Hello, Tom here again.
Innovations reporter, PSFK, released their ‘Future of retail’ report this month, containing the usual mix of future trends and hair-brained concepts from left-field creatives. There can be a tendency to show off whizzy features first, and actual, practical usefulness second… so the real clever stuff stands out when the customer’s put first and smart thinking triumphs over smart tech.
Below is an idea that stood out, plus a couple of other interesting things happening online.
(Don’t worry - there’s no mention of the bloody John Lewis advert)
BMW - The Experience
An idea relatively sacrificial in terms of direct sales , focuse d on giving new customers an insight into the work of the German maker.
This retail concept experience involves being picked up by a BMW, driven to an exclusive event, learning about the brand, and being immersed in a full sensory show. You’ll get sales spiel - however not from BMW, but BMW drivers - more useful and likely to generate more authentic advocacy.
It’s a concept, but I love its originality. I’m not target audience - I’d opt for a 1957 Mercedes 300 SL myself - but the idea of a brand creating an expression of themselves as something I could enjoy whether I buy or not , trumps adverts telling me to buy a BMW for the kudos .
CAMPAIGN / TECH
Burberry / Mario Testino / Snapchat
I didn’t really want to mention Burberry again this month, but this is rather good.
Their latest campaign picked up on the urgency of fashion by launching their SS16 collection via Snapchat. A series of images, shot by Mr Testino were live to those in the know for just 24 hoursbefore the catwalk show in London. It attracted enormous attention; as much for the mobile-only social platform as the collection and photographer themselves.
This is brilliant not because Snapchat is 'cool’ but because it demonstrates how well Burberry understand their audience. Nobody (they’re interested in talking to) uses desktops, it’s happening in people’s hands and it’s happening now. Somewhat unnerving. Think about it too long it’ll send your head into a spin. But if you consider they’ve come to understand that’s where their customers are, then just built ideas from there, it’s easier to fathom, and makes perfect sense.
REI - OptOutside
Sorry - I also didn’t want to mention Black Friday - but American outdoors brand REI have done something worthy of mention.
As most brands begin putting in extra security and hiding away breakables ahead of today’s ridiculous sales, REI have done the opposite. They’re closing all 143 of their stores and told staff to take the day off and go outside and do something other than shopping. They also invite us to do the same.
We exist in a mad consumerist age where for many, ownership and status have replaced enjoyment of freedom and life. Brands today have such immense power of suggestion and influence over people (more than governments on occasion), it’s time they used it to do good.
This is so incredibly brave, and a bold step towards making the world a better place.
I don’t believe I ordered this?
So since last month I’ve added a few new people I’ve met to this list, as such you may be wondering why on earth this email has landed in your inbox.
It’s really rather simple: as part of my work I spend a lot of time researching and gathering information on what’s happening within the digital world. Some things are good, others not so. I thought it’d be a useful exercise to share that research yourself, to let you know what’s going on and the sorts of things we look at.
If of course you’d prefer not to know, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.