Friday Five: March 29th
⏱ 4-minute read
What’s new in the world of consumer marketing? We recap who’s innovating the retail scene, which brand reached ‘unicorn’ status, how festivals are becoming the new retail venue, and why we’re seeing gradients everywhere in marketing.
Here are our top five curated insights for this week:
1. Hudson Yards: is this innovation or just another mall?
With our MAG team powering experiential marketing in places like New York, we know how competitive the city can be when it comes to retail and marketing. Scott Emmons, former head of the Neiman Marcus iLab and now CTO of retail innovation consultancy, says, “New York is one of the toughest places in the world to be a retailer and stand out from very capable competitors…Technology is not the only answer but when combined with the visual aspects, the right merchandise, experiential aspects and so forth, it can put you over the top.” Hudson Yards, if successful, will prove that there’s still room for growth and innovation in the mall retail format.
2. How Bloomingdale’s is using shop-in-shops to test wider retail strategy.
We’re excited to see one of our retail partners testing out alternative uses of their space. Kevin Harter, VP of Integrated Marketing at Bloomingdale’s, says, “The Carousel is a great place for us to test out new brands and see how they resonate with our shopper…Through our learnings from The Carousel, we have been able to determine what could be beneficial to our overall assortment. We’ve also seen success in offering a cross-shopping experience and have expanded this idea to other areas in the store.”
3. Retail puts on its own show at music festivals.
With our headquarters in Southern California, Coachella is right in our backyard and just around the corner. When we read the news that brands like Amazon, Away, Rent the Runway, and more were popping at festivals, such as SXSW and Coachella, with on location storefronts, it confirmed what we’ve always known – retail isn’t dead, it’s just evolving to be wherever the consumer is. Away’s Senior Director of Retail, Will Williams, echoed that sentiment saying, “There’s been so much change in the industry in the last few years and a lot of people who have said that retail is dying. (But) there’s still appetite for interacting in real life. I’m excited that [SXSW] gives us a platform to share with other industry peers and thought leaders why physical retail still matters.”
4. Casper becomes third retailer in two weeks to reach ‘unicorn’ status.
While some retailers may be struggling, we’re excited to see others like Casper taking risks, getting the funding they deserve, and vaulting to unicorn status. Retail TouchPoints states, “Competition in online mattress sales has been increasing, with players such as Tuft & Needle, Leesa, Purple, Nectar Sleep and even Walmart’s Allswell brand in the mix. Casper is seeking to differentiate itself by offering more tech-focused sleep products and gadgets for customers’ bedrooms.”
5. Gradients: the colorful design trend aiming to soothe these anxious times.
You aren’t going crazy; gradients are a thing these days in design. We wrote about this trend in our 2019 Graphic Design Trends article, but Daisy Alioto explains further in her Vox article why we’re seeing this trend literally everywhere now. “Gradients might be a manifestation of longing for sunshine and surf. But they also belong to the placeless digital citizen. 1980s and ‘90s kids may remember messing around in Microsoft Paint and PowerPoint as a child, filling in shapes with these same gradients. It’s no surprise that this design effect is part of the technological nostalgia that fuels the vaporwave movement.”