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Trends and observations from the Retail Business Technology Expo

Digital Retail

Last week I joined colleagues from our Northhampton office at the massive Retail Business Technology Expo (RBTE) in London to get an up-close-and-personal look at the future of global retail. The event was held at the Olympia London Conference Center, a stunning venue which was perfectly suited for showcasing the latest innovations and technology solutions. This included our latest Digital Asset Management (DAM) system, Portfolio 2016.

If you don’t know much about digital asset management, our DAM Best Practices Guide is a perfect place to start.

The RBTE partnered with the Retail Design Expo and Retail Digital Signage Expo to create a sensory overload of color, texture, motion, dimension, and gorgeous typography—paradise for any creative professional! A few of my favorite booths are included below.

I attended a multitude of sessions to see what industry experts were saying about the future of digital retail. These are my key takeaways:

  1. Go Digital or Die: Gone are the days of the simple in-store display; today’s consumers expect an immersive digital brand experience. It’s critical that retailers engage consumers via mobile, deliver content in real-time, and use every medium to provide a 360 digital experience- from brick and mortar, to web, to smartphone, and more.
  1. The (he)Art is in the Story: Every brand was born to solve a problem. But a brand also has a character, a personality. This entertaining session explored how retailers are telling brand stories in new and exciting ways, while always keeping the customer at the center of the narrative.
  1. The Story Must Be Authentic: Identifying the “truth” of your brand is critical. Now more than ever, consumers value integrity and only trust brands that feel authentic. Try and fake it and they’ll see right through you. So…do you know the “truth” about your brand? Are you telling a believable story?
  1. Consistency is Key: Building a strong brand is all about having a consistent message. Many companies forget this basic principle. In retail, there are multitudes of touch points—window displays, in-store experience, online, social media, billboards, events, visual merchandising, to name just a few. For most brands, these various elements have many cooks in the kitchen, representing an array of offices, regions, and agencies. Defining the brand platform and message (and ensuring every touch point tells the same story) is how you keep things consistent and moving in the same direction.
  1. Content, Content, Content: Ultimately it’s all about your content—it’s impossible to deliver engaging, consistent, authentic experiences without content that tells a compelling story (images, product shots, advertising and marketing materials, point of purchase displays, etc). One problem: Managing and distributing content can be a time-consuming nightmare. Digital Asset Management to the rescue! Tired of wasting time trying to find the image or file you need? Or discovering someone used the wrong version? Our Portfolio DAM system helps you organize and distribute your content so that you can focus on the fun part of your job— creating memorable design experiences.

Need help streamlining your creative workflow? Check out our digital asset management solution, Portfolio 2016, here.

Booths from RBTE:

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