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Theodor Valentin PURCĂREA Editorial: Uberization, fleeting innovation, and the reality of the pleasure purchase
Victor GREU The Information Society Towards the Knowledge Based Society Driven by the Information and Communications Technologies - From the Internet of Things to the Internet of … Trees (Part 1)
Theodor PURCĂREA Expo Milano 2015, TUTTOFOOD 2015, and SHOP 2015. Respecting the Past and Welcoming the Future
George Cosmin TĂNASE Advertising Campaign: Building Creative Ideas
Léon F. WEGNEZ (by courtesy of ) Distribution and Society, “Distribution d’aujourd’hui,” 55ème Année
Theodor PURCĂREA European Retail Academy (ERA) at its 10th Anniversary
The responsibility for the contents of the scientific and the authenticity of the published materials and opinions expressed rests with the author.
EDITORIAL: Theodor VALENTIN PURCAREA
Uberization, fleeting innovation, and the reality of the pleasure purchase According to “Uber” Company (headquartered in San Francisco, California; offered services: Taxi, vehicles for hire; Uber’s mobile app for iPhones and Android phones launched in 2010), “Choice is a beautiful thing”, so “Get a ride that matches your style and budget”. (uber.com) Uber was founded in March 2009 as “UberCab” by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp and expanded internationally in 2012, being today a world well-known brand for its service available in 55 countries (more than 200 cities worldwide). Already in 2013, Google Ventures invested $258 million (David Drummond, Google Chief Legal Officer, being on Uber’s board of directors), and in December 2014 The Wall Street Journal reported that Uber has raised US$1.2 billion from a number of investors. (en.wikipedia.org) In Brian M. Carney ‘s opinion (opinion expressed in Forbes in October 2014), a Senior Vice President at Rivada Networks (a US-based communications technology business with offices in the US and Ireland; a leading designer, integrator and operator of wireless, interoperable public safety communications networks): “Some see a world coming in which everything, or at least a lot of things, are surge-priced Uberized ” (by combining smart-phone connectivity with voluminous real-time data on supply and demand, thanks to the wide availability of wireless broadband). Carney raised the question if the wireless industry is next. He also let us know that Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC, an independent agency of the United States government), has embraced “Uberization” as a beneficial economic force (in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, Wheeler noted that some 50 billion machines may be connected to the Internet by 2020). (Carney, 2014) In January 2015, the founder of PeoplePerHour.com (a marketplace connecting businesses with freelancers in creative services), and SuperTasker.com (a new generation crowd solution for getting small design tasks done in minutes en-masse) argued (Thrasyvoulou, 2015) that we are entering the third generation of marketplaces (1st: liquidity; 2nd: explosion of inventory amounts), companies like Uber (its success has inspired the term “uberization”) and Lyft (“Driving You Happy”/ “Request a ride in the Lyft app… Track your driver’s ETA in the app. You’ll see their photo so you know who you’re riding with… When the ride ends, just pay with your phone. Done!” - lyft.com) making the search process incredibly simple and removing the discovery process, by delivering a more end-to-end (E2E) user experience ( which remove friction in the experience at both ends, supply and demand). Thrasyvoulou reminded us of the words of David Glance of The Conversation (theconversation.com): << The concept of “uberization” has taken the general meaning of disrupting any industry through the use of technology to circumvent unnecessary bureaucracy and legislation >>. But with only six days before Thrasyvoulou, Marion Maneker, (Maneker, 2015) known for valuing critical thinking, let us know (thanks to mobile reading experience provided by Quartz, a digitally native news outlet for the new global economy - atlanticmedia.com) that he read (perhaps sitting in the back of a taxi cab) a tweet from Nassim Nicholas Taleb (author of the remarkable books “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable”, 2007 and “Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder”, 2010) that said: << To “Uberize”, remove the middleman, theme of the times. >> Maneker also added that these words brought to his mind what Andy Kessler (another friend, once a fund manager in Silicon Valley) once wrote: “Uber is more of an interface to the real world. It is clever code and yes, a middleman between riders and drivers, where dispatchers used to sit.” And developing the idea Kessler reminded to Maneker that all innovation is fleeting, getting harder as others add new features (carpools, etc.). This last underlined aspect of “fleeting innovation” brought to our mind some considerations made by Ann Handley (marketingprofs.com) in connection with Sir Ken Robinson’s delivery on the occasion of his 90-minute video talk and Q&A at MarketingProfs on the nature of innovation in organizations, at the beginning of February this year. In the opinion of Sir Ken Robinson, the foundation for innovation (that is critical, being a kind of multi-layered and multi-modal conversation) consists of imagination (representing the spark that fuels innovation, providing the freedom to consider alternative views) and creativity (which is about applying imagination to existing systems), innovation coming from the application of the creativity in an organizational context. Sir Ken Robinson pointed out that innovation is not optional, it has to become a habit. The organization must adapt, for instance, to the digital culture, avoiding failure. As we will see further on in the pages of our magazine, we are in the “converged lifestyle”, a new phase of convergence (consumers being enabled by technology) which is pushed by connectivity. Within this context in which the digitization of our lifestyles is becoming the norm and virtualization is disrupting
power relationships between companies, customers, and employees, convergence will necessitate new levels and forms of collaboration, and will drive the greatest innovations. “The Retail Issue” remains a key strategic challenge, digital disruption becoming a constant for retailer marketers, and personalization, convenience and mobile experiences representing true pillars of the modern commerce. There is no doubt that retailers need to start thinking about delivering content fast and seamlessly across all distribution channels, in order to reach “the 21st Century Retail Customer”, which is expecting a consistent experience whether he interacts with a brand in-store, online or via mobile. In the same time we must not forget the opinion expressed recently by Professor Léon F. Wegnez in the prestigious “Distribution d’aujourd’hui”, namely: “Whatever the evolution of the modern distribution, whatever the concepts of shops that engender, the achievement of purchases will keep this ludic character it carries within it, inherently, whether perceived or not by the buyers seeking time and that kind of satisfaction always bringing the acquisition of what is desired. The pleasure purchase, in varying degrees, remained a reality, and this is a distribution task to make it possible and to concretize it.” We also agree with the opinions expressed recently by Nitin Nohria, Dean of Harvard Business School, (Barton and Wiseman, 2015) that one of the great challenges of modern management is represented by “the tension between long-term intention and short-term action”, and “we also should be worried about the new digital environment we have created for ourselves”, being necessary to avoid to become “so reliant on a technology that ends up hampering our thinking and foreclosing our opportunities to excel”.
