On the road with Mike Roberts- A Day in the Life.
I’m an early riser, I’ve cats to look after and this morning there’s a breakfast ‘Pecha Kucha’ insight session in the studio. We host them regularly to share work and discuss what’s new. The early morning bribe is a free bacon sandwich, or a veggie equivalent for me.
The theme of this morning’s session is an update on the ‘clicks-to-bricks’ phenomenon by our Strategy Director and Digital Director, Sam and Andrew. They’ve been reviewing the way digital retailers have been doing what no one predicted; establishing bricks and mortar offerings to diversify their route to market. We have experience in this area taking Pro:Direct from online only to their first award-winning store in the Carnaby Street area.
The way in which these disruptive new retailers are approaching their store format and design is today’s topic for conversation. Some of the innovative ideas presented included using light projectors to display the broad catalogue of online inventory, shops that stock only one sample of each product, and using retail to drive broader brand engagement like events and brand stunts.
Following the early morning session, it’s time to catch up with my team. I look after over 40 designers set across three studios (yup, that’s a lot of appraisals!). I’m based at our Head Office in Birmingham, and our other studios are in London and Amsterdam, where I’m off to this afternoon. Right now I’m catching up with our innovation team.
The innovation team keep us up to date with all the latest tech and social trends, which means they’re pretty busy. We’ve had a recent success with displaying our work online using VR technology and Google Cardboard. Try it for yourself on our YouTube channel or you can use your mouse to travel around the interior of our jewellery store design for boutique.Goldsmiths if you don’t have the glasses. This team were also the driving force behind our Retail Design Expo stand.
I’m not someone who ever sits down for long, so this afternoon I’m off to visit Nike Town London where our recent campaign activation has gone live. It’s designed to promote trial within the retail environment. The staff have been briefed
The staff have been briefed on how to use both the court-like surface we’ve laid down and a collection of props, such as cones to create small drills, for customers to trial the latest basketball shoes.
One kid was amazing, definitely destined for fame and drawing a real crowd in the store.
I’m a great believer in getting out there to see our work in action, not only is it a real treat, but it’s also an important learning exercise for us. We are also often involved in the physical creation of the designs that we dream up; the Nike example was project managed to life by our production team and their specialist understanding of materials and manufacture. Our company heritage is founded in this ethos of craftsmanship.
I’m now at the airport, and I fly out to Amsterdam this evening in preparation for a meeting with another client tomorrow. I must admit I enjoy travelling and feel very at home in transit. I’ll happily settle into a session with Radio 6; I love new music, my current favourite band is Black Mountain. It’s also a chance to catch up on the deluge of emails that hit my account daily.
The crew over in Amsterdam have promised me chips and beer at their favourite haunt, The Hoxton, an offer I couldn’t refuse. I really enjoy the vibe in Amsterdam, chilled and village-like. Tomorrow’s client is very tech savvy so it won’t be a late one, honest!