The 4Cs of the modern brand

Glossier is one of the most successful beauty companies. At one point, there were 10,000 people on a waitlist just for its lipstick. Glossier succeeded because it recognized that women enjoy sharing their beauty preferences, and gave them the tools to create content that enabled conversations around it. Glossier’s value is not in the sheer scale of its user base, but rather in the interactions within it.
  • Community– A retailer needs to encourage social connections among its customers. These will become its primary source of value and the key driver of competitive advantage. Social connections work best when created around an audience’s pre-existing passion, hobby or interest. High-design bicycle wear brand Rapha positions itself as a “vibrant ecosystem for road riders around the world.” In local Rapha Cycling Clubs, cycling enthusiasts can gather for events, rides, races and to bond with others.
  • Content– Content created by a retailer generates value even before a single product purchase or use of service. California-based fashion apparel brand Dôen creates social networks around its proprietary content. It consistently delivers through its blog Journal, where Dôen profiles the extraordinary stories of community members that others can have conversations around.
  • Curation-New customers can lower the value for a retailer’s existing fanbase. Retailers need strong curation and personalization of the customer experience. Adidas introduced Creators Club, a membership program that gives customers access to exclusive events, products and special offers.
  • Collaborations-Ask what else your customers are wearing, reading, listening to, experiencing and talking about in addition to your products or services. IKEA’s collaboration with streetwear brand Off-White aims at designing an affordable furniture collection to help them create their first home. It reflects the broader taste and aesthetics of their joint audience.
These elements impact how a company launches and markets its products.

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