Editor’s note: Daniel Sills is associate director at research firm C Space and producer of podcast Outside In, Boston. This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared under the following title, “The physical brand.”
Scott Galloway makes lots of predictions. Some right, some wrong, some kinda right or kinda wrong depending on what side you’re on.
As a marketing professor at NYU Stern, he has a lot of insight into the future of brands – especially when it relates to the companies currently ruling our world: Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple. Galloway’s book The Four describes why and how each is so successful (and in many ways, unstoppable) and the effects each company will have on our lives – and on business – in the years to come.
It’s not so surprising that each of the four are tech or digital companies. (Isn’t everything digital now?) Galloway was a recent guest on the Outside In podcast. His mind is equal parts encyclopedic and clairvoyant. He’s also really funny. Our lives are being shaped by these West Coast tech giants, he says, and, like it or not, that shape will continue to be formed by machines, algorithms and an exclusive group of super smart people. But what really surprised me during the interview was a prediction he made about the future of marketing: It’s distribution. And it’s physical.
Marketing is all about “controlling the experience,” he says. More precisely, the retail environment that products live in will have a greater influence on our pre-purchase decisions than traditional advertising. Galloway is pretty blunt with his prediction: “Retail is supposedly dying? I think we’re going to see a massive reallocation of capital out of traditional advertising into distribution. That’s what Apple did. And there’s a ton of people who should think about doing the same thing.”
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