Blog

  • Pop-In, Up & Away

    Originally posted to the Arc Worldwide blog in the October 2019 edition of The Marcket

    Brick-and-mortar retail is a haven of discovery. Finding a new brand, product or merchandising story adds to the fun of exploring in-store. In fact, 69% of shoppers expect to see new merchandise whenever they visit a site or store

    To satiate this shopper expectation for discovery, some retailers are devoting space that is regularly transformed to feature a new collection, brand, or theme with an always-evolving calendar of pop-in displays. 

    These pop-ins (or shop-in-shops) create a destination in-store that is easy to refresh and can break the rules of other in-store promotions or campaigns—from look and feel, to footprint and fixturing—and disrupt a shopper’s routine while celebrating “new news” that helps drive traffic and increase basket size. 

    Macy’s, for example, acquired STORY in 2018—the Manhattan storefront that defined themselves as “having the point of view of a magazine, changed like a gallery, and sold things like a store.” Macy’s has since brought the model to 36 stores in 15 states. Initial themes have included “A Color Story,” “An Outdoor Story” and “A School of Style Story.” For the Macy’s shopper, this evolving pop-in approach has potential to bring a new sense of discovery in-store with more dynamic and visually-impressive merchandising. While some have noted growing pains to scale the concept from one storefront to three dozen across the country, time will tell how Macy’s tells this STORY. 

    Target also brings this makeover mindset to its seasonal department and, at their next generation stores, a “Trend Spot” that greets shoppers’ at entry with the “season’s best looks and trends, designer partnerships, exclusive brands and more, all beautifully displayed,” as described on the company blog. And deeper in-store, the seasonal department gets a refreshed aesthetic and curated collection of merchandise for each major calendar event—holidays, summer, back-to-school and more. Target has established a system of modular fixtures, hanging signage, and bold splashes of color to easily transform these spaces to serve up what’s new and culturally relevant with impact and at scale. 

    Retailers looking to keep things fresh or celebrate new products/partnerships should consider building up an infrastructure for pop-ins or seasonal displays. This regular rotation gives stores new occasions to merchandise against and opens the door for endless collaborations and vignettes for shoppers to discover.

  • Not Just A Store Anymore

    Originally posted to the Arc Worldwide blog in the September 2019 edition of The Marcket

    When most items are just a click away, shoppers today need worthwhile experiences to entice them in-store. 

    Which is why more and more retailers are adding cafés, full restaurants, barbershops, meditation spaces, laundromats, and even movie theaters to complement their traditional inventory. In fact, it’s been found that 84% of shoppers are more likely to visit a store that offers services to help them get the most out of their purchase. 

    But for retailers to know what kind of experience is best, it starts with identifying the wants, needs and interests of their shoppers. 

    Lululemon, for example, just opened a 20,000-square-foot “experiential store” in Chicago that’s equipped with a restaurant, fitness space and lounge. As a brand with true tribe culture, Lululemon is deepening people’s devotion to its styles and the wellness-focused lifestyle it represents. In this case, adding fitness offerings and a healthy menu of power bowls and smoothies (and some indulgences like burgers and cocktails) makes perfect sense to capture more time and attention from shoppers looking to live the brand experience. The company expects about 10% of its fleet of stores to follow this model by 2023. 

    In New York, American Eagle Studio is tucked within a neighborhood full of college students. For these busy, style-conscious and cash-strapped Gen Z-ers, AE has integrated new ways to draw them in and increase dwell time. The space comes complete with a “Maker’s Shop” for on-the-spot alterations, and, better yet, a few commercial washers and dryers to do your laundry while you browse. Through these services, American Eagle Studio offers real value to its target audience and can be an ally when clothes need to be altered or washed. 

    On the West Coast, Wingtip in San Francisco is known as a “one-stop shop for the modern gentleman,” selling a curated collection of clothing, spirits and accessories. To build on its reputation as a trusted stylist and trendsetter, it’s added a barbershop to spruce up shoppers’ looks with a clean cut and shave from a master barber—a well-received and welcome add-on for their community. 

    Retail is rich with opportunities to build on the behaviors or interests of a brand’s community and culture by developing them as physical experiences integrated into the shopper’s journey. Whether big or small, eventized or evergreen, the best retailers are giving shoppers a reason to stop in, explore, and stay awhile.

  • GlobalShop 2019 Review: Top 5 Takeaways

    Originally posted to the Arc Worldwide blog.

    Arc’s Retail Design Group shares their insights from the industry-leading event.

