New Year, New Habits. For Some, It's Not Optional.

Originally published on January 05, 2018

You know the clichéd phrase, A New Year A New You, widely used in a multitude of variations to lure us into the gym, setting new goals for our private weigh-ins, and take a fresh look at what we eat, wear and do.

However overused the phrase may be, it is nonetheless highly relevant to many industries, businesses, and professionals this year, as we are in a time of constant, significant change. 

You may not have been thinking about your business as being part of the experience industry, but now your customers crave experiences. You may not have realized that your market has shifted, opening new opportunities and challenges alike. You may not realize that social media is not what social media was just a year ago. You may not realize that you need to take another direction, or create entirely new ways of doing what you do, perhaps through the combination of that which already exists.

Leading up to 2018, we have witnessed events and trends that make past routines and habits redundant, if not fatal, to businesses and careers. I am not saying you should fall prey to any new buzz word or hype, just keep on open mind to what you and your business can become while maintaining where you come from.

One of the big revolutions we have seen in the latter years is that of retail. Things have changed in the relationship between retailers and customers, powered by the widespread adaption of online shopping, and accelerated by substandard in-store experiences. Merely pushing products are simply not enough anymore.

Contrary to the beliefs of some people, this is not the end of the physical retail space, but to survive, it has to evolve. Amping up the service is fine and necessary, so is the decoration and surface branding. However, this new generation of retail, demands change throughout the retail experience, through the design of integrated, hybrid experiences that draw from the best of many worlds, including digital and physical spaces, and shopping and leisure disciplines. The fundamental change in retail also includes taking a fresh look at the role of any stakeholder in the new expanded shopping experience, including the customer. 

In November I had the pleasure of moderating two panels at the MAPIC International Retail Property Market in Cannes on the subject of integrating leisure and retail disciplines. Leading up to and following up on the conference, I did three articles with the marketer, the retailer and the experience industry professional in mind. Whether you see yourself as either, I believe you will find some insight and inspiration in the articles, and I have shared the direct links to the articles with you below.

It is a new year, and for many industries, including but not limited to retail, a changing market has made it high time to consider the new you.

Have a great 2018!