Brick & mortar retail, e-commerce, online retail, BOPIS,
augmented and virtual experiences
Over the past century, we have witnessed a cycle of tremendous growth and diversity in retailing and an evolution in merchandising techniques. Throughout the 20th century, where one shopped said a great deal about them and the products they purchased. From department stores to malls, boutiques, and specialty stores, the focus was once on famed retail names, legacy and heritage, and generations loyally shopping these retailers. In the 21st Century, change in retailing has been revolutionary and nearly total. With the majority of once famed heritage retailers now little more than a memory, the impact of online shopping and decline of in-store cannot be underestimated. Looking more critically at the situation, it is easy to see why so many have written off brick and mortar shopping in the future. Rather than an epitaph for in-store, we have built a future of retail for customers with precision focus on experience, specialization, and personalization with technology and training as essential elements to success in each. From our experience with multiple apparel, home furnishings, and other categories, the key to success in retailing is omnichannel, the bridging of consumers online and offline activity and engagement. We have taken a unique approach to working with customers in this category, using Instagram as well as other secondary/supporting medias as agency for conceiving of and launching marketing and messaging with specific target customers. Our experience in this realm includes store-in-store programs that blend complimentary brands and experiences, conceptualizing the incorporation of technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence. In essence, our approach blending “Wire and Wonder” brings the best of both tech and design together.
Food & Beverage, hotels, destinations, visitor venues
In many product and service categories, the past two decades have signaled a movement towards consolidations and mergers, with standardized, big box and mass market businesses taking the lion's share of the market. In the hospitality industry (particularly in lodging and food & beverage), the market has responded to consumer demand and the opportunities driven by messaging via social media with a trend towards unique experiences. A slew of trend setting concepts have been developed by entrepreneurs with a passion to respond to both niche and broader market trends. Today’s successful hospitality concepts focus on experiences tailored by design with specific customer taste and demands in mind. Instead of the cookie cutter conformity of the mid to late 20th century, the past few years have ushered hospitality concepts that take advantage of, and celebrate differences. They are crafted, local, and feature unexpected elements that make the experience memorable and infinitely shareable by customers. Boutique hotels, craft breweries and distilleries, and farm-to-table are just some of the iterations of a hospitality industry thriving on concepts driven by ideas and validated by discerning and demanding consumers who reward with social sharing and repeat business. In order to harness this trend, we have worked with new entries and the well-established to connect with community and a myriad of unique vendors and suppliers, as we have developed concept and story that are as authentic as they are special. For customers such as Dormero Germany, The Keating (A Pininfarina Italian Design Hotel) as well as historic districts and downtown core neighborhoods including San Diego’s Balboa Park, Galveston Texas’ Moody Gardens, California State Park’s Old Town San Diego, we have brought in complimentary brands, re-invigorated the core brand, planned destination programs and events, and created unique customer experiences. The results have been clear, we have re-imagined and re-energized our clients' destinations, injecting contemporary and contextual meaning, and have made each vibrant and inspiring.
Vehicles, transportation, EV charging experiences, wireless
connectivity & positioning-based services
The automotive experience is fundamentally transforming with new innovations in connectivity, autonomy, electrification and shared mobility. These advances bring about opportunities to deliver new functionality and services (OEM and 3rd party) that can enhance lifestyle, though there are balances to strike with technology, entertainment, privacy, convenience, anxiety, safety and efficiency. The process of creating experiences that inspire and empower consumers begins with the development of in-depth customer profiles, use cases that matter, and alignment with storytelling that incorporates both heritage and innovation, as well as recognition of partners that helps enable the vision. We believe that innovation exists at the intersection of automotive and smart cities, and we have worked closely with the major automakers and their ecosystem in the US, Europe, and Asia to both incorporate and leverage technology, whilst also meaningfully reinforcing brand loyalty. Our experience also includes working with Hyundai in accessories, options and design, where we engaged customers in a style algorithm-based game that helped determine choices. We also developed a corporate social responsibility program augmenting BMW’s existing Susan G Komen ‘Drive for the Cure’ and developed a new ‘Project Safe Seat’ child safety seat campaign with the national Safe Kids Coalition. We found that customer affinity and trust could be built and reinforced, with long term dividends in terms of loyalty and openness to continued engagement. We are well positioned to weave in consumer psyche in our support of your product and service offering, partnerships, go-to-market approach, and storytelling.
Apparel, accessories, home goods, sporting goods
Decades past represented style and functional trends that came and went; we once universally spoke of styles and design in the context of decades, 20’s, 50’s, 70’s or 80’s styles. This was true from apparel to home furnishings, appliances and technical gear, as well as other lifestyle product categories including music. Perhaps the final decade for such a defined and monolithic style was that of the 1990’s. How is it that we moved beyond these confines, ushering in a time when every style has a place and merit, where diversity and variability are the trend, where design leads and style reflects the unique perspectives and inspiration of individuals who interpret past, present and future through a lens that attracts followers and others attracted to a similar esthetic. In focusing on the core drivers of consumers in pursuing their unique passions for lifestyle, I have been able to stratify customers in ways that few can. The death knell of so many start-ups and established businesses has been the randomness and depersonalized approach that the founders or their agents have taken with a focus on product first and customer last. We have been instrumental in re-establishing lifestyle brands through a combination of technology and technique where we define and market what core customers love and refocus the lens whether from in-store to online, direct marketing or social media engagement with highly tailored visuals, narrative, and engagement.
Health, industrial, municipal, transportation, energy, security, retail, home automation, asset management, monitoring & control
We’ve been involved since the formative days and technology of the Internet of Things. As the first machine sensors and devices gained wireless connectivity, positioning, and computation capability at both the edge and centrally (today mostly in the cloud), it was clear a new era was upon us as the digitalization of legacy products, systems, and processes represented a fundamental shift in how data could be generated, processed, analyzed and acted upon. IoT today has evolved well beyond Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and has introduced operational efficiencies, cost savings, improved convenience, and an abundance of information and opportunity to which Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can be leveraged in Smart Cities, Industrial Automation, Connected Home, Shopping, Hospitality, Training, and so much more. Our services can support you by helping articulate value propositions, refine product/service requirements and roadmap, guide on technology choices and suppliers, build industry partnerships, foster the right messaging supported by impactful market campaigns, and reassure weary and cautious industry participants and stakeholders that disruption brought about by IoT technologies are both well intended and materially
important for sustainability and quality of life.
Community Service, Education, Development, Service Learning, Environmental Stewardship, Training, and Other Focus Areas
The roots of this agency reach back to the early years of contemporary cause marketing and corporate social responsibility. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is increasingly becoming an integral part of brands' business strategies. In today's increasingly competitive business landscape, CSR efforts can - and should - go beyond the typical green initiatives that have become expected practice in the many industries. We have developed cause-related marketing strategies, branding, media, special events, direct marketing, and media campaigns for clients, including American Express, American Red Cross, Bank of America / US Trust Private Wealth Management, BMW North America, California State Parks, City of San Diego, Exxon-Mobil, Farmers Insurance, General Motors, Kimberly Clark, Monsanto, The American Red Cross, and Wells Fargo, among others. We help companies establish and adhere to ethical and moral standards so stakeholder groups (e.g., management, employees, shareholders, and consumers) are aligned with its strategy and practices.