retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Is there a more awful experience than moving?

(I ask this as someone who last moved 30 years ago. But I'm told by friends and family members that it can be a soul-sucking, debilitating and stress-inducing experience.)

There is an interesting piece in Fast Company about a new moving business designed to disrupt more traditional businesses … NextMover, which, the story says, "aims to ease these pains as a convenient, vetted marketplace for 'your friend with a truck' - essentially a Lyft for moving that connects movers in need of help with truck owners looking for extra work."

According to the story, "Truck owners, whose vehicles can range from pickups to larger commercial trucks, sign up and go through a vetting process that includes interviews, a background check, and vehicle inspection, before they're activated in the service. Consumers then visit the site and can choose among truck owners depending on their budget and needs, and can also see bios and user ratings …There are, of course, limitations to moving with NextMover. It only works for local moves, and is less ideal for people with large houses who truly need full-size moving trucks and comprehensive service."

What is Eye-Opening about this story is the comment from NetMover's founder/president/CEO, Alexander Kehaya, who tells FastCompany, "Our original hypothesis was that the low cost would be the biggest value proposition for our customers. On the average we are about 50% cheaper than similar services. But it turns out that's really third on the totem pole. The convenience and the community aspect are the things that people consistently tell us when we show them our website and talk about what we do. When I ask people, 'How would this benefit you?' they say, 'It's convenient, and it's somebody from my community that comes to help me move.'"

That's instructive. Because it speaks to the importance of community in every business, and how consumers will respond to companies that they perceive as being locally focused, even locally owned.

Different companies will come at the local factor from different angles, based on size, economics, culture and temperament. But finding a local key to consumers' hearts and minds, especially at a time of mergers and acquisitions, can be an important differential - and Eye-Opening - advantage.
KC's View: