Early this spring, CYBEX introduced a new category to appeal to trend-setting parents ranging from professional athletes to fitness and health enthusiasts, and chose PIONEERS to plan and execute the retail campaign. CYBEX is a leader in child safety and is perceived as an innovative lifestyle and fashion brand. With a unique and human-centric approach, CYBEX designs products for parents while pushing the boundaries that often separate safety, design, and function.
Winning a client from a new sector has been a significant achievement for us and we are happy to call ourselves one of the first agencies CYBEX has ever worked with for European retail. Taking charge of this extensive market entry, we produced, delivered and installed over 200 POS solutions in various seizes and shapes - freestanding wall elements, island units, store windows installations - and managed over 60 installation teams throughout Europe.
Since this wasn’t a regular retail campaign, we wrote down a couple of things we learned along the way.
Use an open feedback policy.
As retail consultants, it is critical to get to know the client first, its competitors, and the industry it’s operating in. We usually take the time to learn as much as possible about how we can help the client. The way they want to appear at retail can depend on the products they wish to present, their mission, the tone of voice, and even the color palette we have to use in our communication. Research teaches us about the client and so much more - from design and consumer trends to the vocabulary we use and the materials we employ in manufacturing.
Throughout the campaign, we maintained an "open feedback & communication" policy. We learned that with a new client - and CYBEX was no exception - the best way to establish trust is to keep close, ask questions, get regular updates, and ask for guidance when needed.
Learn by doing.
Despite all the research we do, we must acknowledge that we will still not be experts by the time we start the execution. And that’s fine! Learning builds upon itself, and with every project, we become more knowledgeable and adaptable.
CYBEX's retail campaign was our first work in the juvenile market and the largest campaign during the pandemic. We had to organize unexpected safety measures for our staff depending on local restrictions while still delivering high-quality installations. And we did face many challenges; from quarantine time for our drivers to installation delays due to health issues and unforeseen changes of store opening hours or regulations.
Although we routinely execute retail campaigns for different brands, there are many things that can still surprise us. We usually enjoy having to face new situations because it's exactly how we learn to do better work.
Grow and diversify the team.
A few weeks into the project, we realised that we needed more resources: a bigger team and a more comprehensive range of skills to grant the quality of the execution. This was a complex retail launch that involved a huge network of stakeholders from different countries, each of them operating within their own set of standards. We also faced an extensive manufacturing of massive POS tools that, despite their complexity, had to be implemented easily and rapidly. We also needed very detailed production planning and a thorough tracking of intersecting timelines.
Thus, we decided to bring two more project managers to the team, started organising daily updates with our Production team for more agility and split the work thinking: efficiency and best use of skills. The decision ensured good management of the project and surfaced hidden gems in our team - highly adaptable people who could deal with uncertainty while still communicating clearly and accurately with the stakeholders.
Master the fundamentals and trust your expertise
Looking back, we recognize that retail campaigns roughly follow the same mechanisms in planning and implementation, and have a similar, fundamental goal: make it easy for the people to understand the value of the product and make buying frictionless.
"Working for a different industry can seem overwhelming in the beginning. We had done hundreds of retail campaigns, just not in the baby sector. Sitting down with the team, evaluating the capabilities, and making a thorough plan definitely helps; Drafting a strategy for unforeseen situations helps as well. In the end, all our skills and know-how are transferable, and I believe we managed to make this transfer fast and successfully. Feedback was great and we're excited to continue working with CYBEX!"
Clarissa Scheiner, Director
Write down your lessons.
We always celebrate our projects with a round of applause and a round of feedback. At the end of the campaign, we sat the whole team down and had one final talk; we discussed our challenges openly, acknowledged our limitations, and honored our achievements as a team and as individuals. We also wrote a thorough documentation of the campaign where we described our learnings and our adjusted processes that will grant more creative and efficient ways of catering to our clients.