Delivering brand disruption, one order at a time

As COVID and the economic meltdown grind on, we’re seeing yawning market chasms emerge that are ripe for brand disruption.

One of the most glaring is the massive gap between ‘big’ retail and, well, all other merchants.

The poster child for big retail is Amazon. Granted, the giant has delivered an excellent product for these strange times, enabling us to do our shopping from the hunkered-down safety of our homes. But when you contrast that with the crippling effect the shutdown has had on local merchants – 35% of whom are expected to never emerge from the enforced closure – you see that we’re losing something important here. Local retail is what makes our cities dynamic and vibrant. They stitch our community together. What’s more, they’re a critical piece of our financial ecosystem: the dollars we give them are recycled back to the rest of us.

The last thing we need at moments like these are maudlin, overwrought commercials from big corporations reminding us how much they care about frontline workers. Spare me.

What we do need are new brands that take advantage of the disruption to deliver new business models, fill niches, and even give some of the most hard-hit businesses a leg up. That’s the sort of stuff I cheer for.

A few weeks back, I was introduced to the founder of one of those new brands. Gabriel Cornejo of Delovery.  I loved the business so much I immediately volunteered to help them with their brand positioning work. And I invited Gabriel on my podcast. His story definitely deserves to be told.

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Over the course of our podcast, we covered the inspiration behind Delovery, Cornejo’s philosophy of service and social sustainability, and even the brass tacks of how Delovery would deliver the goods.

Enjoy the show!

Show notes

  • 2:47 – What is Delovery? A platform for small businesses to sell on a more equal footing with giants like Amazon.
  • 3:50 – The idea. How looking at the world from the perspective of service to mankind launched Delovery.
  • 5:10 – How the COVID virus – and massive economic upheaval – have exposed flaws in the free market system that large retailers have exploited.
  • 6:19 – Revitalizing the community together.
  • 6:45 – Delovery wasn’t created in the interest of gamifying retail, or getting small businesses to create products we test, then steal (which happens all too often on large retail platforms). We want to create a fair market where these small businesses can take advantage of technology to build more success.
  • 9:30 – The less-than-fair practices of the big players in this space.
  • 11:00 – What happens when you let the standard public company business model run rampant in the interest of shareholder return.
  • 11:40 – Plato’s allegory of the long spoons. Hell is where people sit around a pot of stew with 6 foot wooden spoons, and can’t feed themselves. Heaven is where the same people sit around the same pot of stew, but they’re happily feeding each other.
  • 12:30 – When big companies are ‘fed’ by us, but don’t feed us in return, we create a massive wealth gap.
  • 14:20 – How life in downtowns across the country is dying. The free market vs monopolization of retail.
  • 16:40 – Ryan Holiday’s model for successful products from his book Perennial Seller: why creating individual platforms for small businesses is so important.
  • 18:10 – Delovery is a non-profit. Here’s why.
  • 18:50 – Amazon provides a great service. But there are ramifications for working with just a bottom-line mentality.
  • 19:30 – The difference between a free market and a fair market.
  • 20:06 – How the free market system turned into a game where some of the players bought the referees.
  • 20:50 – Is there a negative blink reaction to terms like fair market?
  • 22:38 – Why it’s a strength to be able to see issues from a number of perspectives, and how that enables better business.
  • 22:45 – Many of the partisan issues being debated today aren’t actually core issues, but symptoms of deeper problems.
  • 22:25 – The economy explained, as a 3 cookie gif, and how that relates to the current climate of finger-pointing in our political culture.
  • 26:00 – How we aim to cut through the partisan finger-pointing about our fair market position, and clarify the greater good that Delovery is delivering.
  • 28:00 – One of the core problems we’re solving – how consumers can find unique things to buy on a local level.
  • 30:40 – The flipside of that problem – how to make it easy for  local merchants to be discovered.
  • 33:25 – Why Delovery has a good chance of being more than a great idea – the story of Gabriel’s previous venture MyBeeble, and how that inspired Delovery.
  • 39:02 – Why commerce happens to be a wonderful platform for helping all of us discover things we have in common as humans.
  • 40:00 – Innovation is happening every day. The problem is discovering those innovations. That’s the Delovery mandate.
  • 40:10 – Delovery rollout schedule.
  • – check it out and sign up as a volunteer or partner!

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