Can Convenience and Quality Coexist?
We all love the convenience of going into a supermarket and finding everything we need to stock our pantry for a week or two. But we also know that the meat we get from the specialty butcher shop or the vegetables we buy from the green grocer are probably tastier than the commodities we’ll find at the one-stop shop.
Of course, the specialty shops are pricier. And then there’s the added cost of having to run from one location to another just to assemble all the ingredients for a really memorable meal. It’s hard to sacrifice convenience entirely in the pursuit of quality, and that may be why we’re seeing the reemergence of a kind of hybrid – something more like the corner grocery store we all depended on before the Safeways, Jewels, and Wal-Marts of the world made them obsolete.
Hybrid Operations: You Can Have it All
At first glance, these hybrids may seem identical to those earlier models, but in fact, these new specialty stores have learned to bundle their products in ways that allow convenience and quality to coexist. These hybrid operations depend on the educated consumer who, confronted with the commoditization of everything, has realized the real value of the fresh, the unique, and the handmade.
Now, where you find good meats, you’re also likely to find a nice selection of organically grown vegetables, freshly baked bread, a slightly better selection of fine wines, and some cheeses that can be cut from the wheel.
You won’t find much in the way of paper goods or laundry detergents, but these establishments know these items are precisely where the line gets drawn between commodities and specialized products. They don’t go down that road, because to do so would be to take a step backward.
When Does a One Stop Shop Become a Liability?
Content Fresh to You from your Creative Content Providers
Just as the advent of better roads, suburbs, and the automobile culture brought about the rise of supermarkets, so has the digital revolution over the last two decades brought about the possibility of “super marketing.” Marketing solutions companies often deal in every aspect of advertising, printing, design, media buying, branding, copy writing, and even video production. Their web design is inexpensive, but often template driven. TV commercials and web video are produced quickly, but they have a sameness about them. Copy is often marked by imitation or cliché. These companies often end up sacrificing flavor to the gods of price and convenience.
This may be why creative content providers have emerged as major players in the modern marketing world. Like the hybrid grocery, creative content providers bundle only those services that resist commoditization—writing, design, and the production of still and moving images. At OC Imageworks, we won’t do your printing, though we might recommend a good printer. We don’t write code, though we do work with some content management experts. We don’t sell cable spots, though we can point you in the direction of some honest brokers. Instead, we deliver creative content, fresh daily. We think you’ll like the way it tastes.
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