PROFILE

Adrian Weidmann

Principal, StoreStream Metrics, LLC

Adrian bridges the ‘business objective’ communication gap between the Chief Marketing Officer and Retail IT. Spanning more than 28 years of introducing emerging digital media technologies and business solutions designed for video, audio and graphics production and strategy, Adrian now assists brands (and retailers) designing and implementing intelligent, integrated omni-channel (mobile, online, on-air, in-store and print) marketing communication and merchandising solutions driven by digital media. Adrian brings direct real-world experience along with a unique balance of innovative creative and technical insight and vision.

Adrian has spent the past 13 years pioneering all aspects of the emerging digital signage sector. He co-authored and published (Relevant Press) the first book for the evolving in-store digital media industry, Lighting Up The Aisle, Principles & Practices For In-Store Digital Media. An early encounter with a retail executive provided clarity – “It’s about selling stuff.” Understanding why, where, how and through whom money flows between brands and retailers to ‘sell stuff’ establish Adrian’s philosophical foundation. He has merged his unique perspective and insight to the art and science of digital media with analytical business fundamentals to assist brands, retailers and their agencies alike to realize the full potential of integrated multi-channel and interactive digital media solutions to enable integrated marketing conversion with measurable results.

Adrian has authored four patent-pending disclosures for digital media network concept and process inventions. Using his proprietary patent-pending software, EVAlidate™, to model the business viability of digital media networks with various monetization strategies, Adrian has brought real world experience and business acumen in designing and developing digital media based network solutions. His brand and digital media network experience includes Lowe’s, The World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund, Best Buy, ERN, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Dentsu (Japan), Cereja (Brazil), Supervalu, PRN/Wal-mart, Federated Department Stores, Nike, and UnitedHealth Group.

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  • Posted on: 06/26/2017

    Will Sears get traction with its new appliance and mattress store concept?

    It is hard to imagine the scene in the Sears boardroom when they agreed on creating a standalone store focused on appliances and mattresses! On what planet did they hold this meeting? This is the retail equivalent of jumping the shark! This decision is the harbinger of the end of Sears.
  • Posted on: 06/26/2017

    Will putting a spotlight on associates help boost Kroger’s business?

    Telling a great story that connects emotionally with your audience is empowering. When brands can humanize the overall brand experience it can only help strengthen the bond and hence the affinity for your brand. Brand storytelling is a powerful art form that needs to be leveraged and used more often in today's digital world. While storytelling is important, being able to publish and distribute these stories locally and globally is where you need to create meaningful workflows powered by different technologies.
  • Posted on: 06/22/2017

    Is Starbucks passing the buck to baristas on customer service?

    You can't force customer service. It needs to be inherent to your employees' behavior. It needs to be natural. The only way that happens is if your employees truly believe in what they are doing -- and who they are doing it for! You cannot artificially create a great customer experience. While the barista plays a critical and "Venti" role in the Starbucks experience, the brand -- and what it represents and portrays to the broader consumer audience -- must be woven into the overall value proposition.
  • Posted on: 06/22/2017

    Does Costco need to significantly undercut Amazon’s prices?

    Costco needs to stay competitive. That requires a multifaceted solution, not simply a one-dimensional answer. Price is but one element in that equation. Costco offers a great balance between go-to grocery items -- pumpkin pie, rotisserie chicken, etc. -- and an experience where you can discover new items that surprise and delight. It will be important for Costco to be mindful of pricing to stay competitive with Amazon but it must continue to explore and present new products that Costco shoppers can discover -- keeping their attention and interest for return trips.
  • Posted on: 06/20/2017

    Will UPS’s Black Friday delivery surcharge have retailers seeing red?

    Online shoppers seek and have come to expect free shipping. Free shipping is a purchase decision criteria for many shoppers (including me). It is not surprising that UPS (and others) will try to leverage this expectation into surcharges and other financial gains. They are a business that needs to react and be responsible to their shareholders. Unfortunately, retailers will be forced into a difficult decision -- eat the surcharge or pass it along to their shoppers. My guess is that the big retailers (Walmart, Target, etc.) will eat the surcharge and smaller retailers will need to create minimum purchases to get free shipping.
  • Posted on: 06/20/2017

    Can humanizing self-checkouts reduce theft?

    Subtlety goes a long way. Adding messages that reach the customer on an emotional level -- charities, thank yous, random informational trivia, etc. will impact a percentage of shoppers. Don't expect too much correction! Shoppers who go through the process to cheat the honor system are not likely to be swayed by a message on a computer screen. As the technology matures and new processes are introduced -- RFID tagging, global pass-through checkout (Amazon Go), etc., many of today's issues will be eliminated. Those shoppers that are driven to cheat the system will always discover and invent new ways.
  • Posted on: 06/14/2017

    Who owns the in-store experience?

    The store has historically been the place where you get "stuff" which is why the experience became the responsibility of operations. Today's store is defined by the shopper and has several portals that they choose on a case by case basis. The physical store has become one option. The responsibility of the store experience should be the store team -- not unlike the interactive team, e-commerce and broadcast media. All should sync their efforts in order to create a consistent brand and shopper experience regardless of the portal.
  • Posted on: 06/09/2017

    Will ‘Project Gigaton’ give Walmart a sustainable competitive edge?

