Rachel Shechtman is one of the speakers at PSFK’s Conference in New York at the end of the month. Rachel is the founder of Cube Ventures, a retail and marketing consultancy.
At the conference, Rachel explains what inspired her to create her new strategies for retail marketing , and how retail is moving towards a more fluid model that creates community and conveys stories. She brings her strategies to life through STORY, a new physical retail marketing experience that has the point of view of a magazine, changes like a gallery and sells things like a store.
“I have been consulting for 10 years and love playing translator, mashing together various business functions – primarily marketing, merchandising and business development. After executing strategies that integrated these functions for clients (and observing the successes), I was eager to try it for myself. I have been iterating the idea behind STORY for years.
I think we are ready for new models in retail – both for brands and consumers. As a technology savvy culture, we get news and information every second (and in other formats like daily newspapers and monthly magazines), yet most stores refresh goods four times a year and renovate after years. I believe it is time for all forms of retail to explore a more fluid format to mirror the rapid exchange of information in other areas of our lives.”
STORY was created primarily based on two hypothesis:
- First that while retail will always be about consumption, she believes that story-driven content and community will be a vital component of the consumer dialogue.
- Second, on the brand side, she feels strongly that retail is an untapped frontier for advertising.
What Rachel learnt in the month trial was:
- That if you create a compelling experience people will fly across the country for it
- That it is exhausting (but fun) to run a store
- That you can cater to 9 year olds and 60 year olds in an equally meaningful and relevant way
“I have a 70/30 theory. 70% of what I believe consumers want is quality, service and something familiar (and value depending on the market and consumer) and 30% surprise and delight in the form of a good experience (they don’t know they want it but they respond to it!).
I believe our model taps into that and that is why we have been successful. We are merchandising and editing products as our version of editorial content, and consumers are loving it. Transactional Storytelling! We have customers begging our sales staff and emailing our manager to find out the next STORY.
If we were a traditional retailer, I doubt we would be getting emails saying “what is in your window next month?” We are building a community and telling stories and therefore giving customers a reason to come back every four to six weeks! By creating a model that hardwires a sticky element to the consumer experience, we aren’t just logging sales but building strong relationships.”