Drip Is the New Drop
A drop is a seemingly random release of a limited-number of products with a goal of creating perception of scarcity and urgency. Drops have proven to be a successful brand-building tool, as they reliably drive word-of-mouth, FOMO, create insta-communities, and use wait lines as their advertising. Drops command for a person to be at the right time and the right place, with the right information. A decade or so ago, product drops ventured out of streetwear and into fashion at large. But aside from randomness, drops are not much different from a traditional fashion schedule of seasonal collection releases, where products are released at once. The current retail market is made around this all-at-once release dynamic.
A drip is a continuous stream of products, signals, content, incentives, rewards, tokens, points, interactions, events, or access. Perennial newness gamifies the brand experience, and makes it more individual and unique. The mechanism of drips is accumulation and collecting. Collect enough tokens and unlock an auction or use it as a membership card for future promotions. Drips reward the long game over short-term gains. Drips also galvanize communities, incentivize collaboration and membership, and decrease competition. Drips are the opposite of the winner-takes-all: they are decentralized and governed by activity in their communities. The current retail market is not yet made for drips.
Drips are not micro-drops. They are a new cultural, social, and economic paradigm.
As a strategy, drips mean shifting budgets and actions from seasonal campaigns and product releases to investing in the continuous interactions with customers, across all touchpoints. In this scenario, FOMO and excitement are not given, but earned.
Drips represent a “play-to-earn” model, where individual and group engagement is continuously and randomly rewarded. This continuity and randomness creates a layered experience, where access is granted based on the individual activity, and varies in difficulty. Rebag’s Infinity program is based on trading high-end bags for site credit for customers to shop from new collections. Or, a brand’s freebies and perks can exist in the form of digital assets or cryptocurrency, and are continuous and free of…