Theodor Valentin Purcărea Editor - in – Chief
References https://www.uber.com/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uber_(company) Carney, B.M. – Let’s Uberize The Entire Economy, Forbes, 10/27/2014, available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2014/10/27/letsuberize-the-entire-economy/print/ Thrasyvoulou, X. - Three Examples of Uberization Done Right, MarketingProfs, January 20, 2015, available at: http://www.marketingprofs.com/ opinions/2015/26858/three-examples-of-uberization-done-right#ixzz3PNo2OwdR https://www.lyft.com/ http://theconversation.com/ Maneker, M. - The “Uberization” of the economy is really about building a better trap for ideas, Quartz, January 14, 2015, available at: http:// qz.com/326569/the-uberization-of-the-economy-is-really-about-building-a-better-trap-for-ideas/ http://www.atlanticmedia.com/brands/quartz/ Handley, A. - Innovation Is Vital for Your Organization’s Survival: 10 Must-Learn Lessons From Sir Ken Robinson, MarketingProfs, February 3, 2015, available at: http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2015/26976/innovation-is-vital-for-your-organizations-survival-10-must-learnlessons-from-sir-ken-robinson#ixzz3QhDyDYUT Barton, D. and Wiseman, M. - Perspectives on the long term, Book Excerpt, McKinsey Quarterly, March 2015, available at: http://www.mckinsey.com/Insights/Leading_in_the_21st_century/Perspectives_on_the_long_term?cid=other-eml-alt-mkq-mck-oth-1503
The Information Society Towards the Knowledge Based Society Driven by the Information and Communications Technologies -From the Internet of Things to the Internet of â€ŚTrees (Part 1)-
PROF. ENG. PH.D. VICTOR GREU
Abstract The paper approaches an emergent field of the information and communications technologies (ICT), the Internet of things (IoT). ICT development optimization, as the driving force of the information society (IS) toward knowledge based society (KBS), due to IoT expansion consequences, is analyzed. The paper analyses are focused on the emergence and challenges of the Internet of Things. Consequently, IoT is associated with the Internet World, in fact our today World, where everything is going to be connected with everything, by the information flood , IoT being a combination of practically infinite informational (usually wireless) links and things (from books to cars, from electrical appliances to food). This paper estimation is confirmed and detailed through further definitions and analyses, based on references as EU and ITU reports, as a natural approach of the emergence and challenges of the Internet of Things. Paper analyses also presents the implications of the ever-changing issues of IS/KBS, which have to be analyzed, but more exactly continuously re-considered, on an updated/ regularly basis and with adequate instruments, criteria and resources. This way the paper shows that , the real complications, a â€žchallengeâ€? for the necessary new models and algorithms, come in the complex phases of processing data to extract information and then analyze information to refine knowledge finally used to take ... decisions at ... Earth scale! Starting from a Harvard University pilot project of tracking the global warming consequences on university green (trees) ecosystem by a local area network of sensors, the paper proposes to further analyze what should we must do in order to extend and generalize the pilot objectives to IS/KBS at Earth scale, but more than this, to identify which would be the equivalent of trees, then forest and then ... Internet! The paper main conclusion is that the solution of the above challenges could be given by considering the fundamental issues of refining knowledge, i.e. to dynamically analyze (on a check and act basis) all the data, in the data deluge of ICT/IoT, but such an approach will not efficiently work, because too much data will block our control systems of decisions, unless adequate criteria for systemic analyze and knowledge refining will be identified. Keywords: Internet of things, communications and information technology, information society, knowledge based society, radio frequency identification, smart city. JEL Classification: L63; L86; M15; O13; O33
An introduction to the Emergence and Challenges of the Internet of Things The information and communications technologies (ICT) development optimization is the driving force of the information society (IS) way toward knowledge based society (KBS) , as the most complex process of humankind evolution on Earth. Perhaps any actual approach of the information and communications technologies is inherently not only incomplete but especially an act of courage or volunteer jump in ... the “Ocean” of ever-changing things! Although we assume the risk of relativity, it must be added that the above picture would be really incomplete without including the living things! Here the humankind is first considered, but far of being the only, as we will later observe (among trees, butterflies and so on). The image of that Ocean could be, in a way, associated with the Internet World, in fact our today World, where everything is going to be connected with everything, by the information flood. Now we have just arrived very close to the Internet of Things (IoT), but before approaching a kind of definition of the IoT, we must observe, from the beginning, the huge dimension and complexity of the IoT context (that Ocean), given especially by the practically infinite informational links and things. As we already presented , one of the less obvious aspects of ICT impact on IS/KBS, but with enormous importance, is generated, in addition to ICT products and services, by the transformation processes induced in our everyday life, here including education, refining knowledge and creative potential of humankind. In order to be fair, we have considered here only the positive transformations, as the negative aspects , like global warming or Earth resources fading, would be later approached. These “soft” sophisticated processes are generating the most difficult to define and control informational links we have above mentioned, as complex premises of ICT development optimization the driving force of the evolution of IS toward KBS. One of the most relevant approaches of IoT/ICT context and definitions is presented in the frame of the European Union (EU) by a milestone document : „The growth of the Internet is an ongoing process: only twenty-five years ago it was
connecting about a thousand hosts and has grown ever since to link billions people through computers and mobile devices. One major next step in this development is to progressively evolve from a network of interconnected computers to a network of interconnected objects, from books to cars, from electrical appliances to food, and thus create an ‘Internet of things’ (IoT)” As we have above mentioned, IoT is a complex concept expressing a growing and huge reality: our connected World. Starting with the EU document , our personal estimation will be confirmed and detailed through further definitions and analyses, as a natural approach of the emergence and challenges of the Internet of Things. More than this, we have to mention here that our paper approach is assumed from the begining to be only an introduction (to be further continued), as we have just remarked the huge context and complexity of the issue (IoT). Analyzing the above EU document, in order to evaluate the dimension of IoT „phenomenon”, we must observe the astonishing expression which (partially) presents the domains which could be covered by IoT: from books to cars, from electrical appliances to food. Far from starting a detailed (text) analysis or exhaustive references presentation, we consider very relevant to add here that one of the industrial applications of IoT for food includes the tracking of food processing, in order to control the time, identity, quality or other information/parameter which could be associated to food in a diversity of process phases. To be more concrete we recall that one of the first applications of barcode system was (and still is) referring to the food products, among other. On the other hand, we have to mention that the main reason we considered  as most relevant exceeds the government/political implications of Commission of the European Communities, but is given by the fact that, for the (new) term of IoT, , considering IoT the umbrella for a new paradigm, is referring to the most prestigious international organization in the field: ITU. This way, the concept of IoT is presented by the ITU 2005 Report (Internet of Things)  as: „Today, developments are rapidly under way to take this phenomenon an important step further, by embedding short-range mobile transceivers into a wide array of additional
gadgets and everyday items, enabling new forms of communication between people and things, and between things themselves. A new dimension has been added to the world of information and communication technologies (ICTs): from anytime, any place connectivity for anyone, we will now have connectivity for anything .... Connections will multiply and create an entirely new dynamic network of networks – an Internet of Things. The Internet of Things is neither science fiction nor industry hype, but is based on solid technological advances and visions of network ubiquity that are zealously being realized”. Although this ITU description of IoT is very comprehensive and precise, it is difficult to not add any comment, at least observing the „negative mirroring” definition: The Internet of Things is neither science fiction nor industry hype, but is based on solid technological advances and visions of network ubiquity. After such image ITU presented, we consider the IoT is not only clearly defined but, most important, it is precisely defined as time, space and consequences, i.e. in the context of ICT, humankind (IS/KBS) and ... Earth. The fact that ITU gave an impressive definition of IoT does not mean that any other further approach/definition would be redundant, especially taking into account the amazing pace of ICT development but also the necessity, generated just by this evolution, to find new models/concepts to optimize it. We recently recalled our 30 years ago estimation  on Earth data resolution humankind, by ICT, could get: „to know every cm3 of Earth” (on land or water, in air or underwater), including nonmilitary purposes. Now we have to observe that the time is to have, by IoT, a new perspective on the same issue, as  expressed it: „Nowadays, we are witnessing formation of a new technological marvel: Internet of Things. This construction is able to combine in a particular operational entity all the bits and pieces of the world around us. Thus, why could not this unique establishment present the long-sought essence in the Nature of Things ?” Similarly, it is worth to observe, as  impressing IoT image combined so wonderful what we have above mentioned, as elementary parts of Our World, „infinite informational links and things”.
We also have to remark, in the above mentioned progressive detailing of emergence and challenges of the Internet of Things, the interesting proposal of  referring to the long-sought essence in the Nature of Things, which opens by our opinion, an information vision on Univers or at least on the ICT impact on Earth. Apparently contradictory, the impact of ICT and their products tends to be given by elements which are less and less „visible”, but not only because of the products miniaturization. In order to observe the intimate and relevant ways of the IoT emergence, lets come back to ITU report : „Over a decade ago [our note: in 1995] the late Mark Weiser developed a seminal vision of future technological ubiquity – one in which the increasing “availability” of processing power would be accompanied by its decreasing “visibility”. As he observed, “the most profound technologies are those that disappear…they weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it”. Early forms of ubiquitous information and communication networks are evident in the widespread use of mobile phones: the number of mobile phones worldwide surpassed 2 billion in mid2005. These little gadgets have become an integral and intimate part of everyday life for many millions of people, even more so than the internet”. Coming back in our days, it is obvious and dramatic how IoT evolution exceeds any imagination, as in 2013 forecast studies  estimated that, from about 10 billion of devices connected to Internet, in 2020 their number could rise to about 30 billion. Now most of the forecasts predict for 2020 more than 50 billion devices in IoT, but it is easy to understand that all these figures would be soon reconsidered. All these estimations do not mean much, but the real significance comes from the speed they change and we may observe that IoT have all the chances to be a „phenomenon” much impressing that the „usual” ICT Moore Law. One could ask „How that?”, because Moore Law lays behind ICT/IoT. Again we have to recall that the IoT complexity and dimension come from „infinite informational links and things”, but the point is on links, because in a complex system, for a given number of nodes, the number of links could exponentially encrease. It is the case of IoT, where connections come
from thing-thing, thing-human and service-service, thus their number are unpredictible and same the number of things is. Keeping in mind the above mention, that any ICT approach is only partial, for IoT emergeny the situation is similar, but a relevant image of their evolution is given in  as: „Whereas in the first run Internet of Things referred to the advent of barcodes and Radiofrequency identification (FID), helping to automate inventory, tracking and basic identification, the second current wave of IoT sees a strong verve for connecting sensors, objects, devices, data and applications. The next wave could be called a “cognitive IoT”, facilitating object and data reuse across application domains, leveraging on hyperconnectivity, interoperability solutions and semantic enriched information distribution, incorporating intelligence at different levels, in the objects, devices, network(s), systems and in the applications for evidence-based decision making and priority setting. Economically , it could generate billions of Euros that easily translate into growth and employment, provided it ensures trust and security for the European citizens and businesses. At the same time, the IoT will bring hyper-connectivity to a global society, using augmented and rich interfaces. This global society will also be characterised by higher semi-autonomous system behaviour than today”. We have finally chose this description especially because, in addition to the perspective of “cognitive IoT”, it brings the premises of some of IoT challenges, as „global society will also be characterised by higher semi-autonomous system behaviour than today”. This way, even in a short (introduction) form, we have to approach some of the IoT today visible challenges. From the beginning we have to admit, this time very sure, that in ICT and also in IoT, today only some (visible) challenges could be considred. In a simpler manner ICT/IoT development is such a complex and huge combination of processes at Earth scale, as it is nearly impossible to forecast all their consequences. Perhaps the most important here, as we already have estimated , is to notice that the consequences are either positive and negative for the humankind/Earth, but the point is that some times it is very difficult to separe them!
