menu

Rethinking The Physical Brand Retail Presence In New And Strategic Ways [PSFK Conference SF]

Rethinking The Physical Brand Retail Presence In New And Strategic Ways [PSFK Conference SF]
Advertising

PSFK talks to a Partner at IDEO about helping companies reconsider the role that retail might play within their larger business.

Timothy Ryan, PSFK Labs
  • 28 october 2012

PSFK is excited to welcome Dana Cho as a speaker at PSFK CONFERENCE SAN FRANCISCO. Dana is a Partner at IDEO, working in brand strategy, experience design, and service design, exploring the intersection of all those things. On November 1st, Dana will discuss helping brands rethink physical retail presences in new and strategic ways.

Can you tell us a little about IDEO’s work in retail?

We work across a lot of different industries. We do retail strategy for brands like Converse and Eileen Fisher where retail is a critical piece of the consumer experience. We also work on retail projects for companies that may not have traditionally considered retail or are approaching it from scratch. For example, we’ve seen a lot of financial service companies and insurance companies that want to think about a retail presence in a new and strategic way. We often help them understand the role that retail might play within the company’s larger business. We ask them to consider what kind of relationship they want to create with customers via retail as a channel, and start from there.

For example, recently, we did a project with State Farm, where they were thinking about their retail presence as a way to better understand Generation Y. We created the Next Door concept with them: a retail experience where folks come into a no pressure, no hard sell situation, to learn more about personal finances.

How important is bridging online and offline retail to the success of physical stores?

To be honest, it doesn’t feel quite authentic to talk about online versus offline, because I think there are a lot of really interesting and good examples of companies seamlessly doing both now. I think it’s really easy to argue about the death of the physical store just because we’ve seen so many physical retailers struggle. However, at the same time, we’re seeing a lot of online retailers experimenting with physical store presence in fresh and exciting ways.

Whether it’s online or mobile, there are multiple ways to buy in this world and this is only continuing to proliferate. As a result, I think the idea of considering retail solely as a source of revenue needs to be questioned a little bit.

Right now, as the different ways of buying are proliferating, consumers are amazingly savvy, skeptical, aware, and seeking truth and authenticity. They’re asking brands and the retailers to not only deliver great products, but to do it in a way that’s socially responsible, to make sure that their supply chain aligns with their marketing message, and ultimately to ensure that all of these pieces coming together and not in conflict with each other.

I still believe in the retail store, the physicality of it, and the human interaction that it fosters, and at the end of the day it is still such an important proving ground for brands to be able to not only talk to customers, but demonstrate a really compelling story through real, live business practices that manifest in the store.

What kind of experience might physical stores offer consumers going forward?

I think there are a lot of rich and interesting explorations around technology enabled experiences that can make shopping more personalized. I think it’s valid and I think that’s interesting. For us, something that’s more interesting is understanding the factors that influence our own shopping experience and noting how that’s changing. One of the most compelling patterns we see is the importance of the owner, their influence and role, in the shopping journey. The owner, meaning, someone who’s already made the purchase.

I think a lot of retailers are starting to think about their customers as owners, developing ways to ensure owners are deriving value and enjoyment out of their purchase, and therefore, a connection to the brand in a sustaining way. That ownership experience is something that we’re really excited about right now. Owners yield a lot of influence on purchase decisions for shoppers. It feels like a great opportunity to have more impact on the shopping journey.

Is this evolving relationship enabled through tech in some ways? 

I think it has less to do with technology and more about considering new ways of approaching loyalty. Loyalty less as something that’s transactional, racking up points and the like. Loyalty less as creating incentives for people who’ve bought in the past to buy more. Loyalty more in the sense of getting people who actually demonstrate interest and engagement in a brand to participate in new experiences in the store.

It’s not about luring people back to the store to buy more, but luring them back to the store because there are really interesting things that they can learn about their products. Perhaps there are experiences they can have with their products at the store that they can’t have at home. Or perhaps there are people that they can meet who can inspire them to actually use that product in completely new, interesting and surprising ways that are just really stimulating and personally inspiring. Perhaps you can draw owners back into the store because you value the level of engagement that they have with the brand and you want to reward that with some really interesting insider experience that you’re delivering for them.

For me, I think store associates are windows into an organization’s culture or a brand’s culture. I do think the service experience and the human experience in a store or in a retail setting is one of the most strategic and critical moments of interaction that you can find.

Thanks Dana!

IDEO

To purchase tickets to hear Dana and our other great speakers at PSFK CONFERENCE SAN FRANCISCO, click below.

Advertising
Trending

DIY Kit Lets You Build Your Own Wooden Bike, Boat Or Caravan

Design & Architecture
Culture Yesterday

Messaging Add-On Helps You Correct Your Friends’ Bad Grammar

An iMessage sticker pack will help you copyedit text messages

Automotive Yesterday

Mercedes-Benz Introduces A New Electric Mobility Brand

The separate entity aims to simplify the identification of Mercedes EV products to customers

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Mobile Yesterday

Tinder’s New Feature Makes Swiping A Group Effort

The dating app wants to democratize its gestural interaction by buying in to the social polling trend pervasive among millennials

Related Expert

Jessica Richman

Data, Citizen Science, Personalized Medicine

Syndicated Yesterday

Autonomous Garbage Drone Prevents Trash From Reaching Deep Ocean

The solar-powered WasteShark collects refuse closer to the source: the harbor

Automotive Yesterday

Aston Martin Reveals Its Own Luxury Powerboat

The sleek AM37 echoes styling elements from the British brand's sports cars

Advertising Yesterday

An Escort Website Fights Violence Against Sex Workers

The advocacy campaign from McCann aims uncover the human toll of the exploitative industry

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 28, 2016

Energy Expert: How American Consumers Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Jennifer Tuohy, green tech expert at The Home Depot, discusses green home technologies and developments for renewable technologies in US homes

PSFK Labs september 29, 2016

The 10 Steps To Discover, Hire, Develop Your Next Leader

PSFK's Future of Work report outlines key steps in the employee development path to empower next-gen leaders

Culture Yesterday

LIFE Magazine Relaunches In Pure VR

The general interest periodical, which ceased publication in 2000, has turned into a portal for virtual reality content

Mobile Yesterday

Reorder This Detox Drink With A Simple Text Message

Dirty Lemon is streamlining its communication by letting customers place orders, ask product questions and request help exclusively through chat

Op-Ed Yesterday

The Future Of The American Workforce Requires Unbundling College Education

President of JetBlue Technology Ventures: developing corporate education programs for non-traditional students

Retail Yesterday

Gilt’s Pop-Up House Is The Kind Of Store You’ll Want To Live In

The New York City townhouse plays host to the latest in retail inspiration, curation, and lifestyle activation (and some libations, too)

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Mobile Yesterday

Registering To Vote Is Now Just A Text Away

A new bot aims to mobilize underrepresented groups this election season through SMS and Facebook Messenger

Africa Yesterday

Virtual Reality Game Gives Lessons About Emergency Birth Care

LIFE is a serious tool that takes advantage of new technology to help save lives

Luxury Yesterday

Shoe Repair Has Moved Onto Your Phone

Cobbler Concierge is an on-demand service to get your footwear fixed online

No search results found.