SPRING IS IN THE AIR: RETAIL DESIGN WELCOMES FRESH SOLUTIONS AFTER INDUSTRY CHILL

Oh spring, we thought you might never arrive. Like most of the US, Innovative has been longing to get back outside. Taking a moment for fresh air during the workday, grilling up a great lunch, and reconnecting as a team is a long-lived tradition at our company. So much so, that we keep a well-appointed grill in our prototype shop - we just roll up the shop doors and fire it up.


Another tradition at Innovative is attending the Hearth, Patio & Barbeque Expo and Inspired Home Show. We attend these shows to offer our services to both established brands and startups, but our foremost goal is to gain a real understanding of current industry trends. We use this knowledge to proactively address the future needs of our clients and potential new partners. Our goal is to anticipate what you might need next- kind of like the person who hands the grill master a beer on a hot day.


After a 2-year hiatus because of COVID19, the housewares industry was excited to get back together and show off the latest and greatest in indoor and outdoor lifestyle products.


At these shows, the hot topic amongst the brands was the lack of help (under-employment) at retail, and as a result, high-end items were struggling.

Fortunately, Innovative spent the first few frigid months of 2022 stoking sparks of ideas on how to better serve our clients.

Innovative's Retail Experience service offerings are designed to address the challenges of today's fast-paced retail industry. Now, more than ever, flexibility and connectivity are vital to the success of a brick-and-mortar retail campaign. What works at retail today may not work in a few months, resulting in retailers needing to embrace a practice of constant innovation.

Utilizing QR codes, AR, UX/UI, and other Immersive and Interactive Display solutions, we can support and enhance brand presence at retail through omnichannel marketing efforts, even when the sales associate isn't available.

There is a recently-coined term for when these "digital assistants" are integrated into a physical environment: It's the "Phygital movement," and Fast Company recently predicted that it will soon become the norm in retail.




"Phygital" is a movement that implores retailers to view all of their channels as a single organism. Rather than opposing or distinct forces, phygital retail experiences use digital means to enhance the in-store experience, and vice versa.
- Fast Company 03.07.22


Digital experiences can enhance physical experiences and inform physical product innovation. But the fact is, E-commerce, as convenient as it is, will not send brick and mortar retail into an ice age. People are simply hardwired to crave real-world, on-location experiences.


Napoleon Fireplace drove this point home on the second night of HPBE 2022 with their Psychology Of Fire symposium.




According to Napoleon Fireplace:

In the spring of 2020, the world transformed overnight. As we adapted to sheltering, working, and schooling at home, stress skyrocketed. And as a result, mental health and wellness became a priority. Napoleon saw this and wondered: “Can fire reduce stress? Can it promote wellness?”

As a reaction to this experience, Napoleon established two university research endowments to conduct groundbreaking research that will quantify fire’s impact on health and wellness. Now that is some solid product marketing!

Human beings are sensory creatures. To feel truly alive, we need to experience sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. To adequately satisfy these senses, we have come out of hibernation and leave the house.

The consensus seems to be that the future of retail is a unified approach to marketing that satisfies the customer's need to physically experience goods with the retailer's need to cater to constantly evolving consumer expectations.

Welcome to the Phygital Age.

See our photo gallery of the Hearth, Patio & Barbeque Expo and the Inspired Home Show below:






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