Shopping for Knowledge: Five Takeaways From GlobalShop 2016

Retail marketing for technology companies is one of our core service offerings, so staying on top of the latest trends in display tech and shopper marketing theory is an ongoing effort. For the lucky (and talented) folks on our Digital and Industrial Design team, that means an annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas for GlobalShop, the world’s largest annual show for retail design and shopper marketing.

It’s easy to lose yourself in the sprawling vendor pavilions at GlobalShop, where retail merchandisers bring out their most enticing products and put on dazzling displays fit for Vegas—and certain to capture the attention (and dollars) of consumers in the right retail environment.

But we didn’t just go to wander the vendor pavilions. GlobalShop’s keynote sessions feature industry leaders offering their insights into what draws consumers offline and into brick-and-mortar locations and how brands can stand out in a sea of snazzy merchandising technology. Here are five of our favorite insights from the GlobalShop 2016 keynote sessions:

1) Retail design is art.
Art is subjective, but powerful. Especially for aspirational and luxury items, the proximity of material that exists simply to be enjoyed can boost the perceived value of a product. Better yet, make your retail space itself a work of art to inspire and entice customers to interact with it.

Thanks to Harry Cunningham of PAVE and Karen Katz of Neiman Marcus.

2) Be yourself (as a brand).
Don’t try to push something you don’t believe in. Just because it works for someone else doesn’t mean it will be a success for your brand. Revisit your mission statement and beliefs. Talk to brand ambassadors and anyone who knows the brand’s founder(s). If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.

Thanks to James Sundstad of CBX.

3) Get over yourself (as a brand steward).
This lesson is more about transcendence than managing your own ego. You can rise above your personal aesthetic limitations when you focus on a tight objective: Get the middle 10% of customers to swing your way. Forty-five percent will love you automatically. Forty-five percent will never be persuaded. Win the 10% in the middle. In order to do so, put your preconceptions aside and think like the middle.

Thanks to Anthony Bagley of New Creature.

4) Take omnichannel into retail.
If you take away the logo, can people still tell that the display is your brand? Like any tactic, you should remain consistent in what matters, but consider the media and behave accordingly. At retail, where the stakes are highest, it is imperative to be clear, provide valuable information and consider how customers define your brand in their heads.

Thanks to David Minidorf and Emily Hamilton of FRCH Design Worldwide.

5) Make it memorable.
You wouldn’t post something on Facebook without believing that it is worthy of conversation. Why wouldn’t you apply that criterion to something as important as a physical, tangible retail tactic? Provide customers with a culturally relevant shopping experience and watch as they tell your brand story for you.

Thanks to Patrick Kells Chris Wallace, and Dehlah Polansky of Coca-Cola and Nathan Dickman of Crack Experience/IDL Worldwide.

And if you’d like to see how we approach all of the above throughout any retail setting, click here to learn about A.L.E.R.T. — the five zones of influence at retail.