Anyway, in this paper space we have to consider the largest agreed opinion, i.e. the positive consequences are prevailing. It is natural to consider that one of the main challenges for the IoT development is represented by the espectations to be covered at systemic level. Again we consider EU Digital Agenda for a relevant reference, where these main espectations fields are expressed  as: „Smart cities are an obvious application of IoT as a horizontal enabler, covering sustainable smart grids, smart mobility and smart health. Advances in integration and miniaturisation of ultra-low power components and micro systems and increased autonomy and flexibility of service robots is accelerating the diffusion of embedded ICT in all types of physical objects and artefacts ranging from clothes and even bodies to homes, cars and transport systems, as well as all public spaces and cities.” After a systemic image of the „horizontal” image of IoT, we can observe a comprehensive palette of the developing domains for IoT in IS/KBS: all types of physical objects and artefacts ranging from clothes and even bodies to homes, cars and transport systems, as well as all public spaces and cities. With other words, IoT applications and presence will cover all humankind activity fields, but some of them will be more prominent, as smart cities, smart robots, smart energy grids, smart mobility, smart health, industrial or commercial smart devices and services etc. Still, it is more than obvious the fact that even at the actual level of development / disemination of ICT/IoT it will be very difficult to cover all „all types of physical objects and artefacts” anytime and anywhere. The difficulties of IoT development are increasing if we consider only some other challenges which are not independent of the above presented. We already mentioned   that generally the ICT development, especially as amazing pace, could bring negative consequences too. An old military rule says that any communication could lead to information leakage, so what should we expect when all types of physical objects and artefacts will be implied in a diversity of data (wireless) exchanges? The question is much more than it seems to be, because, along with the ethical and legal
implications, we have to consider many other connected issues as the data deluge/exa data , the spectrum limits, the electromagnetic compatibility etc. There are also other main challenges for IoT, as the health, commercial, environment, energy or information management consequences associated with the IoT products and services. Perhaps an relevant example could express the huge volume of challenges/ consequences we have just suggested. Lets imagine what consequences will have the proliferation of IoT in the emergent area of drones and robots, from the point of view of legal conformity, phisical security, personal data/intimacy, social/ethical issues, identity/recognition inventory, environment protection, education, labour market, transportation or ... data deluge! All these diverse and complex issues and much more need to be further and detiled analyzed, taking into account the larger context of IS/KBS. 1. IS/KBS - like a long road where ... we have to watch the forest ... by the trees Apparently, the above analysis of IoT did not pointed much of their influence on IS road to KBS, but we have to recall that the ICT products and services evolution lately showed that the increasing “availability” of processing power would be accompanied by its decreasing “visibility”. In a simpler expression, we have to observe that, in fact „that influence” became so much ubiquitous over Earth and humankind life, as we would hardly observe their „flood”, in „that Ocean” we have suggested at the beginning. This impression does not have to „slow” our watching over ICT development and its huge consequences on IS complex transformations toward KBS. The watch we suggest is more and more necessary as ICT/IoT consequences, either positive and negatives, are flooding us every day, but the real dangers comes from the exponential pace of ICT development. We have already mentioned  the main risks of that exponential pace of ICT, first including the fact that their consequences are so complex and at large scale on Earth, that people really could not have the time and resources to properly react to them.
That is why we consider that facing this new major „challenge” of ICT, we call now IoT, is an even more difficult job we have to do. On the road of IS to KBS the main issue is the evolution of knowledge and especially the way we will succeed to refine this knowledge in the optimization complex and complicate process, taking into account the corresponding criteria – which in their turn are ... dynamically changing as a consequences of ICT evolutions! The future context will be progressively complicated by the „data deluge”, where IoT will contribute more and more by their „infinite” number of sensors, spread from human body to the tip of mountains or deep „Ocean”. The real complications, a „challenge” for the necessary new models and algorithms, come in the complex phases of processing data to extract information and then analyze information to refine knowledge finally used to take ... decisions at ... Earth scale! Having all this in mind we consider that „the Internet of trees”  is only a very inspired metaphor we can further develop. In order to understand the confirmed importance of a such „preoccupation” , we recall the above presented EU point of view  as: „ ... the IoT will bring hyper-connectivity to a global society, using augmented and rich interfaces. This global society will also be characterised by higher semiautonomous system behaviour than today”. What should we expect from a global society with higher semi-autonomous system behaviour than today? How to manage/control such an IS/ KBS development in a efficacious and eficient manner? By our opinion this will bring a lot of challenges, part of them shortly suggested above, but „globally” it is clear that we have to carefully watch that „behaviour”, more than we do today, if we want to avoid „unexpected” consequences. This way we have just arrived to the point where, starting from the Harvard pilot project  of tracking the global warming consequences on university green (trees) ecosystem by a local area network (LAN) of sensors, we have to further imagine what should we must do in order to extend and generalize their objectives to IS/KBS at Earth scale, but more than this, to identify which would be the equivalent of trees, then forest and then ... Internet! Our opinion is that generalizing is only a first aproximation, as in fact we have to come back to
same fundamental issues of refining knowledge, i.e. to dynamically analyze (on a check and act basis) all the data (in the data deluge). It is obvious that such an approach will not efficiently work, because too much data will block our control systems of decisions unless adequate criteria for systemic analyze and knowledge refining will be identified. With other words this means to carefully identify our World trees/priorities, keeping in mind our unique Earth ecosystem, where humankind life, for the next generations too, must be the main concern. Carefully watch the corresponding forest could mean to wisely choose our future models, for humankind and especially IS/KBS, taking into account the actual Earth resources, trends and status. Last but no least, watching the forest without losing it because of trees could mean that all our analyses must consider the present but not neglecting the long term future, as we already face some consequences of global warming, Earth resources fading or social movements. The sad part is that all those complex analyses need more and more time, as the global society (IS/ KBS) becomes more complex, but with an increasing speed – given by the ICT/IoT pace! That is why these ever-changing issues of IS/KBS have to be further analyzed, but more exactly continuously re-considered, on an updated/regularly basis and with adequate instruments, criteria and resources. 2. Conclusions Analyzing IoT we have realized and pointed their impressive development in the global context of ICT exponential pace – as a driving factor of IS evolution toward KBS. IoT applications and presence will cover all humankind activity fields, but some of them will be more prominent, as smart cities, smart robots, smart energy grids, smart mobility, smart health, industrial or commercial smart devices and services etc. The complexity of IoT expanding, in every bit and peace on Earth, could generate, along with the obvious benefic consequences for humankind and IS/KBS, some important challenges for IoT. Some challenges will be at the technical level, as by the development/disemination of ICT/IoT it will be very difficult to cover all „all types of physical objects and artefacts” anytime and anywhere. The main challenges for IoT will still arise in the areas of their applications, as the health, commercial, environment, energy or information management consequences associated with the IoT products and services. Observing the IoT perspective  to bring hyper-connectivity to a global society, as this global society could be characterised by higher semi-autonomous system behaviour than today, the paper analyzed the ways to manage/control such an IS/KBS development in a efficacious and eficient manner. The paper proposed solution would be, as a first aproximation, to come back to same fundamental issues of refining knowledge, i.e. to dynamically analyze (on a check and act basis) all the data, in the data deluge of ICT/IoT, but such an approach will not efficiently work, because too much data will block our control systems of decisions, unless adequate criteria for systemic analyze and knowledge refining will be identified. An other conclusion is that all those complex analyses on IoT need more and more time, as the global society (IS/KBS) becomes more complex, but with an increasing speed – given by the ICT/IoT pace. That is why these ever-changing issues of IS/KBS have to be further analyzed, but more exactly continuously reconsidered, on an updated/regularly basis and with adequate instruments, criteria and resources.
