Bringing Dreams To Life

Gary Friedman, the visionary at the helm of Restoration Hardware, recently delivered a riveting video conference call highlighting perfectly the evolution of today’s consumer mindset. From this video and in discussions I’ve had with retailers this year, my 2014 take away is that consumers are most engaged with brands that deliver an emotional experience. RH reinvented that experience with shoppers through innovation that strikes a chord in their hearts.

Innovation is never easy, particularly in retail where consumer tastes and needs are constantly changing. During my time at Best Buy we experimented with concepts to stay ahead of the shifting electronics landscape. To say that it was difficult to keep the brand fresh as the shift to digital disrupted the traditional shiny disc model would be an understatement. BestBuy like many other retailers had a choice: fight or die, and fight through innovation is what they did. Sure, the transformation was scary and some of the experiments didn’t work as planned and many people doubted the company’s ability to turn around its circumstance. Today, however, Best Buy is arguably as strong as ever. This type of revolution is what Friedman tasked his team with, which I imagine has caused some failures along the way, but more importantly has resulted in the company becoming one of the premier destinations for outfitting homes. By redefining how consumers experience their products, Restoration has become an aspirational “lovestyle” brand and the de-facto company/retailer for mid and high-end home furnishings.

RH Blvd Store

“Show rooming” tends to get bad mouthed, which is actually the opposite of what should be said. Consumers love an experience that gets them excited and fired up about their purchase. Yes, retailers have to compete with the Internet’s low price proposition, but the value experience often fails to capture our hearts. This passion is what I have come to experience when I walk into the Restoration Hardware at Edina Gallery in Minneapolis – I immediately feel at home in the tranquil space which has created a forged connection with the brand. Brands have the opportunity to craft an in-store experience that cannot be duplicated online or as Mr. Friedman might say, defined by a simple model, which drives traffic, revenue and a passion with their consumers.

I hope watching Gary Friedman’s video elicited a similar feeling to the one we felt here at Skick’D, a charge to create more brand experiences and the potential for the resurgence of the power of physical space. We are fired up to answer the charge. Skick’D was founded to create dynamic experiences to reengage the consumer base, make them emotionally invested in the brands they love and drive innovation in the space. We believe that over the next ten years the state of retail is going to see more companies fall out of favor with consumers, online-only merchants such as Bonobos emerge to create exciting new sub verticals and others get acquired to create a more competitive entity. 2014 bore many of these things and going forward we will continue to see more of the same, but at a faster rate.

To Your Success,


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