68: Retail as Media with Anne Mezzenga

“What’s the entire experience of your brand? It’s really about this reputation that you’re building about who you are as a brand, what your values are, and how that translates into every tentacle you put out into the world.”

– Anne Mezzenga

EPISODE PREVIEW:

Today I welcome Anne Mezzenga to the Channel Mastery podcast. She is a retail savant, incisive analyst, and all-around brilliant businesswoman.

Anne is also a resident expert in the strategic trend of melding retail and publishing or media. We talk about how to do it well and who’s crushing it on the national level. We also discuss the continued strong trajectory of tech’s impact on retail. In one sentence, Anne will give you your North Star in how to implement tech. Spoiler alert: Don’t do it just to do it. Incorporate technology if and only if it improves your customer experience.

Speaking of customer experience, we also get into incubating new retail concepts. We were only able to touch on this, as it foreshadows a business extension for Anne and her Red Archer retail business partner, Chris Walton.

GUEST PROFILES:

Anne Mezzenga

Anne Mezzenga is co-founder of Red Archer Retail and co-host of the OmniTalk podcast. She’s amassed nearly 15 years in the retail, marketing, experience design, and technology industries. Leveraging extensive experience in omnichannel marketing and experience design, she was most recently head of marketing and partnerships for the Target Store of the Future project. She’s worked in advertising and as a producer/reporter for news affiliates NBC New York and KMSP Minneapolis. She also owns and operates two CrossFit locations.

TOPICS COVERED:

The intersection of media and retail, publishing and retail, scan and go shopping experiences, Amazon’s growth, gender parity and marketing to women, positive evolutions in retail, incubating new retail concepts.

SELECT QUOTES:

“[Seth Godin] talks about flipping the customer funnel and turning it sideways so it’s like a megaphone. Your customers are telling you what they want, and you’re creating products that reflects that you’re listening to them.”

“What’s the entire experience of your brand? It’s really about this reputation that you’re building about who you are as a brand, what your values are, and how that translates into every tentacle you put out into the world.”

[On Justice and the intersection of product and media] “They’re having an entire entertainment division where they’re taking what they’re learning from in store and trying to convert that to an online and digital media platform.”

“As [Amazon] continues to have more [Amazon Go] stores, the technology gets better, they become more efficient, they’re learning from all of the people that are coming through, and really just making Amazon bigger, and bigger, and bigger. And better.”

“I am excited for companies to start doing a little bit more risk taking. I think we’ve kind of reached a point where some companies in retail are getting a little more familiar with some off the grid testing of concepts, maybe trying to white label more experiences or try working with a publisher on a launch, and they’re becoming a little bit more comfortable with maybe failing or trying something that it wouldn’t have done even a year ago.”

CONNECT:

AS MENTIONED IN EPISODE:

Get ready to click, because Anne and I covered A LOT of ground in this bad boy…

“The Good, the Bad, Sand the Ugly from IRCE 2018,” by Anne Mezzenga and Chris Walton (June 2018), Retail Dive

Glossier

“Buzzfeed to Open a Toy Store – With a Twist, by Marianne Wilson (Oct. 2018), Chain Store Age

The Hema, Chinese Grocery Store, Shopping Experience (video)

RealReal

Kohls and PopSugar Collaboration

“A Starter’s Guide to Omnichannel Retail Disruption from Starbucks Management,” 
by Stuart Lauchlan (May 2017), Diginomica.com

Stitch Fix

“Away’s Jen Rubio on Building a Brand Beyond a Suitcase,” by Amanda Kludt (Oct. 2018), Eater.com

Four Gender Parity Wishes for the 2019 Trade Show Circuit, by Chris Walton (Nov. 13, 2018), The Robin Report

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