Lyle Bunn (Ph.D. Hon)

Strategy Architect – Digital Place-based Media
Lyle Bunn (Ph.D. Hon.) is the longest-serving independent analyst, advisor and educator in North America’s digital signage and place-based media industry. In addition to these roles, he is Chair of Digital Customer Experience, a program aimed at accelerating the success of retail, food services, banking, hospitality and other B2C locations. Over the past 15 years of his 40-year career in information technologies and telecommunications, Lyle has assisted over 350 firms in their planning, execution and optimization of location-based digital media and has helped to train over 15,000 professionals.

Lyle has received 6 major industry recognitions including an Honorary Doctorate for his contributions to end user and industry education. He has been named as one of the "11 Most Influential People" in place-based media by Digital Signage Today and one of the "50 Industry Innovators and Influencers" by Sign & Digital Graphics Magazine. Lyle Bunn is nominated for the ELEVATE Award Customer Experience Influencer of the Year.

He has published over 400 articles, whitepapers and guidebooks on related subjects and has served as editor and principal writer of Dynamic Media supplements in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and The National Post. He serves on the advisory boards of the industry’s primary events and on the judging panel of several digital signage awards programs.

Learn more at:

Lyle's website:

Dynamic Digital Signage blog

Center for Digital Experience
  • Posted on: 10/09/2017

    Are retailers confusing customer service with the customer experience?

    The two are not synonymous but concomitant (each impacting the other). Customer experience can be built in or "bolted on" and is tactical while customer service is more attitude-driven and operational. CS is easier to score than customer experience, but scoring is based on consumer mood and expectations. CX scoring tends to reflect a comparison to alternatives. The notion of being easy to do business with reflects the table stakes of being in the retail sector, where the critical success factor in CX and CS is now "are you worthy of the time?"
  • Posted on: 09/06/2017

    Do independent retailers need a marketing plan?

    Knowing who your customer is offers answers to key related questions such as what they need and want, what motivates them and how this group can be expanded. These answers point to supply and services approaches as well as communications plans and campaigns. The life-blood of the independent grocer is their presence in the community, so marketing elements that support community health and growth will have a high return on investment.
  • Posted on: 09/05/2017

    Five pain points grocers must address to survive in an Amazon/Whole Foods world

    Grocery retail as the last mile of distribution for manufactured food is at risk of a better informed public. The strength of online food retail lies in its making product and useful information readily available. This allows e-tailers to activity assess the level of consumer interest in this and to shift their advertising model to native advertising, which offers the look of unbiased information in a promotional envelope. Physical retailers have to tell their story, sell their story and engage customers in it.
  • Posted on: 09/01/2017

    Does Amazon Books need coffee?

    Coffee says "relax and open your mind just a little further," and so indeed it belongs in bookstores, as well as other shopping locations. Grocery, apparel and sporting goods can benefit in the way that auto dealers, financial services and many others add to the on-location experience. If coffee can inspire and extend a visit, it takes almost no thought. If the space for coffee service can add more in profit than merchandise, even without attribution to product sales, then coffee and refreshment it is.
  • Posted on: 09/01/2017

    Does e-commerce need 3-D shopping?

    Let's understand how important the quality of the virtual reality images and experience are to the appeal and value of this medium. VR at the commercial grade for training, design, consumer insights and analytics has been advancing rapidly. The webinar on the status and directions of VR recorded by the Center for Digital Experience describes the business proposition that underpins investment in the medium. VR will become an important manifestation of online commerce, product information and training.
  • Posted on: 08/31/2017

    Are fashion trends moving too fast for retail?

    Time as a value unit is redefining society in every way. This asset has worth and is increasingly the element on which investment is made. So as consumers place higher value on time, the retailers' use of it will make engaging with them and their processes more costly in the eyes of consumers. Physical retail has to provide value and return on time, supply chains must be more responsive to demands and the digital experience can add value from discovery to purchase to produce use.
  • Posted on: 08/31/2017

    Is outsourcing a better option for in-home tech help?

