PROFILE

Jerry Gelsomino

Principal, FutureBest

Jerry Gelsomino is the principal of FutureBest, an innovative, Marketing Consultation and Brand Coaching firm, offering services to companies and individuals. With over 34 years of retail concept development experience, Jerry can quickly grasp what motivates customers to action, and then interpret this understanding into tactics that modify current conditions to the shoppers’ benefit. FutureBest is dedicated to achieve the vision projected in media marketing for its partner companies. While other marketers spend their time with advertising and promotion, FutureBest is focused on how to use the built-environment and staff to market a consumer product manufacturer or retailer’s brand. “Too often the message used to entice the customer to go shopping isn’t delivered in the store, either by the employees or the surroundings,” observes Mr. Gelsomino, “so there is plenty of need for attention toward completing this connection.” Recently Jerry relocated to Hong Kong, envisioning the potential growth and expansion of retail in Asia. He believes the region offers a tremendous opportunity for him to contribute, as well as learn from a marketplace which will have a significant global impact on the future of the industry.

Jerry Gelsomino is respected for his attention for the end-user, and helping companies provide the very best experience to their customer. Proud of a career compiled through a rich retail design history, he is focused on using physical space and service activities as a marketing tool. His efforts help fulfill the promises made in brand promotion campaigns, by uncovering the basic decision journey of the consumer and ensuring key moments along that path are consistently delivered. As in most service environments, efficient communication between provider and recipient is a key element in achieving end-user satisfaction, and is important to his efforts. Additionally, he utilizes principles of corporate reputation management, and service design to complete a brand story.

His project experience is with a vast array of merchandise categories, and he has worked on various venues across the U.S. and around the world. Most recently he was an adjunct professor for several universities in Hong Kong.

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  • Posted on: 10/10/2017

    Is Ace on-brand with The Grommet acquisition?

    I think this is a brilliant idea. It will contribute to Ace's image as a networked group of independent operators who are nimble and looking to bring innovation to everyone.
  • Posted on: 10/09/2017

    Are retailers confusing customer service with the customer experience?

    I'm not sure if retailers confuse customer service with customer experience, but "Service Design" presents a missed opportunity for retailers to make it easier for customers to shop, whether they are a luxury retailer or a bargain shop. From the short excerpt, I cannot be sure if the authors fully explained Service Design. But as I am a fan of the discipline, I wanted to make sure.The best way to fully explain Service Design is to Google it. You'll fine the the term came out of the public services sector and was originally focused on the steps an enterprise made a patient, citizen or member go through to complete a social transaction. Driver's license bureaus, hospitals and utilities were the first to use it. Service Designers worked to simplify, eliminate or replace unnecessary or tedious steps for the users, and also the organization's staff.In retail, as customer experiences are created, designers should ask, "What is the job to be done?" (another must-read HBR article), and orchestrate the most direct path for the customer to accomplish their desired task. This includes everything from, "I don't know what I'm looking for, I just want to browse," to "I hate shopping, I just want to get what I need and go!" What steps would be added or subtracted through Service Design to speed the shopper through to their desired route, delighting them in the process.There is also an opportunity for innovation here. Think of IKEA from a Service Design perspective and how they changed the process of browsing, buying and placing furniture in a home. Their process led to the way they planned their stores, furniture design, staff interaction and even a unique vocabulary. The same can be said about Starbucks and the Apple store. What is the process of completing a transaction?; how do I simply it while reinforcing my brand? I just heard today that Walmart and Amazon are competing to simplify the merchandise returns process. That's Service Design too.I suggest retailers embrace design thinking and integrate Service Design to plan unique experiences that are focused on promoting brand culture, reputation definition and authentic customer engagement.
  • Posted on: 09/12/2017

    Nordstrom tries a no-merchandise store

    Maybe I'm not understanding this idea, but won't it make the shopping trip longer than just browsing, trying on, selecting, buying, then taking it home? Going back to the store to pick the item up isn't a convenience. This concept is best for someone with lots of time on their hands.
  • Posted on: 08/15/2017

    Will Timberland climb to greater heights behind new experiential concept?

