The Retail Experience Shift to Services?

Personalized shopping experiences that curate for you.

What happens when someone other than yourself is making all of the recommendations or purchases for you?

This week I’m testing out Havenly. Heavenly helps you design your home (or office) by setting up a personal consultation with a designer.

You share your preferences, what you’re hoping to have designed and then they connect you with an affordable designer who can provide you with custom designs based on your budget and interests.

What’s interesting about this is this type of experience makes the buying process agnostic to the stores the products come from.

David Sherry 💀 ⚡@_brandswell
The buying experience hints at *a* near future of online shopping. Retail-Services (RAS)? It makes the specific store/brand less relevant than your preferences, which are clarified and guided by an expert.

There’s a lot of talk about the coming wave of Audio and how that shapes what we purchase (When Siri does your shopping). AI’s, too, but I think we’re underestimating the personal services and shopping market.

As I think about it… I would do this in a heartbeat for men’s fashion.

I would also love AR experts to show up in my room with me (via glasses) and help talk me through my options. I think AR will be a game changer for this, as it’s going to bring the physical store, home to you.

Shopping can be kind of intimidating in its own way, does anyone else feel that?

For example, one thing I noticed that is that they asked me in this process my expected budget for the room redesign.

I had no idea!

In fact, I hate changing rooms.

I think they’re almost always terrible. But in my home, with a stylist I can go through my closet and look at potential options that would be nice additions.

Education is clearly the brand play here, but I think what’s lacking from most brands is the personalization aspects that Havenly is providing.

We’ve always had sales associates, of course, but this Havenly experience feels better than my experience at West Elm.

We mood board (part of the process), I use images from my actual room, AND I get options from any store on the web. AND I don’t have to leave my house.

I think this whole trend is beyond just Ecommerce (think education etc.), but I’ll speak about that another time.

I’m curious…What do you think? Have you tried new buying experiences lately?

xx David

I’m David, and you can check out some of my work – Hit reply to chat more about your brand or community or anything else that you’ve got questions about.

Welcome to The Endless Narrative

Stories have no edges, and can last forever.

One thing that struck me about this week’s Super Bowl commercials was just how may collaborations there were.

It felt like in every single commercial there were multiple celebrities, icons, or even brands present.

You had overlapping universes.

It’s like the ad companies became the Marvel Universe.

So welcome to the Endless Narrative. 

Where most movies are remakes.

Where most rap albums are collaborations of dozens of artists. 

Where most stories can be replicated to infinite. 

There is no end, if you don’t want there to be.

Harry Potter could probably go to book 100+ (If JK Rowling wanted to write that many). 

Where Lin Manuel Miranda can make a broadway play, books, and albums. 

Where Spiderman produces Into The Spiderverse, with multi-dimension versions of Spiderman.

Where Star Wars can warp into the Mandalorian (and how many other spin-offs are still to come?) and also publish previous in Fornite.

There are no longer edges, and if you’d like you can tell your story in any way you like, in any medium as like, as long as you’d like (as long as people pay attention). 

So what does this mean for creators?

  • A great story should have an incredibly high Multiple on its IP. Disney acquired Star Wars for an absolute steal.

  • Your narrative can exist outside the confines of what a brand traditionally considers.

  • Culture today is really cross-culture. There is no monolith.

  • Your arc can be long. Decades even. (Star Wars was first released in 1977).

Stories are the most powerful memetic force on earth.

And at the end of the day, a brand can only dream of becoming a story.


I’m David, and you can check out some of my work – Hit reply to chat more about your brand or community or anything else that you’ve got questions about.

The Way Out of the Noise

A Brand Riff about Marketing that Stands Out

The goal of this is to take you from spending huge amounts of money on something that doesn’t work: shouting in the crowd, to something vastly more efficient and measurably more effective: whispering to your tribe.

The problem we face today as brands is the noise.

It's far too loud in the market, that's the problem.


Or maybe the noise is the opportunity?

Maybe the fact that so many people other are yelling about so many products is precisely how you stand out?

So what is the way through the noise?

The end to the noise is personalization.

See, I don’t care about what someone is trying to sell me on.

Just like I don't care when someone stops me on the street and tries to tell me about the cause I should sign up for…

But what I DO care about are the specific problems I have in my life.

I am, consciously, or unconsciously, walking down the street with these problems floating around in my head each day.

So when something speaks or appears to speak to me in a personal, specific way that helps me with a problem I have, I listen.

And I listen because I have been consciously or unconsciously seeking a solution all along.

It's a way of speaking to your customers, directly, personally...

And I know what you're going to ask,

"Ok, but I can't send individual, personalized messages to every single person..."

Your right, you can't (at scale).

But here's what you can do...

You can send messages to people who sign up to hear from you on a regular basis.

And drip by drip, you percolate your message across the community in a way that touches their hearts and minds.

Not all at once, but over time.

Every single post I write doesn't connect with every single person in my audience.

But every single post I write connects with some person in my audience in a way that addresses their needs, concerns, and desires.

The opportunity is to slowly, personally, specifically, turn strangers into friends, and friends into customers by connecting over time with people who have signed up to hear from you.

The savvy business owner in this process simply inserts the benefits of your product connected to messages about their problems...

(And that, is called marketing.)

So instead of shouting to get attention, your marketing revolves around being considerate.

You are creating and sharing, after all, to make someone’s life better.

And your product and it's features, that's for them, too.

It is of mutual benefit for both of you.

Imagine your message being read by 50% of the people you send it to... Then imagine people’s attention and commitment grown as you share more details about your product with them.

All you need, to do that, is to attract the right people and get their permission to speak with them.

But most people try and reach everyone and end up yelling and chasing down strangers instead of simply talking to friends.

Your only barrier, your only obstacle, is...Relevance to your customers.

