When discussing the concept of Curation, one of the four “C’s” that make up the C-Scape in my book, we usually reference helping readers/viewers find the kind of content they really want out of the massive amounts available on the internet.
But curation can also refer to helping someone find the right experience. If you like to ski, but you really only like to ski at high-end resorts where you can also be pampered, then it’s the overall experience you want and not just the best ski slope.
So it follows that you can save a lot of time if some one or some site does a good job of highlighting how to secure the type of ski experience you want, and giving you a special deal on that experience. That site can match those who sell such “content” with those who will buy it.
This blog from All Things Digital’s Tricia Duryee does a good job interviewing Nathan Richardson, head of Gilt City, about their strategy of offering a curated experience to a narrower band of the population than competitors, Groupon and Living Social. Gilt City’s stated goal is to be more attractive to the higher end, read richer, customer.
In recent offerings in New York, for example, Gilt City offered a half-price deal on a $165 three-day sampling of home delivered “Chef’s Diet” healthy meals, A 42% discount on a $2,000 dental treatment for porcelain veneers, 41% off of a $430 bottle service at the new and already trendy Gansevoort Park Hotel. A San Francisco offering included 32% off of $518 courtside seats at a Warriors basketball game and at $950-per-guest feast at one of the city’s finest restaurants, Fleurs de Lys, which included drinking from $1000-dollar-a-bottle wines during a 5-course gourmet dinner.
This isn’t about $1 dollar happy meals.
What is also really interesting, though, is Gilt City’s foray into producing its own experiences for its audience. It’s going beyond being a distribution partner for those who create “content” –in this case experiences — and gradually moving into the content-creation business, converging “distribution” with “content”, another canon of C-Scape.
In his interview with All Things Digital, for example, Richardson described a party of its own that it hosted on the retired aircraft carrier USS Intrepid in New York for a birds-eye seat for the Fourth of July fireworks on the Hudson River. The offer was sold out, and could have sold out three times over based on the demand.
“We have the opportunity to extend our curated lifestyle brand to events. People have come to expect us to be consistent. It’s not hit or miss. We want to make sure the email surprises our customers and is always on brand and something we feel proud of,” he said.
This creates a situation where a company can build multiple revenue streams. It creates value as a content creator but it also creates a curated experience for a targeted audience. Over time that can be a little tricky because as a content creator you are gradually becoming more competitive with others who create content. But just as Comcast expects to, and has to, work with all other networks even after it owns NBC Universal, Gilt should be able to create its own experiences and work with those who also create high-end experiences for their audience.