Marketing verses Merchandising – The Battle Over Creative Ownership

Merchandising is the business of buying and selling goods. Marketing is the business of bringing value to customers through relationships. It is obvious that strong creative work is important to both.

How can I make such a bold statement?

Because today, consumers are in charge of the shopping experience.

Yep. It’s the “whole new world “ of digital commerce. This is one of the greatest paradigm shifts in the history of commerce, and it is still in its infancy. For the first time in 5000 years, merchants are no longer in control, and marketers must learn to cultivate customer relationships through two-way conversations.

In a world where customers find you, verses you finding them, design is more relevant than ever. Design reaches out to potential customers, highlighting the value, features and benefits of products and services.

To be successful in today’s market, attention to design is imperative. Product design, architecture, pattern/texture design, promotional marketing design, digital design, in-store design, packaging design, direct mail design—all facets of design must be ratcheted up a notch to adapt and respond to consumer viewing preferences.

Effective creative plays a vital function in an evolving digital market that has tipped traditional merchandising and marketing thinking upside down. Today, creative professionals visually marry the product to the value message, and then relay it in a relevant way through merchandising and marketing. It is compelling creative work that attracts new customers, interfaces with them, prompts sales, and creates loyalty and advocacy. Design has never been more important to business success.

– Dave Kuettel




Dave Kuettel

Leave a Reply