Author Jeff Sharpe explains why there is no one-size-fits-all formula to branding, instead providing five pillars to guide retailers in taking stock of their unique audience and building an emotive identity that resonates, both online and off

The retail world is in a turbulent time. The ease and speed of online purchasing has made it practically unnecessary to enter a physical store. Almost every retailer is struggling to make their physical locations relevant to today’s consumers. Investment in design, technologies, and research to understand new consumer behaviors is being done at an enormous rate.

The results stretch in every direction, from staff-less stores full of technology, to backdrops for social media selfies, to stores as conceptual art installations. Not one of these fully represents the future nor the ideal solution—the future of retail is human-inspired and holistically connected. People are thirsty for meaningful experiences, and consumers want a relationship with the brands they love. They want to see themselves in those brands and be part of a community.

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