    GlobalShop is the industry’s leading retail design, planning and merchandising expo and conference—and one of Arc’s favorite event destinations. Select Arc creatives, strategists and producers scoped out this year’s event and took note on what stood out to them most. Read on to learn about some key takeaways from GlobalShop 2019.

    Dana Stotts, SVP, Strategy Director
    APPEAL TO THE ENABLED SHOPPER WITH PHYGITAL EXPERIENCES

    Leo Nicholas from WestRock (a packaging design and retail solutions company) hosted a session all about the “enabled shopper” and opportunities for “phygital” experiences at retail. 

    The enabled shopper isn’t interested in trading off between price, value and convenience—they want it all. They also want efficient solutions that deliver a return on their time, with targeted, personalized engagement along the way. Enter the phygital experience, where store and consumer productivity meet. Bringing it to life requires an intersection of dynamic and static experiences, with both mobile-enabled and non-mobile facilitation, to meet the enabled shopper’s every demand and expectation. 

    Liz Rinaldi, VP, Design Director
    OFFER A COMPLETE, MULTI-SENSORY EXPERIENCE

    The ArtItalia booth was the hot place to be. Why? It bent the senses with its play of twisted perspective drawings, inviting guests to step into an illusion. Simple high-contrast black and white was a striking outlier in an expo full of colorful signage. The thumping beat of the house music could be heard from a distance, drawing guests in. And a bartender poured champagne, capping off a total experience that won “best exhibit” at the show. 

    Glenn Madigan, Associate Creative Director
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    Many of the spaces we saw reminded us of the importance and impact of light. Good lighting at an expo can drastically change the environment. It’s not just about the physical, built structures, but how you accentuate them with light makes all the difference. We must not forget opportunities to spotlight product, backlight signage, use strip lighting below shelves, and guide shoppers with light so our messages don’t get left in the dark. 

    Kylie Wendell, Senior Environmental Designer
    MAKE IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES PART OF YOUR PRODUCT DEMONSTRATION

    The most successful booths engage attendees in an immersive, interactive experience that demonstrates their benefit. For example, a display fabricator we saw built out an ice cream shop made mostly of corrugated cardboard that displayed their craft and expertise, complete with a soft serve machine and toppings bar. 

    Brittany Meyer, Art Director
    POP-UP WITH REASONS TO RETURN, LINGER, AND LEARN SOMETHING NEW
    This year’s show featured a series of “pop-up talks,” covering a wide variety of topics in 20-minute increments. By creating programming on the expo floor, it gave attendees a reason to stick around longer and return for programming of interest to them. These talks created a perfect combination of entertainment and information to engage attendees in a relevant way, but also give them a break from the overwhelming sea of products, reps and booths. 

    -- 

    Arc’s Retail Design Group is a team devoted to building fully immersive & sensorial brand activations, spaces, and experiences. To tap into this agency capability, new clients should contact Arc Worldwide or existing clients can reach out to their Business Leadership team.

  • Arctypes: The People Who Define Our Agency

    Originally posted to the Arc Worldwide blog.

    Arc explores its agency culture through the kinds of people who work here.

    There’s a certain type of person who thrives at Arc Worldwide. In fact, there are a few types of people—and they all have a crucial role to play. 

    We call them Arctypes. 

    Amidst a year of great transformation for our agency and change in our industry, we were fortunate enough to find ourselves on a great new business run. Which got us thinking more mindfully about what makes Arc distinct and uniquely successful. 

    As an agency dedicated to creating Irresistible Commerce for our clients, the work we do identifies and leverages the unignorables of brands—those value propositions that are too attractive or convincing for consumers to resist. So, we put our own process to work to identify the unignorables of the people who define our agency. 

    The result was five Arctypes—read on to find out what they are, how we define them, and what winning an Arctype Award means to our employees, straight from some of the inaugural inductees. 

    There’s the Miyagi.

    Like that mystic sensei from the Karate Kid, you have a knack for helping people find the talent within them. Part teacher. Part mentor. Part Jedi Master. People just thrive under you. 

    VP Strategy Director Nimisha Jain was among the first to earn the Miyagi title. When Jain came onto her account team, it was a personal goal of hers to create a culture where everyone felt like they could grow, collaborate and bring their best selves to work. “It felt great to be recognized as a Miyagi, first because I love “Karate Kid,” but second because for me it really is all about the people,” said Jain. “We want to find great solutions for our clients at Arc, and nurturing our talent is how we can make that happen.” 

