVE IN A WFH WORLD?

When the retail industry was virtually knocked off its feet (aka: disrupted) by the advent of e-commerce a dozen or so years ago, brands had two options: Adapt to this brave new online world, or be left behind by it.

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Vending machine Girl

BRINGING CONVENIENCE TO CANNABIS

From initial annual sales forecasts of $5B to current projections of less than half that, the high hopes for legalized cannabis in Canada have not materialized. The answer lies in the convenience channel.

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drive in jcrew

HOW THE DRIVE-IN COULD SAVE J.CREW

Mall operators across North America have been rolling out drive-in movie experiences in their parking lots to generate traffic and reconnect with consumers. Could shopping centres be missing out on the even bigger opportunity presented by the drive-in?

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WHAT WE ARE SEEING

News that matters from the ever-changing world of brands. Click below for our quick, insightful summary of each article.

What we are seeing

The market for online sneaker consignment is booming – with top sellers like GOAT Group and StockX recently being valued at $1.75 billion and $2.8 billion respectively. These platforms enable sneakerheads to purchase authentic sneakers from the hottest brands online through a website or their mobile phones. In this increasingly competitive, digitally driven category, we see an opportunity for sneaker retailers to differentiate themselves by incorporating gamified elements into their online promotions to better engage consumers.

eBay – an early entrant in the world of online sneaker retailing – adopted this strategy by running a holiday-themed contest called “Santa Sneaker Drop” from December 22 to 24. Developed in partnership with NBA star Anthony Davis, “Santa Sneaker Drop” offered visitors a chance to win one of 19 coveted sneaker styles, including Air Jordans and Nike Air Max. To access the contest, visitors had to input their email address into an AR-enabled mobile website displaying a virtual fireplace. Upon doing so, an unwrapped gift with the eBay logo would drop down the fireplace chimney and open to reveal a prize for winners.

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What we are seeing

Fashion retail took a big hit in 2020, with profits expected to be down 93% for the year. While 2021 has a more positive outlook, sales are still predicted to be 10 to 15% lower than in 2019. We see an opportunity for retailers to revisit their brand and assortment strategies, to understand consumers’ evolving fashion needs and pivot to meet those needs.

With many consumers continuing to work from home, casual apparel and athletic wear will continue to have increased demand. However, the importance of in-person contact, particularly in business, will result in new fashion purchases from those who have been working from home since March 2020, thanks to the vaccine. Fashion retailers with brand strategies capable of satisfying both casual and business apparel needs will be better positioned for success in 2021 and beyond. 

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What we are seeing

With consumers in the U.S. facing rising healthcare costs, a value-driven healthcare option holds significant promise as an alternative provider for the uninsured and budget-conscious. Enter Walmart Health. Some believe Walmart’s aggressive push into primary care services – from physicians and optometrists to audiologists and mental health counselors – could be a game changer in providing access to care. We see an effective business strategy, and the emergence of a retail model that blurs industry sector silos enabled by the credibility of a strong brand position, which will ultimately allow the retailer to play a broader role in consumers’ lives.

Walmart Health launched in the U.S. in 2019. By the end of this year, it will have opened 22 clinics across three states. Walmart Health has set itself apart by employing primary care physicians, who have a greater impact on clinic operating costs – compared to competitors who are using nurse practitioners and physician assistants, or sourcing clinic care through strategic partnerships. Success will depend on Walmart’s ability to achieve scale while delivering quality care at low prices.

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What we are seeing

The pandemic has forced people to change the way they engage with their physical activity, many substituting the physical experience for a digital one. We see athletic wear companies expanding outside their core business of fitness fashion, to also fulfill the physical aspect of fitness category. The result could be a disruption of the category, with new brands stealing wallet share from traditional physical gym brands.    

Lululemon, who entered the online workout category with their acquisition of Mirror earlier this year, experienced a 22% increase in revenue as customers spent more on yoga pants and athleisure apparel for home workouts. 

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What we are seeing

Socially conscious consumers continue to grow as a segment. If brands want a share of their wallet, they must not only take accountability for the faults these consumers accuse them of, but also take steps towards more impactful initiatives that address these faults. We see an opportunity for brands to attract new consumers by listening to their critics, acknowledging their faults, and putting action in place to address them. 

Nestle Purelife is a good example of how brands can make waves of impact through social responsibility that is directly connected to the negative impacts of their business. In response to criticism, they have recently announced a new campaign through which they will put US$3.6 billion towards improving their climate footprint. In building carbon reduction into their business model, while focusing on growing brands within their portfolio that have a net neutral carbon footprint, they are trying to appeal to a more climate-conscious consumer. In doing so they stand to improve the planet as well as their balance sheet.

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