“The lab approach works faster by bypassing corporate structures, escaping the tyranny of quarterly profit targets and introducing the benefits of an entrepreneurial start-up culture while, theoretically, limiting risk. What doesn’t seem to be an option these days is not to have one at all.”
– Kate Ancketill, CEO and founder of GDR Creative Intelligence.
GDR’s Kate Ancketill visits shopping mall Westfield London, which is part of the Westfield Group and its forward-thinking Westfield Labs, and discusses why brands and retailers need to take notice of this shift in innovation.
One thing that 2015 highlighted is that the traditional hard sell is no longer fit for purpose and brands fixated on this approach are finding themselves unceremoniously dropped from the shopping list. Now, in 2016, retailers who act as an unassuming and knowledgeable confidant are turning customers into advocates and are reaping long-term benefits.
Actively seeking their customer’s opinions and addressing pain points, many retailers are beginning to trial prototypes by transforming existing physical stores into hybrid, experimental spaces. McDonald’s Customer Learning Lab restaurant in Sydney and British Airways’ use of hackathons are just two examples of this already taking place.