REFERENCES  *** Internet of Things — An action plan for Europe, (PDF). COM(2009)-278 final, Commission of the European Communities -18 June 2009.  *** Internet of Things — ITU 2005 Report, www.itu.int/dms_pub/itu-s/opb/pol/ S-POL-IR.IT-2005-SUM-PDF-E.pdf  Victor Greu, The cognitive approaches of the communication and information technologies – a leverage for the progress of knowledge based society, Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 3, Issue2, Year 2012.  *** The Internet of Things, https://ec.europa.eu/ digital-agenda/en/internet-things, 27/02/2015  Victor Greu, The Exponential Development of the Information and Communications Technologies – A Complex Process Which is Generating Progress Knowledge from People to People, Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 4, Issue2, Year 2013.  Bari N., Mani G., Berkovich S., Internet of Things as a Methodological Concept, Computing for Geospatial Research and Application (COM.Geo), 2013 Fourth International Conference on.  Victor Greu, Searching the right tracks of new technologies in the earth race for a balance between progress and survival, Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 3, Issue1, Year 2012.  Mark Harris, The Internet of Trees, IEEE Spectrum, Mar.2014.  Greu, Context-aware communications and IT – a new paradigm for the optimization of the information society towards the knowledge based society (Part 2), Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 5, Issue4, Year 2014.  *** More Than 30 Billion Devices Will Wirelessly Connect to the Internet of Everything in 2020, ABI Research, London, United Kingdom - 09 May 2013, www.abiresearch.com/ press/more-than-30billion-devices-will-wirelessly-conne/
Expo Milano 2015 TUTTOFOOD 2015 and SHOP 2015. Respecting the past and welcoming the future
Theodor valentin Purcarea
Abstract There is no doubt that the citizen’s quality of life may be improved by properly understanding definite current challenges, and by continuously reflecting and applying the knowledge with wisdom. “Expo Milano 2015” represents a clear invitation for responsible and accountable way of doing business, confirming the opening for an intercultural journey offering ideas and shared solutions. In the generous perspective offered by “SHOP 2015”, it is challenging to reflect at the retail space as a crucial factor influencing the customer’s feelings, at retailers who should consequently develop a strategy that defines their ideal retail footprint, at businesses which need continuing putting increased focus on integrating their various channels, while considering the impact of the converged lifestyle which has empowered consumers. We are already in this converged lifestyle, a new phase of convergence, in which technology enables consumers to get what they want, when they want it, virtualization is disrupting power relationships between companies, customers, and employees, while convergence of technology will lead to convergence of competition. It is argued that, in the future, those retail stores that drive convenience, service, and relevant personalized experiences through the use of digital store technology will succeed. We dare to say that the Romanian retail market will also be an interesting “battlefield” in what concerns competing in offering customers consistent experiences whether they interact with a brand in-store, online or via mobile, by delivering them content fast and seamlessly across all these channels, while also not forgetting that the foundation of retailing is understanding what customers want and need, and consequently developing a deep understanding of the decision journey that the new shoppers undertake. Keywords: Distribution; Retail market; Store of the future; Connectivity and convergence; Shopper experience; Channel integration JEL Classification: L81; L86; M31; O14; Q55
Can we, all stakeholders in the continuum of research, shape together the future of our “Health, Nutrition, Fitness and Wellbeing” and proactively go after it? Three years ago, (Purcarea, 2012) on the occasion of the SANABUNA International Congress 2012, we were starting from the fact that there is no doubt that the citizen’s quality of life may be improved by properly understanding this definite current challenge of “Health, Nutrition, Fitness and Wellbeing” (SANABUNA), by continuously reflecting, staying optimistic, being realistic, applying the knowledge with wisdom, strengthening all this supply chain seen from the perspective of a trust-based “physician”-“patient” relation, managing the evidence accordingly, and sending a consistent SANABUNA message to society. We expressed our opinion that SANABUNA social movement must lead all stakeholders beyond the fragments of understanding, interacting, getting involved, communicating and learning how to realize the proper change of our behavior requiring a new thinking, a new policy, a proper education located in the heart of adaptation, and proving solidarity in building this trust-based “physician”-“patient” relation.
Theodor Purcarea at SANABUNA International Congress 2012
As we discussed within the above mentioned framework, there is no doubt that nutrition represents the bridge between agriculture and health, and food is one of the greatest contemporary actor on the political scene, as well as the fact that public health aspects are often marginalized amid the competing interests of producers, processors, wholesalers, retailers, caterers and consumers. We are all consumers and patients and we all know that we have a serious problem, and we all know that there are no simple solutions. That is why we underlined: - the urgent need for more multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research on food, nutrition and health, breaking down the “silos” between the sectors, considering relevant disciplines such as: agricultural research, economics, and policy; anthropology of food; physiology of food and fluid intake; nutrition and food habits and choices; sociology of diet, food and nutrition; psychology of food and nutrition; food marketing; consumer research; medicine and health; health education; public health; social services and public welfare; supply, demand and public policy; - the substantial differences in concern about diet and health, and less substantial differences in the way food functions in the minds and lives of people; - the differences in consumers’ experiences and perceptions of food security, self-sufficiency, and of the link between food, nutrition, and health. In the same time, we showed that beyond the reality that agriculture is the main source of food to meet consumers’ need for energy and essential nutrients and given that all along the agricultural value chain there are opportunities to improve nutrition and reduce health risks, we need to look at food systems, considering all the stages from field to fork, starting by determining where value for nutrition can be integrated, by using risk analysis along the food value chain, and by proving renewing commitment to nutrition education which makes a difference in making healthy eating choices, integrating agriculture, nutrition, and health services, which involves focusing the academic research on reflecting both, the way the links between agriculture, nutrition and health work, and the adequate way of utilizing the sets of tools that could help leverage agriculture for better nutrition and health, while continuing to prove the correlation between nutrition and cognitive function and academic performance. We also need to understand and deal with the challenge of considering the integration of health and wellness
dimensions, realizing that wellness is a product of a healthy lifestyle, taking into account the contribution of our physical activity to (physical, health-related physical, skill-related physical) fitness as the state in our health characteristics and behavior, as the state affecting physical, mental, and social health. These considerations raise two questions: Can we, all stakeholders in the continuum of research, shape together the future of our “Health, Nutrition, Fitness and Wellbeing” and proactively go after it? How is the reflection of our networking together in encouraging SANABUNA social movement? Special Issue of the Journal of Food Products Marketing, Volume 19, Issue 2, 2013: http://www.tandfonline.com /toc/wfpm20/current#.UZJf _r6dJMs): Published by Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, the Editorial being signed by Professors John L. Stanton, Theodor Purcarea and Gheorghe Orzan
The impressive number of important exhibitors, the significant size of the show, and the high product quality offered - a tryade that makes TUTTOFOOD 2015 unique 109 Years after opening in Milan the International Exposition dedicated to transportation, Milan is hosting an Universal Exhibition - from May 1 to October 31, 2015 – “Expo Milano 2015”, considered to be a true “platform for the exchange of ideas and shared solutions on the theme of food, stimulating each country’s creativity and promoting innovation for a sustainable future”. (Expo2015.org) The central theme chosen by Italy for this Universal Exhibition (more than 140 participating countries) is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”, really a stimulant one to talking about the problems of nutrition and the resources of our planet by opening up a dialogue between international players, by exchanging views on the above mentioned major challenges which impact everyone. Expo Milano 2015 represents a clear invitation for responsible and accountable way of doing business, while focusing on the respect for the environment, local communities and where they live, confirming the opening for an intercultural journey offering ideas and shared solutions, including from the point of view of the
