February 21, 2018: It’s a CX world, we’re just livin’ it – The retail store is no-more, Outdoor Voices announces crowdsourcing plans, Google launches ad filter on Chrome, YouTube adopts new punishments for ‘egricious behavior,’ and Ad Age releases A-List
Here’s what’s worth knowing this week:



Just gonna have to be a different brand. New research by IAB provides insight into the enduring shifts in the U.S. consumer economy that are responsible for driving the retail disruption making headlines today. With an emphasis on new supply chain economics, digital CX, and first-party data access, the report outlines how marketers need to adapt to a “brand-direct” economy. As such, digitally-native vertical brands (DNVBs) have exponentially grown in market share, where a foundational online presence has allowed for the ability to pivot and adapt more quickly to evolving consumer behaviors.

What it means, IRL: Long gone are the days where supply chain distribution = market dominance. With the traditional retail store on the endangered species list, CPG brands are forced to evolve and discover alternative distribution channels – it’s why newer entrants to the market have such an advantage.  It’s also not a bad thing. As more retailers and brands transition online, those with a robust ecomm practice will (finally) give marketers access to first-party consumer data – which remains many brick-and-mortar retailers’ remaining advantage.

Make it work: Brands should strive to adapt to the direct-to-consumer landscape by accelerating consumers’ path to purchase. With the cost for entry so low and path-to-purchase shortened, the CPG space is anyone’s game – as long as they’re willing to be customer (and data) obsessed. Brands have the opportunity to understand more about their consumers’ motivations and behaviors than ever before – including who and what influences their decisions at every touchpoint. Marketers partnering with influencers to establish trusted and authentic communication channels while maximizing the breadth of content production required to break through the noise, will accelerate the purchase decisions of the 21st century consumer (see: Amazon).


Hello, Can You Hear Me?

Last month an Instagram fight broke out over leggings and athleisure fans across the U.S. were up in arms. TLDR; don’t mess with loyal Outdoor Voices customers.

Fast-forward one month and it’s easy to see why Outdoor Voices’ customers are so loyal – the brand has built their entire strategy by making their customers the center of their creative process. Similar to the strategy Glossier has perfected, Outdoor Voices’ plan to tap consumers for insights and feedback, and then share that with their product development team, allows them to compete with the Nikes & Under Armors of the world – despite not having the same budget or resources.

Part of what makes Outdoor Voices’ crowdsourcing strategy so successful in this brand-direct economy is their customer centricity – it’s both talk and action. Every brand has the opportunity to leverage influencers and consumer advocates in a R&D and creative capacity across the entire marketing process – while reaping the increased brand loyalty and affinity that results. And, as influencers become commoditized and those insights become more valuable, it will become even more important for brands to develop richer relationships.



Unless you’re Google. This Thursday, Google is set to launch its first ad filter in its Chrome web browser. First announced in June, it will block ads on its sites that fail a review process determined by the Coalition for Better Ads (i.e. pop-up ads, those that cover more than a third of a smartphone screen and video ads that play automatically with sound).

According to the Googs, the purpose of this ad filtering is to improve user experience on the web. It’s not blocking, but filtering, for a reason.  It’s likely that Google is aiming to raise the bar for ads and improve the overall ad experience. Rumor has it, Marc Pritchard will be happy.


Cracking The Whip

YouTube has adopted new sanctions it will enforce against creators who post disturbing or violent videos. The measures, outlined in a blog post Friday, including potentially suspending offending creators’ participation in advertising, original productions, and video recommendations. Going forward, influencers need to be cognizant of the ‘entertainment’ and ‘content’ in pursuit of audience engagement, and whether this violates new terms.

Losing Some, Winning Most

Ad Age announced its annual Agency A-List – s/o to all the ladies recognized for their creative poweress. Buuuut, not so fast – is it the end of agencies as we know it? Here are some things to keep your top rank.



“At the moment, Outdoor Voices’s biggest strength is the one thing money can’t buy: a fanbase so avid that it will ravage another brand’s comments section at the drop of a hat.” – Eliza Brooke, Racked

#Facts –  Outdoor Voices fans are the real deal.


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