Top articles of the week | December 1st

December 1, 2018

Every week, we put together a list of our top 5 articles of the past week. Happy reading!

Inside the pricey war to influence your Instagram feed Wired

Many marketing strategies now include influencer marketing by default. This world is complex, murky but unavoidable. This piece in Wired details how these deals are struck, the players behind them and the lack of regulation. It still feels like the wild west in the space.

Kohl’s Cracks the Retail Code Fortune

If you can’t beat em, join them. That’s exactly what Kohl’s when the US retailer started handling returns for Amazon at 100 of its stores. I marveled at how Kohl’s CEO, Michelle Gass, has helped a traditional retailer thrive using sophisticated technology that focuses on un-sexy things like checkout lines. They are making mistakes faster but also finding ways to win as well.

Naked Brands David Perell

I discovered this blogger recently (hat tip: Antoine). He dives into all things and this post is a must-read. He dissects the evolution of brands and how the success of a brand today is predicated on trust and authenticity.

Brands built during the late-industrial era garnered trust through mass marketing, as opposed to transparency. This is no longer a sustainable strategy.

The Monopolization of America NY Times

I’m not overly enthused with the politics of regulation and antitrust. This article in the Times depicts some very relevant stats around concentration of market power. Many industries are seeing the top two players grow their market share. We are hearing more stories about abuse of power by tech leaders as well. Unfortunately, I don’t believe much can be done due to the growing impact of network effects.

Reevaluating the DNVB Tobias Citron, Radicle Labs

DNVB stands for digital native vertical brand. It’s definition: The DNVB is a brand, and that brand is vertical. The name of the brand is on both the physical product and on the website. The DNVB requires the commercialization of an e-commerce channel, but that channel is an enablement layer — it’s not the core asset. These companies compete on price, convenience and quality and are improving on those dimensions. Acquisitions is also heating up with large incumbents looking for DNVB brands.