    Outsourcing and managing the process is the only way that does make sense. These skills have been well developed for corporate support of technologies and there are many examples of their use. Ongoing skill upgrades, knowledge of how to access additional information and even certification requirements, as in the case of security system installation in some states, will continue to grow. Meanwhile the collaborations among installers that enable better service reach are continuously improving. Contracting out such services is one of things that Sears did right, and which other retailers from lumber to electronics are picking up on.
  • Posted on: 08/30/2017

    Is there a ‘right way’ for retailers to help in times of disaster?

    Disaster victims and their families need goods and information. Most companies take immediate advantage of on-site presence. Insurance companies for example, which tend to be some of the first on site, seek to make fast settlements. But they are missing the opportunity to provide information. Several years ago it was contemplated that large pop-up LED signs could provide visual information at central sites in order to provide information and instruction. These can be as valuable as blankets, food and water.
  • Posted on: 08/29/2017

    Is thrifting going mainstream?

    Thrift stores are to retail as church bingo is to casinos. Discovery is the name of the game in these heavily browsed environments that give little pain to the pocketbook. Another analogy is to the self-brew wine outlet. Thrift stores, self-brew and many other such examples develop the appreciation for greater quality, which brands fulfill. In using thrift as a shopper transition strategy, large chains would indeed benefit. Thrift also serves as an excellent "farm league" to develop customer-facing human resource talent.
  • Posted on: 08/23/2017

    Do retailers need to buy the loyalty of consumers?

    The way this trillion-dollar question is posed is important to its being answered. My contributions to the answer are: a.) Price adjustment is the easily doable approach to being comparable. But the only benefit is to be a contestant in the race to the bottom. b.) Life is not a Price is Right game show for most people where purchase at only the lowest price happens. People buy based on the perception of value. c.) Value goes beyond product and price to include convenience and fun of sourcing, product information and confidence in the provider.I appreciate that entire business strategies are based on the answer to this question, but well-executed tactics always carry the day. The design of the customer experience and the fulfillment of its possibility win every time.
  • Posted on: 08/21/2017

    Why are Target’s small stores much more productive than its big boxes?

    Branding is a constant marketing challenge and retailers that "target" (no pun intended) their identity within an overall brand identity are a credit to this primary business function. Pop-up, store-within-store and small footprint locations all deliver their own value proposition as the brand and retailer tells their story, sells their story and involves consumers in it. As in all omnichannel retail, every presence should drive engagement in other aspects of the business. Physical or online, big or small, let's shop them all! That is the promise of vitality in retail.
  • Posted on: 08/16/2017

    What bad habits do retail solution providers need to break?

    To a hammer everything is a nail and this, along with the enthusiasm for solving problems, can too often place the cart before the horse for the passionate solution provider. By clearly understanding the nature of the problem and understanding the priority in resolving it, the solution provider is able to talk in the language of value, return on time and money or overall economic impact which matters most and exclusively to retailers and brands.The need to mitigate risk at both the enterprise and professional levels are too seldom realized as the top priority, and so appreciating their contributions to change management must be foremost in the establishment of the relationship that solution providers seek.
  • Posted on: 08/15/2017

    Will Timberland climb to greater heights behind new experiential concept?

    The excitement about Timberland's store and experience design will soon give way to the optimization that will happen from the analytics that result. I hope they suitably resource this.
  • Posted on: 08/14/2017

    Does the internet know us better than we know ourselves?

    The absolutes of our behavior, even when seen in the smallest of rear view mirrors, are a truth in trending. Marketers do well to expect the expected. But marketing is not about about filling needs, it is also about helping consumers to create the new reality of their better world. Marketing is influencing and accurate behavioral data is a primary input.
  • Posted on: 08/10/2017

    Should Walmart buy Birchbox?

    The real question seems to be one of make or buy. Can the acquisition of Birchbox customers be replicated at acceptable cost? Can the targeting and analytics models be created and improved upon? Can seller relationships be set up to achieve critical mass and be relevant quickly and can fulfillment processes be put in place? It is a make or buy question, and I suspect that Birchbox will get a minimal return upon exit, with some central people and players being provided an acceptable deal to continue to build the capability and not compete.

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