interconnected traditional cultural values and new technologies. It is also worth to mention that the participants at this year Universal Exposition have the opportunity to “taste” focused “customer experiences”, such as those offered by “Laboratorio Expo” (and emphasizing “the importance that the humanistic values provide in regards to nourishing both the body and the spirit” - Expo2015.org). We see here a very interesting connection with what marketing educator Larry J. Rosenberg argued (Rosenberg, 2009) about holistic marketing, which involves using the body, mind and spirit of both the marketer and customer to bring them into a lasting marketing relationship for greater marketing success. In his opinion, that means to harmonize „Energy Zones” (body, mind and spirit – B-M-S) with „Energy Systems” (Marketer/personal-impersonal spectrum of the marketer: Face-to-face, Phone, Email, Brochure, Website, Magazine, Radio, Television; Customer), so as marketing success follows when the MarketerCustomer energy systems become integrated/One. As we showed on another occasion, in other words, realizing holistic marketing, according to Rosenberg, means to improve the body’s capability, expand the mind’s creativity, engage the spirit’s power, ask the brain any question and combine them for marketing to acquire and keep customers. And this is the case especially of that customer always on, always connected and interconnected, who becomes more and more competent, wishing real-time solutions, and pressing the brand to develop a position guided by his insights. Two days after the official opening of “Expo 2015”, TUTTOFOOD 2015 will start (from 3 to 6 May 2015), this way writing “the next chapter in the history of TUTTOFOOD and the Italian and international food industry”. (Mazzanti and Zavettieri, 2014) TUTTOFOOD, the International Food and Agriculture Show will bring about 2,000 buyers chosen via a careful selection process and put in contact with companies via the EMP Expo Matching Program. On the other hand, exhibitors who participate in the show will also have the opportunity to meet (directly in the exhibition centre; see also the so-called project “Expo incontra le imprese” - Expo Meets Business Enterprise) with the commercial delegations visiting “Expo 2015”. ( Mazzanti and Zavettieri, 2014) “SHOP 2015”: The store of the future, between connectivity and convergence; Technological innovation, applications and success stories in retail It is our honor and pleasure to highlight that on the occasion of the above mentioned events chal-
lenging conferences and workshops will take place within the generous framework offered by “SHOP 2015”. In this challenging and generous perspective, allow us to make some considerations on this topic, starting from: ● The fact that 24 years ago I wrote (after visiting the “Store of the future” model in Chicago, in 1991, within the framework offered by a Food Marketing Institute/NAWGA Program) two articles (published in the „Journal of Busineeses”, No. 18-19/1991, National Institute „Virgil Madgearu”, Romanian Ministry of Commerce) on the so-called „Smart Store 2000” (conceived in 1989 as a way of finding out what things inhibit stores and manufacturers and cut into their profits, and to train employees and test new technology), showing that beyond the already existing use of „islands of technology” in different shop formats, it is time that technology gives business the scale to address the future; at that time, „Smart Store 2000”, the supermarket of the future (as envisioned by Andersen Consulting in cooperation with IT services companies and food industry leaders, and targeting the practicing of an evolutive marketing based on new technologies applied in retail) was a first research-and-development center for concepts (such as: touch-screen computers for checkout clerks; hand-scanners consumers can use at home etc.) and technologies (putted together in this store) that will maximize the market potential and deliver the product to the customer at the lowest possible cost, making shopping more enjoyable and easier for consumers; in the same journal I also wrote, for instance, many articles on “Category Management” (following my participation at the Food Marketing Convention in Chicago, see picture below);
● The different approaches in the last years, as follows. In 2011, Deloitte LLP (the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited - DTTL) looked at how physical retail space and the experience it provides will need to adapt to the multichannel environment and concluded by underlining the necessity of radically rethinking of the purpose of the store in the consumer shopping journey (while recognizing and responding to changing consumers behaviours), and recommending in this respect three key areas: defining the store propositions; resetting the store portfolio, and realigning the operating model. (Deloitte LLP, 2011) A year later, Deloitte looked at how retailers can optimise their store portfolio by identifying what the right size and shape of their store portfolio should be to support their future operating model. (Deloitte Consumer Business Group, 2012) This report also sparked numerous comments, such as the followings: • the retail space itself is a crucial factor influencing the customer’s feelings (space saving, for instance, is critical in providing an enhanced shopping experience to the customer), retailers today (with the emergence of online and multichannel retailing) being focused more on resetting their store portfolios, either downsizing or right sizing (also considering the rental, and other operating costs), the proper information regarding the rightsizing strategy being provided by an in-depth analysis and comparison of the current store setting, and the ideal to-be portfolio; the appropriate right sizing strategies (defined by a multi-disciplinary approach) are enabling much space saving, and flexible rightsizing (reconfiguring and improving the efficiency of the retail store) can even be a cost-effective alternative to layoffs; (Fibre2fashion.com, 2012) • the Deloitte report’s authors argue that retailers today should develop a strategy that defines their ideal retail footprint: “Given the rapidly changing retail environment and the speed with which new technologies are emerging and impacting on the use of physical space, the biggest challenge facing retailers is to continually test and challenge the size, shape and purpose of their store portfolios. This is likely to be a constant but critical process of evolution for retailers seeking not just to survive but to flourish” (Hugo Clark, director in Deloitte’s real estate team and author of the report); (cromwells.co.uk, 2012) • According to the Deloitte report, shops will remain critical in the multichannel world, but as Internet sales already represent the equivalent of 60m sq ft in retail space, “many retailers are struggling to define the relevance and future contribution of their physical space… “Shops now represent a potentially clumsy, fixed point in an increasingly mobile world”… and the flexibility of retail space and its “ability to adapt to changing retail models should be paramount” (Hugo Clark); in the opinion of Adam Stewart (marketing director at online entertainment retailer Play.com, owned by the Rakuten group): “Ideally, online and offline retailing should support each other, rather than competing between each other for the same sale”; in what concerns a future high street, according to Chloe Rigby (Web Editor and Joint Supplement Editor,Internet Retailing), this “could be a locally responsive one, featuring those brands, both online and offline, that know they have a local audience” (taking behavioural marketing to the next level). (Rigby, 2012) Allow us to remember here – as a personal note in connection to Deloitte – that my book entitled „Business Management” (Expert Publishing House, June 1994) was distributed in Romania Privatization Public Awareness Campaign, according to “The Final Report Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu within Eastern Europe Enterprise Restructuring and Privatization Project,” U. S. Agency for International Development, April 1995, Tohmatsu, May 1, 1995 (pdf.usa id.gov/pdf_docs/PDABL817.pdf p. 19). In that book I referred, for example, to different trends including the convergent evolutions of trade in Europe concerning the sector and its concentration, the sales formats and their organization, the operators and their strategies, and also referring again to some evolutions starting with the “Smart Store 2000” . Coming back in 2011, it is useful to mention within this framework that the world’s biggest trade fair for retailers’ investment needs, EuroShop 2011 (the EuroShop brand consists of 4 sub-brands: EuroCIS, EuroConcept, EuroSales, and EuroExpo), took place in Dusseldorf, Germany between February 26 and March 2, 2011. In 2011, EuroShop was five times bigger than its first fair, and according to Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier (at that time Chairman of the EuroShop Advisory Board and CEO of the EHI Retail Institute, Cologne) this great international interest demonstrated very clearly “how dynamic global retail is and the exceptional position of EuroShop as its economic driver”.
Source of photos: EHI Retail Institute, European Retail Academy, and http://medianet.messe-duesseldorf.de/press/euroshop/assets. html Beside the exhibition, the fair was driven by special conferences/events such as the Design ward, the IT Award , the Science Award, the International Design Conference, the POPAI Conference. Last but not least, in advance of the exhibition many foreign groups used the EHI offer for storechecks and discussions with retail-management or ECO-architects. The representatives of the European Retail Academy, for instance, visited additionally the GS1 Germany and its showroom for RFID in the total supply chain. The European Retail Academy (ERA) met for its Annual Meeting 2011 at the EHI Retail Institute, GS1 Germany and the world leading exhibition for retail technology EuroShop. Main special issue for ERA was lifelong learning and the proliferation to vocational training/blended learning by modern technologies (EuCVoT).