    In order to bond emotionally with Millennials, Generation Z and beyond, retailers and brands need to embrace social and environmental responsibility in a real and tangible way -- not just shallow PR stunts. Large corporations can step into the void left by our current administration's lack of global leadership and take a stand that goes beyond this quarter's analyst's call and immediate profit. We live in a period where "doing the right thing" seems lost yet our youth are paying attention and they expect and demand change and responsibility. They pay attention and will vote with their e-wallets.
  • Posted on: 06/09/2017

    Is it time for stores to ditch the free Wi-Fi?

    Access to free Wi-Fi has quickly become an expectation and simply an ante to the shopping landscape. The technology has become relatively inexpensive and easy to implement. Eliminating this from the shopping experience will reflect poorly on the brand and its commitment to its shoppers and customers. Retailers should figure out how to leverage this technology and expectation for their benefit as much as for their customers. What about using local hot-spots for vendors to leverage proximity marketing to provide their shoppers unique content to their mobile devices? Unique access to movie trailers? Unique and innovative DIY project how-to videos with discounts on select items? Come on folks -- get creative! There are many ideas to explore. Or you can just fade away like the others ...
  • Posted on: 06/08/2017

    What does At Home know that Amazon, Wayfair and other online furniture sellers do not?

    Furniture is a category where human senses -- touch, sight, and smell connected through a physical experience are preferred by shoppers. These experiences simply cannot exist online. Creating a physical environment where these senses and emotion can stimulate purchases is the future of physical retail. Meile's Inspirience Center is a great example of what these "stores" should become. The store supported by digital technologies that can amplify the physical journey and continue that dialog with the customer after the purchase is imperative.
  • Posted on: 06/08/2017

    What does it take for retailers to thrive amid shifting consumer preferences?

    Brands (and retailers) need to create, develop and maintain a 'customer for life' strategy. Meile- the European appliance giant - implemented this strategy years ago. Their philosophy was based on a simple case study- if and when a young couple purchased their first stackable washer/dryer for their apartment, it was Meile's responsibility (and fault!) if those two individuals ever purchased another washer/dryer brand for the rest of their lives. This strategy can only be implemented by understanding your shopper AND customer journey- before, during and after the purchase. Meaningful communication and quality customer service and experience is simply the ante to succeeding at this strategy- yet imperative to survive and thrive.
  • Posted on: 06/05/2017

    Does store operations have a seat at the digital transformation table?

    In order for physical stores to be relevant to digitally empowered shoppers, the entire operational status quo of the store must be re-engineered. Simply adding digital elements to the existing format doesn't work. The entire being of the store must be examined, questioned and transformed. Installing a digital sign, a tablet with an app or a mobile payment solution are all putting lipstick on the digital transformation pig -- these upgrades do not address the root problem. The entire operational and media workflow must be transformed. For example, retail is a consignment business! Get over it! Implementing new technologies and operational workflows can dramatically increase profits, reduce (and eliminate) out-of-stocks, provide a better shopping experience, enhance the retailer/vendor relationship and let vendors carry both risk and reward. This can be done today if operations are at the table with the merchants and vendor partners. Wake up retailers before it's too late!
  • Posted on: 06/05/2017

    Will virtual reality become the ultimate retail training tool?

    Anything that promotes learning, training and education is always a good thing. However, it will be a mistake to believe this will make sales associates better at interacting with real shoppers. What is needed is people and communication skills not virtual, situational role playing. Perhaps every employee should go to cotillion or etiquette training?
  • Posted on: 06/05/2017

    Are retailers selling their souls and giving away customers to Amazon?

    Alexa will become modern history's voice of Helen of Troy and Amazon's Echo (and similar devices) are today's Trojan Horse. Traditional retailers are selling their competition. These devices are like an invasive species and inviting them into your home and selling them through your store is expediting your further loss of privacy and the relevancy of your brick-and-mortar store. These sensors will suck up any bit of insight and data in your home and it is all being collected, curated and logged into a vast collection of servers around the planet. You will become a "person of interest" to every brand -- leveraging all this data to sell you more stuff.Retailers selling these devices and services are not thinking about their future. Unless they get access and intelligent use of all the data being collected they are helping expedite the success of the opposition.
  • Posted on: 06/02/2017

    Are smart speakers limited as a shopping tool?

    After reviewing the question and statistical results I was actually surprised at how high the usage percentages were. I would have guessed they would be significantly lower than 10 percent. While this technology will be commonplace in the future, it will require another generation of digital natives for Alexa, Echo and others to become welcomed and accepted family members. Not unlike in-store mobile apps where there may be many initial downloads and a single use for curiosity, "smart speakers" will take time for consumers to trust their presence in our homes. The trust extended to this technology will be directly influenced by what is done with all the data that is collected and analyzed. Will it be used to provide the shopper a personal, confidential experience or will it become and intrusion of our privacy and move the creepy needle even further?

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