    This a great idea, but lots of work. Its value might only for the buzz it causes, so only applicable to larger cities like New York, Chicago or LA.
  • Posted on: 07/21/2017

    Did Amazon just send Sears a life line with their Kenmore deal?

    Besides the obvious impact on the future design of Kenmore products, it's exciting to think about the injection of innovative thinking that will now be available to Sears. The merchandisers and retail-savvy crowd within Sears now have a new source of support.
  • Posted on: 07/20/2017

    Will facial recognition tech make for happier customers at Walmart?

    I'm not confident this will help. Most of the people working at Walmart are not very happy or customer-focused. They need to work on employee morale, then begin locating and treating customers who are unhappy.
  • Posted on: 07/19/2017

    Is Donald Trump the reason Latinos are spending less at retail?

    It is understandable that as a group, Latinos are cautious about their future. Considering the negative rhetoric coming out of the White House, why wouldn't they want to keep a low profile? Interestingly though, CBS News this morning reports that U.S. homes being bought by immigrants are up 50 percent from last year making 2017 a very strong housing market year.
  • Posted on: 07/17/2017

    Are $3.00 generics a sound grocery e-tailing model?

    I saw the founders interviewed on CBS This Morning. It was an interesting discussion. They may be best developed by concentrating on one category to start -- cleaning products, or breakfast food, or canned goods ... or kids' tastes, just to create a start-up hook and broaden the selection in a specific theme of goods.
  • Posted on: 06/21/2017

    How did mobile become the ‘glue’ in the Sephora shopping experience?

    I believe this is an example of a philosophy coined by Harvard Business Review, calling for companies to focus on knowing the end-users' "job to be done." All the technology, including mobile, is aimed at the shopper's desire to enhance their appearance, probably to look "naturally beautiful" without revealing to others others their secrets, and the process of service design has been made easy.
  • Posted on: 06/19/2017

    Did Amazon just patent tech that could end showrooming in its stores?

    I think that there is much more to come on this discussion. I hope the software is used to better understand customers so that they are better served.
  • Posted on: 05/24/2017

    Will Amazon’s use of data transform how retailers operate stores?

    Data as to what is popular and implementing "If you like" suggestions in physical stores is very smart. Don't forget a bargain book/cocktail table book section to simply catch browsers' eyes. It's my favorite bookstore section.
  • Posted on: 05/23/2017

    How should retailers balance personal versus impersonal experiences?

    It's accurate to define two types of shopper; those who want to do it themselves or self-service, and others who want an informed sales associate to work with. For stores that have engineered a self-service mentality, I strongly urge them to build "the illusion of service" into their strategy. By this illusion, I mean do all you can to communicate that your staff and service design is built around a superior knowledge about the product category you handle. Then, although the customer may never use your services, you have built a reputation of expertise. This works whether you are selling the tastiest sandwiches, or computers, or fashion apparel.
  • Posted on: 04/28/2017

    Will chatbots drive a ‘conversational commerce’ trend?

    I'm a technology immigrant so new devices and apps are always appearing to me as a surprise. I just learned about chatbots. They open a new era for shopping. I see them not only for expediting the transaction process, but more importantly helping to guide shoppers through the "too many options" dilemma. They can provide knowledge, make the individual smarter and help make decisions based on the users' historical choices. These are useful tools, not only for online or mobile transactions but also inside retail stores. What is needed is the knowledge of experience (merchants, designers, artisans, stylists, etc.) to be built into the bots' database. Great job opportunities for those experts should abound!
  • Posted on: 04/26/2017

    Can parking lots save the mall?

    Sure, why not use the parking lot to host events? It may not solve the basic mall problem, but in the short term it can build a unique community based on the unique location. BTW, what about the acoustics? Is this a constraint or opportunity?
  • Posted on: 03/31/2017

    An open letter to retailers from a Millennial: Fix your omnichannel!

    I've been following a new consumer-oriented design discipline which has emerged out of the social services delivery world: Service Design. Not thinking solely about such steps followed in an attempt to renew a drivers license or a visit the emergency room, Service Design can also apply to the process a shopper must go through to become a buyer. True omnichannel retailing means the process through which a transaction is completed would be the same or very similar across all channels, building a unique brand experience for that label. Open the silos!

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