Connecting Online Access with Offline Availability

During a panel discussion at the WOMMA Summit, Ed Keller, CEO, Keller Fay Group, emphasized the importance of connecting online (social) signals with offline action when measuring influence.

Building on last week's stories about respecting brands and users alike, this week, I wanted to share examples of models used to trade promises by combining assets creatively. 

Connecting online access with offline availability

Where are those points of intersection between what people intend and good trade? How do you connect the right intent (=influence) with access?

How do a food market, an apparel retailer, a car share company, and an icon of the fashion industry bridge the gap between online access and offline availability?

Saturday four

The four stories that caught my eye this week are:


1In a conversation at GigaOm, Scott Griffith, CEO, Zipcar, which turned its first quarter profit in a decade recently, explained how he connects cities, transportation, and technology. Griffith is bringing that connection to life based upon the habits of millennials, city infrastructure and density, and the global appetite for transportation alternatives:

All told, you have a generation of smart, collaborative consumers who know the value of access versus ownership, are open to new ideas, and have ways to socialize without getting behind the wheel.


City and state governments can really accelerate the growth of car sharing through smart policies. Given the proven economic, social, and environmental benefits of car sharing, more and more of them are looking at car sharing as a cost effective tool for congestion management, emissions reduction and parking demand management.

The key value prop: access is more important than ownership. Zipcar makes the availability promise, with a side benefit: if you’re a Zipster, you walk more, you bike more, and you use public transit more often than the average car owner.


2Integrating technology with retail, UK supermarket Tesco, already using ambient marketing with mobile commerce in Korea, announced it will roll out free Wi-fi service to its Extra stores.

Visitors to Tesco Extra stores will get free, unlimited access to the in-store wireless Internet service simply by signing up with their Clubcard number. For those who don’t have or want a Clubcard, the service will be free for 15 minutes every 24 hours – perfect for those who want to check pricing and details of products whilst they shop

Giving people the ability to read product reviews and compare prices is low hanging fruit. Offering the ability to build grocery lists in exchange for calorie counts or recipes, for example, is one more way food markets could start managing inventories, share promotions, and so on.


3On (US) Black Friday, the shopping day of the year, Patagonia went on record with an ad in The New York Times. Their message: Don't Buy this Jacket. That's right. Was this an elaborate ploy to trick people with reverse psychology?

But we’re in business to make and sell products. Everyone’s paycheck relies on that. Moreover, we are a growing business, opening new stores and mailing more catalogs. What do we tell customers who accuse us of hypocrisy?


It would be hypocritical for us to work for environmental change without encouraging customers to think before they buy.

Reduce, repair, reuse, recycle, reimagine: business promises or clever ploy (as many in the comments seem to feel strongly about)? My take is Patagonia is helping people self select. As one commenter says, if you are someone who cares about quality products that are responsibly made then Patagonia wants to be in your consideration set. Making better promises online to keep better promises in store.


4You may know Karl Lagerfeld for his work in the fashion industry. This week at LeWeb, he shared his technology habits and how he uses various tools for his work:

Despite being a self-proclaimed "paper freak" when it comes to books, he's a fan of the iPad because it allows him to work, sketch, and send them back to the studio. He carries four different iPhones with him, with certain people only allowed to call certain phones.  "It's not one per person, I know more than four people". He has a bunch of iPod Nanos with the mixes of the day on them. He has hundreds of iPods with different compilations of music he creates, and he annotates them with the date so he can go back to a particular period.

He takes to the pen as he takes to the iPad stylus, not as a replacement, as a complement.


Adapting to a changing world means finding those points of integration that provide convenience, immediacy, and access both online, and offline.


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