So you can’t go for the mass or the average. It just won’t be relevant.

Average means, not personalized.

And in reality, no one is average.

Average is a blanket reduction of a mass of people that we categorize as alike along one vertical. 

In a world full of evermore options, the generic kind gets chosen less than ever.

Which means that you have to be vigilant about how you attract the right customers, and to ensure the right people are finding you: the ones who care.

So, here’s the path forward.

  1. You are no longer interrupting people.

  2. You are offering them something that might be of help.

  3. You are no longer yelling.

  4. You are whispering to those who took action to show you that they want to hear from you.

  5. You are no longer optimizing for the mass, or the average.

  6. You are standing out by personalizing, by speaking to the edges.

And you are embracing the people who tell you that they care, and leading them by speaking directly to them, doing your best to solve their problems.

If you can do that repeatedly, consistently, and with the best intentions...

You’ve found the way out of the noise.

I’m David, and you can check out some of my work – Hit reply to chat more about your brand or community or anything else that you’ve got questions about.

Newsletter First Product Launches

Bundle your Content Marketing and Your Product

Ok, this is a super obvious idea but I haven’t seen it done before and I wanted to share it with you.

It deals with another newsletter here on Substack, SuperOrganizers

(Which btw you would know about if you were signed up to my other community/newsletter 😉 The Steam from 🌴Jacuzzi Club…)

Build a Community Via Newsletter, Then bundle Your Product with the Subscription.

Superorganizers is a newsletter about how people organize knowledge to do their best work, written by Dan Shipper.

It consists of interviews with prominent digital folks to talk about their process.

Thanks to the ease of monetizing a newsletter via Substack, Dan created a premium version for paying members to the newsletter.

What’s new is he just dropped a product, where payments happen via-substack.

That means that customers can subscribe to the premium newsletter, and as a perk get this software (micro-app which helps you organize your files).

OR you can get the software and get the added benefit of the newsletter.

Here’s a peek of Sparkle.

Check it out for yourself here.

Come for the newsletter, stay for the software?


Or is it the other way around?

I’m fascinated by this because I think we’re in a bundling phase.

“Come for the product, stay for the community.”

“Come for the Community, stay for the product.”

“Come for the software, stay for the…”


So, anyways. I love seeing the aligned product launch. I’m curious to see what content marketing paired with a product subscription looks like (and not the other way around).

Anyways, take a peek and let me know what you think in the comments or reply.

Check it out for yourself here.

xx David

Blogs help you add a new point of view into the flow of information you consume, and I appreciate you choosing to include this one into that flow.

Share Art $ Attention

I’m David, and you can check out some of my work – Hit reply to chat more about your brand or community or anything else that you’ve got questions about.

Consumerism and Fashion

Unlocking existing value in wasteful markets.

I just want to point out a few things that might be of interest to you as it relates to the fashion market generally.

I was first alerted to the sheer scale of the amount of clothing produced per year from an OM post, “The Consumerism Curse.”

What was most shocking was this…

An estimated 50 Billion Garments Go Straight to Landfill Each Year.

For the past four years, every year, I make an effort to get rid of things and buy less. It is not easy to do — the machines of desire work constantly and are powerful. I looked at my own spending trends, and I am at about 25 percent of where I was four years ago. I have bought much fewer things and gotten rid of an average 10 things a month. And yet, it is not enough. 

“At the root, what we have is a consumption problem,” says Anika Kozlowski, Assistant Professor of Fashion Design, Ethics & Sustainability at Ryerson University. “Fundamentally, it is a business model that is flawed—capitalism is still functioning on the premise of endless resources.” In a conversation with i-D magazine, Kozlowski noted that there are 150 billion garments being made every year — an incredible number…. 50 billion go straight to landfill, and another 50 billion go to landfill after not selling.

What will we do, and what will emerge to combat this?

Here are a few takes…

Consignment Trend to Be Larger than Fast Fashion?

Scott Galloway had a prediction about the trend of Consignment, the second hand market for luxury goods. He said in a previous talk that through research, it was determined that consignment would be a bigger market than “Fast Fashion” in the coming decade.

Here is is discussing the Real Real.

Real Real

Clothing to Come by Subscription

The sheer variety of options for consumers today are staggering. I also think that “Subscription” clothing will continue to gain popularity. One company to look out for is Nuuly.


  • Authentication/Verification of Clothing –  Someone will crack a QR code like function which will trace your goods all the way back through repairs and purchase. It will matter for high end products for value, and repairable items like electronics for quality assurance.

  • Ethical Production via transparent supply chains – Not only will you be able to track the full history of a product, but you’ll be able to obtain a transparent record of supply chain which walks you through the details of how clean, dirty, and wasteful a company is.

  • “Less is More” Quality Brands – We’ll see more companies hone in on single vertical product lines like brands that only make “one pair of Jeans” or “The Best T-Shirt” etc. etc.

Anyways, I really want a Nuuly for men, as my girlfriend has their boxes show up each month and it’s making me jealous. There is Seasons.Nyc but the price is tough and it’s not available for LA.

As for clothing and products in general, I’m a sucker for anything with a good story.

This means I buy more small batch type items. For example, right now I’m on the waitlist for the Paynter Jacket of which I hope to purchase one in their next drop.

Batch No.2 website is now live. Go clickety-click to see some nice pics. 🌐🔴
September 28, 2019

I’ve got dozens of other products like this I have my eye on, so it’s hard to say how much I’d truly replace by subscription.

But if subscriptions and consignment start taking hold in the market, that will be a good thing for production and waste.

xx David

Blogs help you add a new point of view into the flow of information you consume, and I appreciate you choosing to include this one into that flow.

I’m David, and you can check out some of my work – Hit reply to chat more about your brand or community or anything else that you’ve got questions about.

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