Retail – The Place Where People Buy Things of a Branded Nature

I find it refreshing to read John Wilkins’ prose on the opportunities in retail.

To maximize retail’s potential, marketers need to develop a deeper understanding of the visual, physical, and interactive aspects of the shopping experience. Unlike traditional media, which is linear and one-directional, the store is an explosion of stimuli.
Retail is an opportunity to tell a story, to drive trial-and-repeat purchases based on shopper interaction and creativity. To optimize the store as a media platform, content and communications should be developed within the context of multi-dimensional design, environments, and in-store vignettes that connect with shoppers on product, category, and emotional levels.

Wilkins is VP of retail strategy at Miller Zell, Inc.
It’s interesting to me how he sees the retail environment as a stage, and a media environment, which it surely is in both cases.
“A stage for what?” one might ask. For cardboard? POS is often executed as cardboard. Yet, interactive kiosks and other high tech solutions probably make more sense to today’s media savvy shopper.
I want to see brands connect all the dots, maybe for the first time. Make the digital work fit with the POS and the POS fit with the print, TV and radio.
There’s a sense that everything is up for grabs, right now–that digital has transformed the media landscape so radically nothing will ever be the same again. I think that’s overstated, but I do want to see digital storytelling tools spread to other media. One look at Current TV and you can see how an interactive storytelling sensibility was brought to TV. Retail is no different. Retail can (and will) be hugely impacted by digital.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.