Source of photos: EHI Retail Institute, European Retail Academy, and http://medianet.messe-duesseldorf.de/press/euroshop/assets. html
At the end of 2011 KPMG International (its
first “Consumers and Convergence” study appeared in 2006, as a result of polling consumers in key markets around the world in order to find out what devices, technologies and services they are using and how they are using them) expressed the belief that we are in the “converged lifestyle”, a new phase of convergence, in which technology enables consumers to get what they want, when they want it, (KPMG International, 2011) and many traditional businesses are facing significant challenges adapting to this new world in which consumer the virtue of ‘trust’, for example, may soon become one of the biggest competitive advantages for products and services. But as consumers are more likely to want to personally evaluate the quality or authenticity of some products more than others, retailers will need to continue to offer products (particularly for grocery and luxury goods) in stores as they strive to build consumers’ confidence and trust in their online offerings. It is interesting to note that according to the study mentioned above, 38% of respondents already used their mobile device at retail outlets to access coupons, while one in five had scanned a product barcode (in order to compare prices or for more information). According to KPMG survey (conducted online in the summer of 2011 and including 9600 consumers across 31 countries), there were significant key takeaways, such as: businesses will need to rethink the way they interact with their customers, to decide (as more technologies converge) who “owns” the customer and their data, and to focus more and more on identifying, capturing and analyzing customer data (so as to gain greater insight into their preferences and demands), in order to find the right price to both appeal to customers and achieve profitability; and in order to create a consistent and compelling brand presence across multiple mediums (multi-channel convergence), businesses need continuing putting increased focus on integrating their various channels, while considering the impact of the converged lifestyle which has empowered consumers (who are increasingly vocal about their preferences and demands). On the occasion of the IPA Forum 2014 (this event being a part of an EU-funded project called One BSR, an umbrella project for branding the Baltic Sea Region), Iain Jawad, Director Strategic Partnerships at Frost & Sullivan, approached the topic of “World’s Top Global Mega Trends To 2025 and Implications to Business, Society and Cultures”. (Jawad, 2014) According to Frost & Sullivan that tracks “Mega Trends”, these are transformative, global forces that define the future world with their
far reaching impacts on businesses, societies, economies, cultures, and personal lives: Urbanization – City as a Customer; Smart is the New Green; Social Trends: Gen Y, Middle Bulge, Sheconomy, Geosocialization; Connectivity and Convergence; Bricks and Clicks; Innovating to Zero; Future of Energy; Economy: Beyond BRIC: The Next Game Changers; Future Infrastructure Development; Health, Wellness and Well Being; Future of Mobility; New Business Models: Value for Many. From the point of view of our research interest in the present article we refer only at some of them. As shown by Iain Jawad, connectivity (which is pushing convergence) will accelerate convergence of industries, products, technologies and competition, while convergence is driving unconventional players to contest for new markets: Google - Nest , Titan Aerospace; Amazon - Dash, Fire TV; Facebook – Oculus, Connectivity Labs. Iain Jawad offered some examples of New Business Models, such as: B2C: Co-Creation (Eg. Quirky.com), OnDemand Services; Digital Media / Online Streaming Collapsing, Video Rentals: eg. Netflix; B2B: Online Platforms [ E Rental (Workspaces), E Distribution (eg. Deliv), E Exchanges, Hypermarkets, ETravel: Concur], Sharing: Corporate Car Sharing etc. What concerns the future of clicks in retail industry, Iain Jawad underlined that global online retail sales is to reach $4.3 trillion by 2025 accounting for 19% of total retail. He presented the case study “Audi City London - First Digital Car Showroom” (as an example of future digital car showrooms that will be “unlimited”, personalised, socially connected and digitally integrated), and Virtual Stores (simulated brick and mortar stores that offer interactive shopping in public places by creating virtual products, which buyers can buy and order using their Smartphones), as the New Generation of Grocery Shopping, while taking the case of Tesco’s Subway Virtual Store. Finally, Iain Jawad indicated some key strategic challenges (10), on the fourth position being “The Retail Issue” looking at internet retailing, at the format of retailing offer and how this fits into new trends for micro solutions driven by convenience, not forgetting to highlight the importance of visualising the roadmap of the above mentioned critical forces through scenario-building and macroeconomic forecasts, of evaluating the impact on future product/technology/offer, and of analyzing the opportunities and unmet needs. After the above mentioned IPA Forum event, in September 2014 John Bricklemyer, Professor of the Practice Department of Engineering and Project
Management School of Engineering, The University of Kansas, approached the topic “Leadership 2030: Megatrends and Their Implications for Project Management”, (Bricklemyer, 2014) showing that a Megatrend is defined by a long-term, transformational process with global reach, broad scope, and a fundamental and dramatic impact, and referred to “The Six Megatrends You Need to Understand to Lead Your Company into the Future” according to Georg Vielmetter and Yvonne Sell, these mentioned six megatrends being: Globalization 2.0, The Environmental Crisis, Individualism and Value Pluralism, The Digital Era, Demographic Change, and Technological Convergence. As we explained before, from the point of view of our research interest in the present article we also refer only at some of them. So John Bricklemyer highlighted (quoting the same source): ▪ on one hand that: the digitization of our lifestyles is becoming the norm; digital natives have increasing influence; virtualization is disrupting power relationships between companies, customers, and employees; the workplace is fragmenting, and leadership will need to “go remote” and prioritize loyalty and reputation management; and ▪ on the other hand that: technological progress is likely to transform many aspects of our lives; convergence will drive the greatest innovations; R&D will take center stage; convergence will necessitate new levels and forms of collaboration; societies will debate the ethical boundaries of technological advancement. John Bricklemyer also explained (quoting J.O. Olawuyi and F. Mgbole) that technological convergence occurs when multiple products come together to form one product with the advantages of all of them, while technological innovation is more dynamic than both, the competition dynamic of the market and the adequacy and stability of public policy and the legal framework. (Olawuyi and Mgbole, 2012) He also showed that according to Gartner there are four technologies (Mobile technologies; Big data/analytics; Social media; Public cloud) which will be the most disruptive over the next 10 years: “the disruptiveness of each of these technologies is real, but CIOs see their greatest disruptive power coming in combination, rather than in isolation.” (Gartner, Inc., 2013) In the same time, he attracted the attention on the fact that leveraging mobile, social media, cloud, and big data/analytics organizations will put customer/users even more effectively at the center of their approaches, (Hayes,
2014) underlining that convergence of technology will lead to convergence of competition, (Singh, 2014) not forgetting to remind us that sometimes theory leads practice, sometimes practice leads theory, and research explains practice and builds theory. (Morris 2010) But let us remember how the year 2014 started from the point of view of our research interest in the “Shopper Experience”, namely that on the occasion of a Customer experience Thought Leader Forum, Miguel Ramos (Mobile Practice Lead, Confirmit) and James Tenser (Founder, VSN Strategies) talked (Ramos and Tenser, 2014) about the topic of “Digital Disruption and the Retail Experience. Earning Loyalty in the Age of Empowered Consumers”, starting with the deconstruction of the shopper experience in today world of “Big Data”, underlining the elements that define the “The New Big”, clarifying why “Big Data” matters (volume, velocity, variety of information; digital, connected consumers), and building a fresh look of the so-called “The Five Pillars of Shopper Experience”. James Tenser advanced within this context of “The New Big”, the “SCAMP” model reflecting the “Five Pillars of Shopper Experience”: SERVICE (People, Practices, Training), CONVENIENCE (Time-Saving, EffortSaving), AMBIANCE (Design, Lighting, Sensory, Patrons), MERCHANDISING (Assortment, Display, Messaging), PRICE (Base, Promotion, Markdown). At the beginning of the next year, in January 2015, Matt Dion (Vice President of marketing for Elastic Path Software, a provider of digital commerce technology) argued that CIOs and CMOs – in order to make the store of the future a reality in 2015 - should evaluate digital experience platforms based on how well commerce and content technologies integrate with each other. (Dion, 2015) He referred to a new Forrester Research report (Predictions 2015: The Digital Store Platform Will Support The Retail Store Of The Future) arguing that in the future those retail stores that drive convenience, service, and relevant personalized experiences through the use of digital store technology will succeed (Forrester predicting that retailers will realize greater value by connecting enterprise and point systems together to enable the digital store to operate in real time). (Silverman, 2014) On the other hand, in the same month, Matt Rhodus (the retail vertical marketing expert for NetSuite, an integrated cloud business software suite) argued (Rhodus, 2015) that retailers need to be both flexible and resilient, by applying the lessons learned online to their brick-andmortar stores (adding the personal touch), and by
