While working at the marketing studio Deeplocal in 2015, I wrote a brief to present to marketing students at Penn State University. It explains a mock client RFP based on one of Deeplocal's other clients (anonymous in this project). The Penn State students competed to present the best concept to Deeplocal.
THE FUTURE OF RETAIL BRIEF
Date: August 3, 2015
Deeplocal is an innovation studio that creates remarkable experiences for brands. Our team of artists, designers, and engineers applies its creative design and development process to the areas of marketing, product development, and education for companies worldwide.
Deeplocal has capabilities in robotics, computer science, mechanical engineering, design, and strategy. These areas often overlap because most of our projects require a crossfunctional team.
Our projects include:
The Nike Chalkbot, a tweet-fed, chalk-spraying hydraulic robot that traveled the roads of the 2009 Tour de
France printing messages of inspiration for the Livestrong Foundation.
The Old Navy Selfiebration Machine,a first-of-its-kind device that used 900 real balloons, each individually
controlled and inflated, to render fans’ selfies in Times Square and LA.
The Pop Secret Dongle, a phone attachment that sprayed popcorn aroma in the first scented mobile game.
The Toyota Prius Mind-Controlled Bike that allowed riders to shift gears with their minds.
The Bud Light Superstition Machine, a live streaming event that lived in an ESPN.com takeover ad and let
fans bestow superstitions on their team in real time.
Google Fiber Nick’s First Pitch, a telepresent pitching system that allowed Nick LeGrande, a 13-year-old
with a rare blood disease in Kansas City, to deliver the first pitch at an Oakland Athletics game.
New Atlantic is a quirky clothing retailer known for bargain basics. It sells clothes, shoes, and accessories for men, women, children, toddlers, and babies. The women’s sector includes maternity, plus, tall, and petite. Its top sellers are women’s dresses and pants, along with unisex flipflops. With over 3,300 stores worldwide, New Atlantic is among the most successful clothing brands on earth. Most people know about New Atlantic’s brand (93%) and a significant percentage of those who visit the stores make a purchase (79%).
For years, New Atlantic had one prime target market: young moms. Pressed for time and money, these shoppers have an eye for good deals. They buy for their households first and then for themselves, opting for one-stop family shopping. Because New Atlantic was only marketing to thrifty moms, the brand started to feel out of touch with the new generation of shoppers. Most millennials (81%) said they do not find New Atlantic stores inspiring.
New Atlantic has recently overhauled its style to attract millennials. Its product line, website, and overall brand identity now reflect the latest trends. The brand has historically advertised using print, TV, web, and physical events. More recently though, the company hired a new CMO who believes in the power of earned media and social conversation. For that reason, they’ve begun to create more innovative advertising; some of which connects the physical and digital worlds in a single activation. The brand’s ads are funny and authentic; in-store and online promotions highlight its low prices and trendy styles.
Today’s New Atlantic has all of its enduring perks: a quirky, inclusive brand that sells quality clothes at a surprisingly low price. But now, the brand is on trend, hoping to catch the discerning millennial eye. The retailer wants to create an innovative in-store experience that brings millennials into its brick-and-mortar stores; however, they want to be careful that their marketing doesn’t alienate their thrifty mom audience.
Your goal is to create an innovative in-store experience that drives millennials into New Atlantic stores.
Your concept should answer these questions:
1. How can New Atlantic get millennials excited about its brick-and-mortar stores?
2. What is special about the real-world retail experience that online shopping can’t replicate, and how can this asset benefit New Atlantic?
3. How can interactive, technology-driven experiences drive New Atlantic’s success?
Your target audience consists of millennials: ages 18 to 34.
Your concept should take place at New Atlantic retail stores. It can, but doesn’t need to scale to all stores; it can have a limited release in select locations. For this reason, the physical manifestation of your ideas can be large or small.
Have a low barrier to entry
Drive traffic to New Atlantic retail stores
Encourage visitors to talk about New Atlantic on social media
Elicit simple, strong PR headlines that are instantly understandable
Have a consumer takeaway or element of instant gratification
Leverage emerging retail technologies
NICE TO HAVES
After further refinement, can exist as a product
Can act as a platform for future development
A high-level budget with a list of deliverables
Don’t rely on a native mobile app
Don’t share concepts that primarily highlight technology; the story comes first and the technology is what
EXAMPLE IDEAS NEW ATLANTIC LIKES
Rebecca Minkoff and Ebay teamed up to create an interactive mirror that lets shoppers add products to their fitting room, order drinks, adjust the lights, and get custom recommendations. New Atlantic likes how this concept mixes the best of online and real-life retail to create a new shopping experience.
C&A, a Brazilian fashion retailer, displays a garment’s number of Facebook likes on each hanger. New Atlantic likes how this concept fuses in-store browsing with real time social media.
The beauty retailer Sephora uses an in-store iPad app to analyze customers’ skin and make personalized product suggestions. New Atlantic likes that this concept uses technology to give shoppers a product-based experience tailored to them.
The fashion brand Marc Jacobs let shoppers buy products with a tweet instead of money. New Atlantic likes that this concept creates buzz and drives store traffic.
Your deliverable will be a final PDF presentation deck about at least one creative concept. The deck should include:
1. Insights: Observations about culture, human habits, or retail trends; one insight per concept
2. Research: Cultural or social media research that backs up your insights—ideally as concise statements
3. Headline: A sample press headline; an example of how your idea would appear in the news
4. Activation Strategy:
An overview of how your concept works. Ex: “The Nike Chalkbot is a tweet-fed robot that chalked the roads of the 2009 Tour de France with messages of inspiration for the Livestrong Foundation.”
The consumer journey. Ex: “A user tweets a message to Livestrong. The Chalkbot snaps a photo of the message, attaches GPS coordinates, and tweets it back to the submitter. Consumers worldwide see the message at the race, online, and on TV.”
Details. Add any additional info that you find important. Ex: “The robot repurposes everyday objects and oldschool parts into a custom machine.”
KPIs. How you’ll measure your success. Ex: social media impressions, store traffic, product sales, etc.
5. Why the Idea Works: How does this concept meet the goals of this brief?