Sears Generations

“Because no one else can outfit you for life.” Concept for Sears reinvention. Objective: Improve Sears retail experience, sales experience, and generational relevance.  Innovate on empty assets, with new values, promoting generational engagement. Discover your working brand promise and why statement; Enable you to identify and influence all key Sears Holdings brand promise stakeholders; Provide red team methods to find vulnerabilities and blue team methods to uncover successes; Create accessible, playful, and research-backed toolkit you will use to innovate & improve.

http://sears.simplicitist.com/ | View pdf of proposal.

 

SEARS…

ONLINE & IN-STORE SHOPPING: APPLIANCES, CLOTHING & MORE?

(Nope, someone else is already doing a better job at that.)

WHY?

SEARS IS THE ONLY COMPANY THAT CAN DO THIS

Sears is the only all-American retail brand that people trust, remember and count on for generations.  From the first mail order catalog to the first fully automated distribution center in the world, Sears is founded on innovation


From the WishBook to the Sears Appliance stores,
Sears has continually predicted consumer desire
With curated and high-quality brands like Kenmore and Craftsman,
Sears repeatedly leads whole industries

SEARS CAN PROPOSE WHAT COMES NEXT…AND BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY

HOW?

WHO?

We identify three categories of SEARS stakeholder. Customer, Employee, and Supplier. We designate all parties as co-creators below.

HOW WILL YOU KNOW WHO THE INFLUENCERS ARE?

Internally: Discover who meet three criteria. 1. They believe in Sears. 2. They are eager to make a positive change. 3. They are charismatic and can recruit others. Use an anonymous company-wide referral survey.

Externally: Find the most vociferous online advocates and launch a “Generations” product review service. These advocates receive free demonstrations and products for use and online review.

Externally: Identify those suppliers whose products generate the top 20% most sales.

HOW WILL YOU ENGAGE THEM?

Share your passion, help them learn, and let them be more autonomous in their decisions.


CREATOR EXPERIENCE NEAR TERM

The new SEARS guest Creator (customer) values history, autonomy, and making. They expect a seamless online/offline experience. They discover new experiences through social networks and expect to have a curated interaction with the brands they grow relationships with.

HOW CAN I HELP YOU?

At every level of the SEARS experience, the first words from anyone’s lips should be, “How can I help you?” Sears was founded to help farmers get high-quality goods, easily, and at reasonable prices. Today’s SEARS customer feels they are not being helped or cared for. The only way to foster this caring is to start with the staff. And not just the line staff, all staff. The new internal motto for SEARS should be, “How can I help?” It may be in how you answer the phone, your email signature, or how you start meetings. It may also be adopted by your online support and retail staff. Sears is now in the business of facilitating experiences.

SEARS GENERATIONS GALLERY

SEARS has a long and largely ignored history that make it one of the only businesses to have endured generations of service. In each and every SEARS store, this history should be celebrated with mini-galleries. These galleries, near the entrance, will entice millennials and their influencers. As you can see from the research, millennials crave authenticity. They also see themselves as makers. If they can identify with the maker culture inside sears, they will become your loyal collaborators.

STORES KNOW CREATORS BEST

The SEARS staff Creator values mastery and purpose. They expect to spend their time doing something that will enable learning and growth while helping others. To facilitate this, SEARS must allow store managers to make as many decisions as possible about what to order and how to place it within the store. All stores should be immediately resized to accommodate only the best display. False walls and moving store fixtures can create a team creator inspired shopping experience for the guests. Only those merchandise that are in the best condition should be displayed. We saw one image of a store that had so many refrigerators, they were angled to fit into the space provided. The local staff creator should have the autonomy to display only in the best most accessible way. Additional competitor analysis suggests this trend is already underway at other retailers.

We saw evidence of this attitude in several store staff. View in appendix

“I really love playing with all the appliances. People love to see how they work.” ~Adam in Cambridge


ELEMENTS TOOLKIT NEARTERM

ONLY THE BEST, LIQUIDATE THE REST

In order to quickly reach your target customer, you need to immediately stock only the best quality items and liquidate the rest. Stocking the best should be easy, given the kind and variety of products already in stores and warehouses. You can liquidate the rest by giving employees and their families demonstration products, by holding in-store raffles and contests, and by donating (more on this in Passion Engine). Imagine a neatly stocked store where every item that is touched has the feel of durability and quality.

TOUGHSKIN DIEHARD CRAFTSMAN

Sears has lost touch with its family of innovators and designers. You should immediately team up with American designers and Makers to create new product offerings. Using the Galleries as a launch point, you should be able to hold innovation contests and other community-based activities that re-affirm your brand as a knowledgeable and helping partner in the business of helping people realize their concepts. Imagine getting the idea for a new kind of drill from a nineteen-year-old customer who happened by the store for an Innovation Saturday.

CREATIVE BUNDLES SELL EXPERIENCE

In the first step toward the transition away from selling a product to a CUSTOMER and transition toward facilitating an experience with a CREATOR, Sears should allow its store staff to offer creative bundles of goods and services. Your line staff knows the customer better. They can create and package innovative product bundles. Imagine walking into the housewares department and seeing a fully outfitted kitchen and bar, complete with party favors and the guest’s wardrobe. Or imagine an “Off to College” package containing a complete kit for what a young person will need for their dorm.


PASSION ENGINE NEARTERM

The new SEARS customer craves to interact with people and business that have a stake or a stand. Going solar, going around the world, going for broke? It doesn’t matter. In the mind and the pocketbook of the Millennial, your brand needs to take a stance.

SEARS IS EXPERIENCE

You’ve already got it, you just need to flaunt it. Imagine “Sears was there when.” advertising series. This brand equity is currently going to waste attempting to beat competitors on price and availability. If you can tell your history, you will gain credibility with your target audience.

AMERICAN INNOVATION RENEWED

Sears announces that all closed retail stores will now become solar power generation stations. This is a bold statement that will bring SEARS back to relevancy. It will also rejuvenate the new suburban squalor endemic to America. Imagine a row of Teslas and Volts parked at Searsdrawing totally green power from the building.

STAND FOR SOMETHING OR STEP ASIDE

Sears staff and leadership need to isolate and get behind two or three huge initiatives. You need to leverage your partnerships with suppliers and complementors to build on these initiatives. Individuals need organizations to take a stand, because no one can do it alone.

View http://sears.simplicitist.com for the midterm and long term objectives.


LENSES

BELOW ARE RED LENS AND BLUE LENS FILTERS YOU CAN USE TO EVALUATE EXISTING HABITS OR NEW IDEAS. IF THE BALANCE OF BLUE LENS QUESTIONS IS GREATER THAN THAT OF THE RED LENS THEN THIS ACTIVITY SHOULD BE EXPLORED. IF THE RED LENS IS GREATER, THE ACTIVITY SHOULD BE CHANGED OR DISCARDED. More lenses can be added based on co-developed SEARS values

Read more on the personas here http://sears.simplicitist.com