Marketing or merchandising? Who gets to choose the focus? This tension has existed for as long as I can remember. Marketers are the story tellers, determining and inspiring the targeted audience to make the purchase. Merchants comb the market place on a constant quest for the “right stuff” and always take into account the why and the who behind the choices. If you don’t know why you’re offering a product, you should not be acquiring it. Sometimes that stuff is exclusively developed with product managers and/or manufacturers to drive demand. In others, the merchandise is inspired by instinct based on glimpses of trends from all types of media. Or simply part of someone’s product line. (My kids thought people read magazines by ripping the pages after experiencing my habits.) Product assortments are based on logic and magic…interpretations of what is on the horizon, has been successful in other forms, or is total shot in the dark based on gut and analysis.
If merchants don’t know why they are purchasing/developing product, don’t have a clear vision of the price and profit guidelines and have no vision of product positioning, they aren’t doing their job. Same goes with marketers. If they aren’t asking the why behind the what in order to tell their story, they are not contributing to business growth in a collaborative partnership. It’s a team effort. Both talents are necessary to grow a profitable customer base. Embrace the blurring and create something great!
Now that you have an earworm, here’s some relief: http://bit.ly/2oQpiDO