consequently providing shoppers with a personalized experience in-store. Acting this way, retailers will be able to target individual shoppers with offers based on their personal profile data and previous purchasing history on the basis of retail operations with tightly integrated e-commerce, CRM, and inventory and order management systems in the cloud. A month later, in February 2015, Paul Schottmiller (Senior Vice President, strategy, retail and consumer goods, at Merkle) reconfirmed (Schottmiller, 2015) that digital disruption is becoming a constant for retailer marketers (who must now be highly flexible and adaptable), and in this respect he identified five potential disruptors: Location, location, location (as consumer’s mobile screen has become some of the most valuable “real estate” for a retailer to “occupy”, retailers must understand and interact with their always digitally connected and active consumers by adding both consumers’ current and past location-based behaviors to their toolkit – the case of Wal-Mart with store-specific apps, and of Walgreens with beacons); Social shopping 2.0 (taking into account that the three main areas of opportunity today with social media are listening, targeting and interacting, and that the velocity of new social channels has continued to increase with emerging players like Snapchat and Wanelo); Fast analytics (which is built on top of big data and by making marketing decisions in sub second timeframes a differentiator and potential disruptor); It’s about the journey, not the destination (tanks to improved tracking and attribution technologies across differing channels, today retail marketers have the opportunity to drive increased levels of personalization); The death of the pure-play (today retail marketers are now in a better position to deliver personalized omnichannel experiences that differentiate their brand, either on their websites, in social media, in-store, on mobile, or – better – integrating all of these). Next month, in March 2015, Ryan Donovan (Vice President of commerce at Sitecore, a provider of customer experience management software) argued (Donovan, 2015) that the new era of commerce (defined by experiences that seamlessly blend the digital and physical) is represented by brands (like Amazon, Target, Warby Parker, and Apple) which deliver exceptional experiences from beginning to end (or risk losing business to a savvier competitor), by seamlessly connecting everything from the first marketing touchpoint through the final sale. He identified three pillars of the modern commerce experience that build loyalty and drive greater lifetime value: Personalization (thanks to the
right system for collecting and analyzing customer insights, and using the gathered insights throughout the end-to-end customer journey to better tailor the offers and interactions); Convenience (by providing convenient services, both online and offline, and making the consumer’s buying journey as frictionless as possible); Mobile experiences (by offering dedicated in-store experiences that take advantage of mobile to complete the omnichannel experience and ensuring commerce happens anywhere). The same month, Rory Dennis (CMO at Amplience, a SaaSbased platform that enables brands to produce digital campaign and product media) talked (Dennis, 2015) about retailers’ need to start thinking about delivering content fast and seamlessly across channels in order to reach “the 21st Century Retail Customer” which is expecting a consistent experience whether he interacts with a brand in-store, online or via mobile. Dennis reminded that last year, for the first time, mobile traffic has overtaken desktop traffic to e-commerce sites (the rise in mobile shopping also bringing about another fascinating trend so-called “always-on shopping” - something mobile customers are always doing – Lütke, 2014), and made the connection with the emergence of the new category of “super shoppers.” But retailers must never forget that the foundation of retailing is understanding what customers want and need, and developing consequently a deep understanding of the decision journey that shoppers undertake. Retailers must understand what shoppers really value when it comes to mobile shopping for instance, as a McKinsey research (Ericson Herring and Ungerman, 2014) on mobile habits in the UK recommended. Because the above mentioned research showed that mobile shoppers really want less than many retailers think, namely: “clean, mobile-optimized sites with easy-to-read pages that load quickly, easy-to-use shopping carts, and smooth checkouts.” McKinsey representatives attracted the attention on the fact that it can be perilous to cling to several mobile myths such as: the app is the answer; the difference between good and great on mobile is “cool” features; showrooming is a show stopper; the main value of digitization is in driving self-service. Let’s finally remember the opinion expressed recently by Léon F. Wegnez, (Wegnez, 2014) General Manager, Royal Belgian Committee for Distribution (and Secretary General of the International Association for the Distributive Trade - AIDA Brussels) in the prestigious “Distribution d’aujourd’hui” (“Distribution today”): “Whatever the evolution of the modern distribution, whatever the concepts of
shops that engender, the achievement of purchases will keep this ludic character it carries within it, inherently, whether perceived or not by the buyers seeking time and that kind of satisfaction always bringing the acquisition of what is desired. The pleasure purchase, in varying degrees, remained a reality, and this is a distribution task to make it possible and to concretize it.”
Remembering important past events Shortly after founding (spring 1996) of the Romanian Distribution Committee (CRD), an important delegation of CRD participated at the 22nd Congress of AIDA (International Association for the Distributive Trade, Brussels), which took place at the Intercontinental Hotel, Vienna, 3-6 June 1966. In the first picture below, for example, Mario Bertolini (President of AIDA, former President of the Chamber of Commerce of Parma), Theodor Purcarea (President of CRD) and Riccardo Garosci (Vice President of Economic and Monetary Commission of the European Parliament; European Raporteur for „Green Book for European Commerce”; President of the “Commerce and Distribution” Intergroup of the European Parliament) can be seen, and the Secretary General of AIDA, Professor Léon F. Wegnez, looking at them. In the second picture below, you can see both, a fragment from the “Distribution d’aujourd’hui”, Brussels, which referred to the 22nd Congress of AIDA, and a letter sent from Riccardo Garosci in March 1997 to the President of CRD, Theodor Purcarea.
Two years after its affiliation (in Vienna) to AIDA, Romanian Distribution Committee organized in Bucharest (18-19 May 1998), in cooperation with AIDA, the 24th Congress of AIDA, which had as central theme “Retailers and Suppliers with shared ambitions to improve profit performance by continuously improving the quality of their service to consumers”. Riccardo Garosci (Vice President of Economic and Monetary Commission of the European Parliament; European Raporteur for „Green Book for European Commerce”; President of the “Commerce and Distribution” Intergroup of the European Parliament) talked about “European trade policy and its direct and indirect influence on the development prospects of companies in the member states and partner countries of the European Union”, while Jean-Jacques Van Den Heede (VicePresident ACNielsen) started from the fact that as we approached the year 2000, distribution has entered a new era, characterized by the polarization of the markets, the emergence of new technologies, the diversification of the store concepts, a new type of relationship with consumers.
After Michel Eeckhout (Executive Director, Technology and Information, Delhaize “Le Lion”, Belgium) introduced the 1st working session, Dr. Ulf Kalmbach (Project Manager, REWE-Zentral AG, Germany) approached the topic of “Category Management and Continuous Replenishment make a decisive contribution to Efficient Consumer Response - ECR”, while Louis Guelette (IBM Vice President, Distribution) talked about “Information technologies, and in particular EDI updated by Internet, constitute a real revolution in the management of distribution companies and their suppliers”. Nikos Skoulas (Former Minister, President of NSA International, Greece) introduced the 2nd working session, and Georges Chetochine (considered an „European Advertising Guru”; Professor of Marketing at the University Paris IX-Dauphine; Chairman of IGC International, France) approached the topic of “Distribution companies are looking for new strategies to deal with the turmoil of pricing. It is better to compete or set a differential? Taking risks is part of everyday life”, while Claude Sordet (Chairman & Managing Director CSC Conseils, France; Member of French Academy of Commercial Sciences) talked about “Food distribution at a time of globalization”, by answering a series of questions, such as: What are the causes of the enormous upheavals that commerce and distribution have experienced recently? What are the forces at work and how are they interconnected financially? What prospects for various types of retailers and retail businesses alongside the ten future major multinational groups? Who will be the men of the future, retail entrepreneurs or out-and-out financiers? What options will be open to suppliers: to keep ahead or abreast of these major concentrations, or tolerate them and make the best of the situation? The final presentation in this 2nd working session belonged to Andrew Cookson (Partner, GIRA Group, France-Switzerland), who approached the topic of “Why and how to carry out a fundamental rethink of retailers’ advertising and pointof-sale promotion”, taking into account the followings: bearing in mind that in 70% of cases, the decision to purchase is taken at the point of sale, it is easier to understand the essential role played by POS and its complementary nature with manufacturers’ advertising; prior consultation between distributors and their suppliers about promotional campaigns is vital, especially in an environment of ever-fiercer competition, and it is often differentiation that is the key to success; optimizing the management of advertising and promotions campaigns in stores has become a fundamental component of the marketing mix, and a study of GIRA casting a new light on the way forward.
