New Language of Retail Marketing
Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
George Bernard Shaw
There is nothing so stable as change.
Move it, kid. I need change for a twenty.
Guy in rusty Dodge Dart just after I’d pumped his gas
These great thinkers were right. (Except for the Dodge man who was rude and covered in Cheetos dust and should have realized that I was just a child and doing the best I could even though I didn’t even want this job but my dad made me.)
Where was I?
Change is constant. Change is necessary. Change is inevitable. But that’s hardly news to retailers. Rarely has an industry been required to innovate and respond so quickly and so thoroughly. And the reshaping of the retail landscape is far from over.
For retailers, it’s been a perfect storm for change. Technology has driven the necessity of a new shopper-retailer relationship, granting never-imagined access, options and input opportunities to consumers. In turn, these newly empowered shoppers expect better and more and different experiences – delivered exactly the way they choose.
So of course the retail marketer’s job has evolved. The old rules of communication and engagement have been updated (or obliterated). Contact points with shoppers have multiplied while the desire for personalized interaction has intensified. It’s real time, right now; retail marketers must exercise greater agility, listen more deeply and take more risks.
It’s all been redefined. I believe the language of retail should follow suit.
Retail marketers must see everything with fresh eyes. The words we use mean different things now, and they should. What’s an in-store event? A loyalty program? A pop-up? What could they be? We need to expand the meanings of the language we’ve used for decades to reflect where we are as creators of experience and sellers of product.
In a post a few weeks ago, I redefined the display as a backdrop for shopper selfies. (Shelfies!) But let’s go a little deeper, and really consider potential new meanings of language. Here are 28 things displays can also be:
- Sampling Station
- Fragrance Bar
- Puppet Theater
- Living Tableau
- Food Cart
- Listening Lounge
- Product Comparison Station
- Changing Room
- Rube Goldberg Contraption
- Design-Your-Own Studio
- Phone Charging Station
- Snack Dispenser
- Feedback Center
- Crowd-Sourced “Favorites” Gallery
- Celebrity-Curated Collection
- Makeover Studio
- Virtual Runway
- Sports Simulator
- Vending Machine
- Sculpture Unto Itself
- Guinness World Record
- Optical Illusion
- Dance Floor
- Education Center
- Product Personalization Station