A Look at How Real-Life Brands Are Going from Retail to Revolutionary

A Look at How Real-Life Brands Are Going from Retail to Revolutionary

By Kenny Dieglio

Have you noticed the retail revolution that is happening right before our eyes? Apocalyptic retail headlines may have obstructed your vision, but we’re here to confirm that retail relevance is real and it’s here to stay for several brands. There isn’t one magic formula to replicate the success of these brands, but they do have common attributes contributing to their recent wins. These attributes are major factors in the art of the Retail Portfolio Strategy, which just so happens to be our lead article in WayfinD this month. Let’s jump into a few examples of the retail revolution.

Nike Innovation

The Rebel
Though Nike is one of the leading shoe brands in the world, it has seemingly always done things differently. From its iconic “Just Do It” slogan to its $350 app-powered, self-lacing shoes, the brand with the Swoosh has forged its own path in the retail world. Nowhere is the brand’s innovative spirit more apparent than its new House of Innovation in NYC. To maximize your shopping experience in the environment, you have to use the Nike app. This allows you to get info on any product you see in the store, and also allows you to purchase items without the help of an associate. The sensorial environment is a Nike fan’s dream, but the hidden win here is that the brand did not forget the shopping experience itself.

Neighborhood Goods

The Reinventor
At a time when department stores are fading into oblivion, the category may seem like one of the last places to look for retail revolution, but that’s just what Neighborhood Goods is doing with its alternative universe department store. This isn’t simply a shiny façade placed over the tired department store concept. It’s an entirely rethought platform for the hottest local brands to showcase their goods. If the best online only brands came together in one physical place like a fresh flea market oasis, you’d have the concept that Neighborhood Goods is pulling off. Wait, what’s a department store again?


The Rejuvenator
Speaking of tired department stores, without some of the exciting ideas coming out of the Nordstrom camp, you could easily see the upscale mall staple fading fast like some of its competition. But one visit to Nordstrom Local makes you quickly forget the brand is 117 years old. The new concept takes Nordstrom’s focus on customer service and puts a modern spin on it. Customers aren’t able to shop any inventory from the store, but they are able to schedule times to try clothes on, pick up things they bought online, get alterations, receive fashion advice, grab a bite to eat, get a manicure, pick up dry cleaning and work on their latest screenplay.

Starbucks Mobile App

The Rewards Icon
If only all mobile apps made the shopping experience easier. Wait, isn’t that the purpose of an app? In most cases, something must have gotten lost in execution/translation. Starbucks, on the other hand, has nailed it when it comes to delivering a positive app experience from online ordering to providing rewards. Considering 1 in 5 app users abandon an app after one use1, Starbucks serves as a shining star from a technology-that-works standpoint as its customers use the app again and again.

In order to stay on the positive side of the retail headlines, there are cues that all brands can take from these revolutionists. It’s all a matter of applying the principles that make the most sense for your business and your customers. When it comes to making bold, future-forward decisions, our position will always be JDI (Just Do It).

Kenny Dieglio
Kenny Dieglio
Sr. Manager, Marketing
WD Partners


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