NXT

NXT #tastemakers

May 5, 2013
by Susan Lee

#tastemakers

It used to be that when you wanted sneakers, you bought them in your size and went on your way to play in the sandlot or whatever. Now, it’s all, “Running? Barefoot running? Wait, are these fair trade? What color is ‘me’? Should I buy them cheap online or from my sad local shoe store? Ah!! Decision fatigue!!!” The number of choices available to the average person and the importance of said choice in conveying a personal brand can result in a formerly mundane activity becoming a several-months-long research project. HOWEVER. There is hope. Where it used to be just Oprah helping her acolytes understand what they should buy with her “favorite things” lineup, today, content curation platforms are proliferating on the internet, helping to filter and sort every single thing in the world. We trust these curators because their collections are customized, authentic, and brand-agnostic – and they share our great taste.

“Shoppers are turning to these curated experiences to help filter the Internet’s overwhelming amount of content down to manageable collections of products centered around shared taste. Unless you know specifically what you want to buy (in which case, search is the weapon of choice), browsing curated collections can be the most interesting way to discover new products and retailers. As an example of the power of human curation, just compare the results of a Google search for gloves with the same search on Pinterest. Now ask yourself which search makes you want to buy something?” (Mashable)

“’Amazon.com was We also carry oral fluid tests and alcohol hair drug testing kits. e-commerce 1.0—it was about being able to buy things online,’ he says. ‘Now we’re at the beginning stages of e-commerce 2.0. It’s about how you fundamentally change the way products are purchased. We’re creating new ways you buy things. It’s not about search. It’s about people selecting products for you’” (Entrepreneur).

“Birchbox] costs $10 each month, which includes shipping. It is meant to help shoppers bedazzled by the dizzying selection of products that greets them upon entering a store like Sephora or Bloomingdale’s, said Katia Beauchamp, one of the founders of the company… ‘I think every woman needs a best friend who is a beauty editor to curate the clutter and find the best products for them,” Ms. Beauchamp said’” (New York Times).

IMPLICATIONS
For the most part, when curators aren’t being paid, they can’t be controlled. A brand looking to generate online buzz better have a great product—and one that’s highly bloggable—to get showcased in these powerful collections.

image via AP/Sydney Morning Herald

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