Got The Fitch

FITCH is a global retail and brand consultancy, with the aim to transform consumer experience and the customer journey, and by doing so accelerating the business success of their clients. FITCH design the future with an integrated offer of strategy, design and implementation, delivering across all mediums and touch points.

FITCH were founded in 1972 by Rodney Fitch, who is no longer a part of the business but is still a close friend. FITCH kept the name, which is synonymous with retail design and experience. FITCH pride themselves on bold thinking. It shapes what they do and who they work with. We now live and work in a social age. Ideas, opinions, dissent, collective thinking and shared content fly around the world at the speed of light. To innovate, to progress, to excite and to grab and hold attention, we need to be bold. The difference between boldness and recklessness is understanding, with boldness only working when it is based on authentic insights.

From that solid platform FITCH can be confident in challenging convention and avoiding predictable solutions. Today, brands express themselves in many different but interconnected ways and their values must be constant and consistent. Similarly, the retail experience extends far beyond the bricks and mortar of the store environment. It can be personal or universal, bespoke or generic, online or offline. FITCH’s remit is to create, enhance, communicate and connect seamless brands to people. To summise, the consumer is always at the heart of everything FITCH do. Everything they do is a product of bold thinking: the confidence to challenge convention. It’s an ability to read, write and speak the language of both brands and consumers.

Experience Signatures

FITCH create unique experience signatures for retailers and brands which, in essence, means you can walk into an M&S shop and without any signs know that you’re in M&S. FITCH create experience signatures by combining the physical, human and digital aspects of a space. Looking to the future, FITCH’s dedication to creating enhancing, immersive and interactive retail experiences will continue. The search for the elusive seamless retail offer should begin with an understanding of the Physical, Human and Digital (PHD) dynamics of each and every shopping experience. FITCH believe that retailers and brands will need to look beyond ‘just digital’ in order to create a ‘unique experience signature’ to build competitive advantage. Technology has changed the way we shop forever. People have more power to shop on their own terms, thrusting radical change and opportunities upon traditional retailers and making way for whole new kinds of retailers to enter the fray.

FITCH sees a worrying imbalance taking place at traditional retailers. They call it the “just add water” approach to bringing technology in store. It’s typified by placing a tablet-based catalogue next to a rack of products on display. These digital devices remain largely ignored in store and aren’t used for their intended purpose of promoting the long tail of products from that retailer. A more holistic approach is required to reach consumers whether they’re in a store, at home or on the move. FITCH have distilled the essential building blocks of any shopping experience into the following elements:

Physical. A structure that can be visited, be it a traditional shop, a pop-up store or something more nomadic.
Human. The dynamic interaction that only real people can provide, whether it is face-to-face, over the phone or through digital tools like instant messaging. Include interactions between retail employees and customers, but also between customers and any other peer involved in the decision-making or support process.
Digital. Technology tools to help shopping including broadcast, interactive and personal devices.

The combinations of the PHD elements create a unique “experience signature” that differentiates and produces competitive advantages for retail brands. Walmart and John Lewis both began life as single channel brands. Both have become multichannel brands. One day, both will create seamless experiences for their customers. But the difference in the way these retailers display their PHD elements will continue to define how they are perceived by people, what kind of purchases will be made and the level of involvement customers are willing to commit to their brands.

Many thanks to @FITCHdesign for providing content for this blog