    For Arctypes recipients, the recognition also feels profoundly personal, as VP Creative Director Alma Klein reflected on. “Receiving the Miyagi award meant so much to me because it’s an acknowledgement of how far I’ve come,” said Klein. “Earlier in my career, I made the mistake of jumping in and solving problems that others needed to struggle with. I heard, time and again, that people found me intimidating. I knew I could have a successful career as a creative, but I wasn’t sure I’d succeed as a creative director. It took a few years, but I solicited feedback and made changes. I learned to nurture talents, crow about achievements, and give constructive criticism—with love.” 

    There’s the Action Hero.

    You may look like a normal employee. But you have a Spidey sense for opportunity and the mutant-like reflexes it takes to seize it. And because you sprang into action, great things are happening. 

    Exemplified by individuals like Account Director Alex Gallagher, the Action Hero is all about the go-getters who help make good things happen for the agency. In his case, working tirelessly to build productive relationships across internal and external teams—providing top-notch client service in his day-to-day account, and stepping in to lend a hand for new business pitches and incremental client work on other accounts. 

    “Arc is filled with real-life super heroes who go above and beyond to serve our clients and fellow coworkers,” shared Gallagher. “Arctypes as a program has helped shine a light on what different facets of our creative process look like. We are only as strong as the team that supports us, and at Arc that team mentality is evident in all that we do.” 

    And there’s the Rainmaker.

    Through your smarts and hustle, you helped us unlock an amazing growth opportunity. You made it rain. And rain grows our agency. 

    The Rainmaker has gone to senior executives who have led major new business wins. But it’s also gone to people in the trenches. Senior Art Director Kathy Paik is one such Rainmaker. By day she consistently delivers (and over-delivers) as a master of design in the beauty category. But she’s also the first to raise her hand every time a pitch opportunity presents itself. Most recently, Kathy helped Arc defend its position with a critical client in a category she was unfamiliar with—all with her signature optimism. 

    Reflecting on her Rainmaker award, Kathy said, “I think it’s great that we recognize each other. Recognition drives you to do your best work. We honor what everyone already does, so it’s affirmation to keep doing what you are doing.” 

    There’s the Machine.

    Like the Energizer Bunny, you just don’t stop. You represent the tireless effort it takes to make this place run like clockwork. In fact, you’re such a machine, machine learning could learn a few things from you. 

    Strategy Director Taylor Spaeth earned the Machine distinction for her particular role in wrangling the account teams to complete the rigorous forms and video submissions for the 2019 Effie Awards. Reflecting on the honor, Taylor said, “Not every agency or workplace takes the time to thank you for when you go beyond the call of duty. It fosters an environment that makes you WANT to go above and beyond every time, because you know it’s appreciated and you feel truly a part of a place.” 

    Another Machine honoree, Executive Producer Pete Javier, shared how he feels Arctypes represent Arc as a creative company. “I think the Arctypes program sets the agency apart in how it actively encourages colleagues to celebrate the people they work with day to day.” 

    Arctypes is a peer-nominated process, where employees are invited quarterly to identify a coworker they feel is deserving of the honor, and why. “For people to take time out of their schedule to provide this type of positive feedback and acknowledgement is a welcome aspect of the culture,” Javier continued. “I think everyone at all levels and disciplines aspire to help out their respective teams, and kinds of recognitions raise the collective output and overall quality of client work.” 

    And finally, there’s the Cheerleader.

    When those around you are kicking ass, you’re the first to make sure everyone knows about it. And because you always make sure credit goes where credit is due, today we’re cheering you on. 

    The one exception to the peer-nominated rule is the Cheerleader. That’s because this award leverages another the agency’s use of TinyPulse, an employee engagement and feedback platform where employees can post messages of encouragement and appreciation for their teammates. Each quarter, the Cheerleader is that person who stands atop the TinyPulse leaderboard—and they happen to be the hardest to get to talk about themselves, because they are too busy championing others. 

    Not surprisingly, when asked about her individual honor, Cheerleader and VP Account Director Julie Glick responded, “Individually each award is special and personal, but collectively they represent the pillars of the agency. Arctypes puts a focus on the people—the well-rounded, fun, talented people of this agency who partner to bring solutions forward. 

    Arc is filled with people who make us better every day, and the Arctypes are the embodiment of the best of our agency. 

    Associate Creative Director (and Action Hero recipient) Glenn Madigan framed it perfectly: “The Arctypes are a great representation of our values and the type of people who excel here. We’re a group of go-getters (Action Hero), passionate craftspeople (Machine), coaches and teachers (Miyagi), drivers of growth and change (Rainmakers) and champions of our peers after a job well done (Cheerleader). Having a team that brings all these people together is a recipe for success, and it translates to irresistible ideas for our clients and their brands.”