Scaling Retail on the Go: Miami

Will you be joining us in Coral Gables for session two?

I was just in Miami for the first of a 3-part series of breakout sessions: “How to Strategize for the Holidays”. It was a short but fulfilling trip!

Instagrammable Coral Gables

Day 1: Customer Interviews

These first two days were about understanding your customer through design thinking. Namely, how do you know the right questions to ask in order to understand who your customer really is. I offered the following solutions…

  • Objective Customer Interviews (how to interview potential customers and how to interview visitors who didn’t end up buying from your store)
  • Interviewing Existing Customers (getting out from behind those computers to talk to real people in real life)

Then I dived into analytics. We typically rely on analytics and data far too much. They just aren’t as impactful without having a human response and experience to weigh them and compare. To truly understand your customer, you need to know a lot more than household information and data. When you really know your customer, it’s a lot more dynamic and emotional.

When you understand your customer, you create the right products and build the right brand. The more you know them qualitatively and quantitatively, the more you’ll succeed.

I met with 7 local business owners in the afternoon. I applaud them for being vulnerable and taking the risk to share what’s happening with their businesses. We took the morning session’s information and dove into application. People tend to walk away from workshops and lectures inspired but not ready for action. Our attendees took action and left extremely inspired.

“It’s weird how many people think that data is somehow neutral and make decisions based on it. Data reflects the agenda of the person sharing it with you, it’s edited, manipulated, reformatted, omitted, in whatever way is required. It’s anything other than unbiased.” – Tom Goodwin, EVP, Head of Innovation at Zenith

Day 2: Social Media & Retail Planning

I started my morning with the City of Coral Gables’ PR and social team before visiting some local stores. We did their social media rebrand, so it was awesome to see how they’re applying the new branding.

Then it was off to meet with the retail steering committee. Remember them from my last trip to Miami? They’re a team of lead architects, BID, the local Chamber of Commerce and the City Manager. I shared new trends in tenant mix and experiential store design- and other retail and brick-and-mortar trends. Then I dived into strategic ways to make them happen.

I attended the store opening for an Italian designer from Venezuela. We talked about the red carpet event and how to activate a community in a higher end, luxury way.

Giovanni Scutaro

It’s amazing to watch the evolution of Coral Gables. Things are shifting quickly with new concepts in retail, new restaurants and renewed energy. Everything feels so alive- even walking around on a weekday night. But one of the biggest indicators of Coral Gables’ future success is the effort the city is making to ensure it continues to grow and thrive.

See you Sept. 26-27 for session two of our Coral Gables series? I’ll share how you can synthesize your research to build your brand story and communications strategy. Apply to participate by emailing fvaldes@coralgables.com. For session three, you’ll learn how to deploy your communications strategy. You’ll know your customer, your strategy and how to deploy it by the end of the series.