microbrands

  • Source - Economist, Nov 10, 2018: "A handmade tale"     

    Small retail companies (microbrands) account for the majority of the growth in the retail sector.  

    In the retail food-and-beverage sector, the top 25 companies account for 45% of all sales revenue, but only 3% of the total growth in this sector. The long tail of 20,000 small food-and-beverage retailers produce half of the growth in this sector. These long tail retailers are the "microbrands". Think of Warby Parker for glasses or Glossier for cosmetics or the Dollar Shave Club for razors. This new microbrand dominance is made possible through platforms like Amazon, which allow small companies to easily connect to consumers and platforms like Facebook and Google which allow small companies to target their advertising. This is further complemented by the large amounts of data these small companies have on their customers, which allows for effective targeted ads. Other companies like Lumi use a network of factories to give access for small firms and small manufacturing runs. Companies like Shopify help small companies outsource other backend functions including payment processing. One response large companies have is to buy their smaller rivals. This happened in 2016 when Unilever bought the Dollar Shave Club.