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Alex Gordon presents The future of retail engagement @ Canvas8
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Alex Gordon presents The future of retail engagement @ Canvas8

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Canvas8 Thought Leader and founder of SighSalad, Dr Alex Gordon, presents his thoughts on the future of retail consumer engagement. Alex looks at the increasing popularity of the heterogeneous high …

Canvas8 Thought Leader and founder of SighSalad, Dr Alex Gordon, presents his thoughts on the future of retail consumer engagement. Alex looks at the increasing popularity of the heterogeneous high street, the opportunity for physical engagement and the importance of fun experiences.

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  • 1. Cultural Branding for the 21st Century Sizing Up Today’s Retail Consumer A Semiotic Speculation for November 2009
  • 2. Traditional Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Late 19 th & Early 20 th Century – Growth of urban society – loss of individualism & the self in mass culture Consumption as expression of Industrial Modernity
  • 3. Traditional Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Consumption as expression of Industrial Modernity - Fordism Mass Production Homogeneity – society of consumers & producers
  • 4. Traditional Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Arcades To Malls Consumption as Mass Cultural Expression – The Rise of the Flaneur – Disengaged Spectator
  • 5. Traditional Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Consumerism as a Sign of Economic Progress, Domestic Emancipation & Easy Living… … or Social Order & Bourgeois Conformity?
  • 6. Traditional Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement The Night of the Living Sleepshopper Retail Consumer as ‘Zombie’ endlessly repeating a predictable disengaged experience ad nauseam
  • 7. Practicality/Utility Essential Pleasurable/Indulgent Spectacle Modern/Mass Culture Moral Conformity Collectivist National Social (democratisation & control) Predictable & Repetitive Homogenous Traditional Codes of Retail Consumer Engagement
  • 8. Traditional Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Zavvi Not Savvy - Failure to Engage?
  • 9. Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement So what are the emergent codes of retail consumer engagement? Post–recessionary Change… … or Pre-recessionary acceleration & extension?
  • 10. Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Ludic/Cryptic Rise of Playful, Mysterious (Mystical) Experiences - Online & Offline Retail Integrated?
  • 11. Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Fusion of Child & Adult Spaces signalling childish play as release from adult post- recessionary anxiety – e.g. ‘hide & seek store’ hard message in a soft medium
  • 12. Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Surprising Unexpected Experiences in Expected ‘Retail’ Places Unexpected Consequences of Entire Retail Experience
  • 13. Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Sharing/Community Shared moments among strangers – Real as Well as Virtual Progressive Self-Development not just Purchasing
  • 14. Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Active Physical Involvement From the individual passivity of the i to the active involvement of the Wii Retail space as catalyst for physical health & consumer excitement
  • 15. Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Ethical Indulgence Rise of Retail Internships & Volunteerism – consumption through a cause Substantive Retail Not Ephemeral Consumption
  • 16. Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Generosity, Trust & the Rise of Free Gifting/Recycling of Products in Retail Space - (Alongside New Products) Rise of ‘Honour Systems’
  • 17. Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Rise of the Heterogeneous High Street Break Down of Chain-Owned High Streets – Rise of Local Street for Diversity As Contrast With Mall Genericism
  • 18. Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Speed Easy consumerism signified by speed of process – reduced queuing…online & offline
  • 19. Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement Curated Retail Museum in the multiple ‘exhibits’ are hand chosen by an individual & are for Sale - Consumerism Fused with Art Exhibition
  • 20. FROM TO Emergent Retail Consumer Engagement Signifies the shift from mass cultural predictability to mass individualist diversity Practicality/Utility Essential Pleasurable/Indulgent Spectacle Modern/Mass Culture Moral Conformity Collectivist National Social (democratisation & control) Predictable & Repetitive Homogeneous
  • 21. FROM TO Emergent Retail Consumer Engagement Signifies the shift from mass cultural predictability to mass individualist diversity Practicality/Utility Essential Pleasurable/Indulgent Spectacle Modern/Mass Culture Moral Conformity Collectivist National Social (democratisation & control) Predictable & Repetitive Homogeneous Utility & Excess Essential & Fun Ethically Indulgent Ludic Mass Individualism Socially Progressive Shared Diversity International Social & Individual Liberation Surprising & Unpredictable Heterogeneous – Real & Virtual
  • 22. Mikhael Bakhtin 1895-1975 ‘ CARNIVALESQUE’ Artifice Role-Playing Illusion Fun Performative Socio-Culture
  • 23. EMERGENT ENGAGEMENT Emergent Semiotics of Retail Consumer Engagement
  • 24. Cultural Branding for the 21st Century Unit 5, 160 Barlby Road London W10 6BS +44 (0)20 7100 1817 www.signsalad.com

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