DISCLAIMER: I am looking to you dear reader, to fuel my idea tank.
See, here’s the thing. I was born (professionally at least) right between the digital revolution and the current renaissance in retail design. I am comfortable talking social and know my way around an endcap. In the last week, I have clipped coupons, received tweeted sales in my twitter feed and have had friends and bots alike recommend things that they think I may want or need. I am steeping in all of it and yet none of it seems complete. Which leads me to the next series of blog entries for me in this space (I am pulling a @Kristof here): what’s important to you at the intersection of brand, media and bricks & mortar? Use the comments to let me know and expect some opinions to flow in the coming weeks.
As fuel for the fire, here are my top 3 head scratchers:
Augmented Reality portals that bridge my real world experiences with the terabytes of data and opinion online. I can’t have a cheat sheet of all my online research every time I go to buy something. Why can’t I take a geo-tagged photo of a UPC code and leverage all the great tools online to enrich my offline experience?
A shopping social. Lot’s of bytes have been expended on this topic, yet no killer app, what gives? We’re all crazy busy these days and (unfortunately) I only get to interact with some friends online. I want to see in-store apps that enable the kind of (over)sharing I have come to expect in my life. When I pick-up a bottle of shampoo in the drugstore, the shelf should detect me and retweet my friend Suzie’s comment about how it turned her hair green. My FB Friends and tweeps are my style council—I need them everywhere!
Store folks—get to really know me. A few weeks ago, the head tailor at Tom Ford in Las Vegas gave me a tour of the entire store. He knew (because I had told him) that I was just looking but he extended himself to me and got to know me. There are other sales people out there (interestingly, mostly apparel) who listen to me and even though I am not buying now, they get better and better with every interaction about showing me stuff I like, calling at the right time, etc. Then there are a lot of other sales people out there (mostly financial services and insurance) who can’t take a hint. Incessant calls, pitches I neither want nor need, totally fake chumminess—BLECH! Lose My Number!! Anyway, the rest of my sales universe (food, stuff for the kids, sporting equip, consumer electronics, travel) could learn from the tailor at Tom Ford. Spend some time with me—person to person. It doesn’t need to be deep and you won’t be my BFF but when the time comes for me to need your product or service guess where I’m gonna go? Use the great permission-based tools I have subscribed to online to build a real relationship with me offline.
So there’s my rant for the day. And now its up to you to let me know what’s on your mind. I’ll be digging in more on my examples in the coming weeks and I hope to be exploring what you write in the comments as well.