Retail Focus Online
Volume 2 - 2015
JGA Wins Silver Duo at A.R.E. RetailDesign Awards
Held the first night of GlobalShop 2015, the A.R.E. RetailDesign Awards honored all aspects of retail design, highlighting the best of 300+ projects from 20 countries. Two JGA projects took the prestigious Silver Award for design. The Sleep Number mall prototype was recognized with Silver as the Best Hardline's Specialty Store (up to 3,000 square feet). Hershey's Chocolate World at New York-New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas won the Silver for Best Specialty Food Retailer.
Savvy Travelers Land First Class Shopping in Hartford

Visiting Bradley International Airport in Hartford, CT? Gadget aficionados can stop at eSavvy for their electronics fix. A Paradies store, eSavvy provides a one-stop-shop offering convenience and quality brand electronics for consumers on-the-go. Whether for a quick boost at their charging stations, or to see interactive displays with the hottest new products, travelers will be drawn to the visual displays, part of a modular fixturing system. A uniquely iconic ceiling element differentiates eSavvy from other electronic retailers - featuring an internally-lit stretched fabric element extending from the center of the store and becoming the backdrop for the cashwrap.
Welcome to
the Club

Linen Club, the premium brand from Jaya Shree Textiles, a unit of Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd, recently launched their flagship sporting their new retail identity in Indiranagar, Bangalore. Designed by JGA, in collaboration with FRDC India, Linen Club's new 100 Feet Road flagship store provides an experience that is both impressive and intimate. The extensive glass facade allows a profusion of natural light and high visibility for visual merchandising, brand imagery and lifestyle photography. Its clean and simple lines are a comfortable parallel with the crisp and refined nature of linen itself. Bespoke furniture and unique lighting elements also highlight the selling zones.
James Avery Now Open
at North East Mall

James Avery just opened its 71st store with a big grand opening celebration in Hurst, Texas. Known for its unique collection of craftsman jewelry and keepsake charms, this newest location celebrates the company's legacy with a high-tech presentation of product views from design-to-craft that share the James Avery history, design philosophy and product offers. A charming space.
Enhanced JGA Website
More Interactive

JGA recently collaborated with Alchemy to update our website to provide a more interactive experience for users. This update features easy-to-read copy, Twitter integration and improved navigation across all devices. The interactive JGA "Show+Tell" portfolio highlights "Bright Ideas" to indicate a special detail about the store's design or finishes. Discover what's new!

Chain Store Age: The Digital Ecosystem - Connecting Before, During and After the Sale
Detroit Free Press: On the Closing of Northland, America's First Mall
New Martin Pegler Book "Designing ther Brand Identity in Retail Spaces" Features JGA
TIME Magazine: JGA-Designed Sleep Number Booth Named 5th Most Eye-Catching at CES

Your Website, Version 4.0, By Tom Nixon
As we turn the corner into the second quarter of 2015, it's a good time to look back at the New Year's resolutions we made to take an honest evaluation of what's been accomplished so far. Some of us decided that 2015 would be the year to tackle the long-overdue website redesign project. If this was you, are you on track?

So much has changed in just the past four years alone - from Web standards to mobile proliferation to user behaviors - that it wouldn't be surprising if your site needed a significant upgrade. But before you simply put a fresh coat of paint on an existing chassis, consider what your website actually means to your brand, and ask yourself some pointed questions in the pre-planning process.

What Should It Look Like?
Just as they say that the eyes are the window to the soul, your website is the window into your brand's very essence... especially for new potential customers with whom you have not yet established a relationship. The first impression is critical, and you don't want it to be the last.

Think about what your brand truly represents, and develop a visual storyboard that not only represents that brand ethos, but actually amplifies it. For an architectural firm in the business of creating a visually stimulating experience (among other senses), images of spectacular environments should be featured prominently and boldly.

A more academic type of brand should look professorial and sophisticated. And so on. It's not enough to look sharp, slick or "clean," as many endeavor to do. The look must represent the brand.

What Should It Say?
Too often, websites offer little more than what one might find in a Wikipedia entry: history on the firm, a bullet-point list of services, a portfolio of past experience. But consider this: what you say is not nearly as important as how you say it... or why anyone should care.

Your brand should have a voice. Is it authoritative? Whimsical? Sophisticated? Technical? Jocular? Whatever that voice truly is (and if you haven't taken the time to truly explore, discover and document this - you should!), it should be on full display in the messaging of your site. From the moment someone enters the site, through to the very last point of exit (hopefully your "Contact Us" page), your brand voice should be consistent, have impact, and convey your brand's story every step of the way.

And your brand voice absolutely, positively, must match the brand image, or "look" that you established.

How Much Should It Say?
User behaviors have dramatically changed in recent years, making it increasingly critical for brands to deliver messages in the ways that users want to consume them. Google has studied user behaviors and documented what we all intuitively suspect: "Nobody likes to read." Their documented F-shaped reading pattern reveals a new-world truism. You have a couple of headlines and, at most, a couple lines of text to get your message across. Few will read past the middle of the second paragraph.

So keep it brief. Keep it punchy. And don't bury the call-to-action payoff "below the fold" in the fourth paragraph.

What Should the Tech Do?
Plan a strategic session strictly around the technical specifications of your new website. Will it feature e-commerce? Should the site be built on a user-friendly content management system (CMS) so the marketing team can make frequent updates? (We recommend Wordpress). Do we need to integrate existing systems or databases, such as Salesforce or ACT? Getting this down on paper early will help the Web team properly scope the necessary technology and requisite budget, and will save your team from unforeseen budget surprises.

Will It Be Device-Compatible?
Mobile and tablet usage continues to grow as a percentage of overall Web consumption, while desktop and laptop usage slowly declines as an overall share. You will want to develop a mobile and tablet strategy early on in the process, to make sure that you're delivering your desired user experience, independent of the device on which a given user chooses to view your site.

This may be as simple as "responsive design," which automatically shrinks text and digital assets to fit the screen size of the device, or it might require designing and developing a completely unique mobile experience, distinct from the laptop, desktop or tablet experience. This may, in fact, be an entirely different strategy altogether.

Should it Be Optimized?
Does your digital marketing strategy assume that prospects are going to find your website via search? If so, be sure a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is defined and executed. This includes "technical mumbo jumbo" such as meta-coding, permalink structure, linking strategies (inbound, outbound and internal links), title and header tagging, along with keyword optimization in the text - as well as your broader content marketing strategy. Are you going to keep the site's content current and dynamic, with blog posts, videos, images and conversation? If not, your site's search engine page ranks will suffer.

The Bottom Line
In the year 2015, a website must be much more than an online brochure. It represents a critical first impression, to be sure. But your website also serves as the centerpiece of your broader marketing strategy - one that places the Web experience as the hub, around which all other marketing "spokes" orbit. When done correctly, your digital and offline marketing strategies will drive prospects to your site. And your site will drive those prospects to you.


TOM NIXON serves as Chief Marketing Alchemist for Troy, Mich.-based Alchemy, a brand strategy and market engagement firm. To learn more, visit www.alchemygp.com, or email him at tnixon@alchemygp.com.

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