Butterflies on a Reptile

Long-time reader Robby sends us this one (click here for the article):

Now look at the image here.

The image is what we do in our industry. The reptile is the core business ... the butterflies are the fun new channels we bolt on to the core business. We think we are integrating the customer experience, creating omnichannel magic.

Instead, we created this image.

There's nothing wrong with generating as much profit as possible from the reptile, and then reinvest that profit in a new online brand.

Heck, people love to criticize J. Crew these days - but think about what they're doing ... as the core brand suffers the new brand (Madewell) performs better. It's good to have multiple brands ... it's like having a diversified portfolio of stocks, right?

Think about what Gap is doing these days ... they're closing Gap stores while opening Old Navy stores. Instead of bolting butterflies on the reptile, they're shutting down reptiles and growing their assortment of butterflies.

Don't fall for omnichannel lizard logic.



Consider hiring online experts - let them start an online brand using the fraction of your merchandise assortment that appeals to a younger audience. Let them use techniques and tactics (butterflies) that do not work when bolted on to the core business (the reptile). As success happens, let the new merchandise assortment evolve and shift as the customer base evolves.

Explain why this is a bad idea?

P.S.: Speaking of online marketing experts, read this story about Alto's Adventure.

P.P.S.:  Speaking of bolting butterflies on a reptile, look at what large retailers and Facebook are doing with catalogs (click here). There's no saving traditional folks who won't at least try something like this (though we've been here for 15 years or more with "digital" catalogs). Try Something!!