After Henry R. Hidell III (President of Hidell-Eyster International Inc., United States; a global consultancy specializing in water resource management and bottled water products; a member of the executive committee of the International Bottled Water Association) introduced the 3rd working session, Dr. Bernd Hallier (Chairman and Managing Director, EuroHandelsinstitut, Germany, President of EuroShop, world’s largest capital goods show in the retail sector; Prof. Dr. Hallier is the “designer” of the European Retail Academy) rigorously answered two important questions (How are markets and consumer behavior changing in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe? What types of cooperation should be developed as a supplier and as a distributor?), while Maurice de Talansier (Manager of the l’Observateur Cetelem, France) approached the topic of “Consumers are at the heart of everyone’s concern. Their versatility and ever-greater demands compel businesses always to do more in various fields”, by underlining that greater knowledge of the various customer profiles is essential to developing highly diversified and judiciously targeted approaches, the results of a study casting some light on the subject. In his turn, Jean-Pierre Ramaekers (Manager, TCC Continuity Company, Belgium-Netherlands) talked about “How do consumers perceive the various actions taken by distributors to increase their loyalty, and what is the real influence of these loyalty campaigns on their purchasing behaviour”, by highlighting the followings: it is well-known that attracting new customers cost much more than keeping existing ones; a large-scale study identified those actions that really improve customer loyalty to stores and products, and to define their relative importance. William S. Webb (Executive Director, The Institute of Retail and Distribution Management, London, United Kingdom) introduced the 4th working session, and Benoit Hirszowski (Marketing Manager Tetra Pak Europe) approached the topic of “How to succeed in creating genuine cooperation between retailers and their suppliers with regard to transport and packaging systems. The decisive contribution of logistics and packaging of products to the profitability of both parties”, while Paul Schulz (Senior Vice President, Food Distributors International, United States) talked about “Relations between distributors and their suppliers: a pairing that determines profitability. What new ways forward are open to these partners of necessity? What is the future of wholesaling? What prospects for purchasing cooperatives? The American experience holds many lessons”. At their turn, Eric Dean Rohlck (Member of the Corporate Member Division, Competition Bureau, Federal Trade Commission, United States), and Peter W. Woodward (Member of the Antitrust Division, Department of Justice, United States) captured the audience’s attention with the topic “Restrictive measures in competition and distribution: review of the situation in the United States, in the countries of European Union and the countries striving for a market economy”. It is worth to mention the important contributions to the lively and often passionate debate (please see the article published in „Distribution d’aujourd’hui”, Septembre 1998, pp. 22-25) made by prestigious participants such as: Leon F. Wegnez, (Secretary General of AIDA Brussels; Member of French Academy of Commercial Sciences; General Manager, Royal Belgian Committee for Distribution, Administrateur
Directeur Général de l’Association Internationale Urbanisme et Commerce – Urbanicom, Administrateur Directeur de l’Association Prévention et Sécurité, Directeur Général des revues Distribution d’Aujourd’hui et Distributie Vandaag, Administrateur Secrétaire Général du Club Diplomatique de Belgique, Co-Fondateur et Membre du Comité de rédaction de la Gazette Diplomatique), Mario Bertolini (Honorary President of AIDA, former President of the Chamber of Commerce of Parma), Claude Magnan (Chairman Managing Director Elodis, Director of International Relations Intermarché, France; new elected President of AIDA), Pierre Arnold (Docteur Honoris Causa de l’Université de Lausanne et Legion d’honneur 1991, ancient PDG de Migros, membre de la direction du groupe horloger SMH, siège au conseil d’administration de Swissair ; il a présidé la société qui a transformait le Palais de Congrès de Zurich), Marco Atzberger (Directorate of Studies, EuroHandelsinstitut, Germany), George Cojocaru (President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romanian and of Bucharest Municipality - CCIRMB), Dr. Aurel Vainer (Vice-President of CCIRMB), Nicolaie Mihaiescu (Vice-President of the Romanian Distribution Committee - CRD), Professor Gheorghe Zaman (President of CRD Group of Experts; Associate Member of the Romanian Academy, Director of the Institute for National Economy), Professor Iacob Catoiu (Member of the Board of CRD), Professor Ion Smedescu (Founding Rector of the Romanian-American University and Honorary Member of CRD), Professor Dumitru Patriche (Honorary Member of CRD), Professor Beniamin Cotigaru (Honorary Member of CRD), Professor Tatiana Mosteanu (Member of the Board of CRD). Allow us also to remember that after two important AIDA international events (Paris, 1999; London, 2000) and many other CRD national events, CRD organized, on March 13, 2001, at the Romanian Parliament Palace, the International Symposium “The distribution of fresh products”, a real professional turning point (for example, representatives of Carrefour, Metro and Cora participated at this event), with corresponding effects. The symposium appeared as a turning moment and later, in the weekly journal “European Businesses”, no.21/ 3-9 November 2004, which pointed out, in the context, the outline of the ECR Romania Association’ structuring.
It is also important to remember that, starting with 2000, C.R.D. emphasized the impressive European solution to the first key stage of category management (deciding upon the definitions of categories and measurement criteria), as well as the importance of the existence of a complete dynamic picture of the integrated supply chain management of all producers and distributors in a country. CRD analyzed and debated, since its formation, the framework which generated the export of the best managerial practices in the field, including the effects of involving certain global dominators in the food distribution in our country.
Within this context, it is also worth to highlight that the first International Congress of food security and the 32nd International Congress of AIDA were organized in Parma, Italy, 4-7 June, 2006, by the AIDA Brussels in cooperation with the European Food Safety Authority, Municipality of Parma, Chamber of Commerce of Parma, University of Parma and Food Industries from Parma. According to the prestigious “Distribution d’Aujourd’hui”, Brussels, September 2006: “This large international meeting of AIDA allowed: scoring of traceability issues, of national and European regulations constraints; finding out new synergies considering the essential principles of ethics; underlining the imperative for indispensable food education of
consumers customers ...” (CRD-AIDA.RO, 2006) On the other hand, it is also nice to remember two articles published in “GAZZETTA DI PARMA”, Lunedi 5 giugno 2006, namely: “Focus sulla sicurezza alimentare. CONGRESSO Intensa tre giorni alla Camera di Commercio” by Stella Ricchini, and “Calabrese, l’uomo delle piramidi. Il nutrizionista a Parma: << L’Efsa? Sta lavorando molto bene >>” by Giacomo Talignani.
Romania is reconfirming its positioning as an important market for the large distribution chains A year ago, in September 2014, (Purcarea, 2014) we talk about the continuous development of the Romanian retail market, and the increased competition on this relevant market primarily on the basis of creating great customer experience. We underlined that: a requirement for today’s omni-channel retailers is the ability to track and manage the customer journey, by intelligently predicting what a consumer is going to do at every step along this journey, considering both, personalization as the future of retail marketing, and customer data and analytics as the lifeblood of retail marketing; the retail sector is reshaped by the digital interaction, consumers engaging any moment with brands in-store, online, mobile; as the retail industry is in the midst of this significant digital evolution, there is a real opportunity to begin to envision the store of the future by extrapolating the actual trends; the key characteristic of tomorrow’s winning retailers will be the “hyper agility” that allows retailers to quickly and effectively respond and transform their operations, by simultaneously focusing on specific areas.
According to the retail audit company Vektor Marktforschung, (Tanase 2015) the number of stores in Romania independent trade fell from 63,301 units in 2013 to 58,836 units in 2014 (reduction of nearly 4,500 units), while the international retail chains stores raised to retail 1,353 in 2014, compared to 1,103 the previous year recorded version (so more with 250 units). In Bucharest, Angst, the most important independent retail player, decided to leave the franchise Express of Carrefour and to sell to Mega Image (Delhaize). According to the study Shopping Basket (Mystery Shopping made by Mercury360; average time spent in the shop to a purchase visit was 30 minutes), published monthly in “Progressive Magazine”, (Stancu, 2015) customer traffic flow in the stores remained low in 2014, and the largest number of shopping carts was recorded among supermarkets (with an average of 1.86 persons), followed by discounters (1.77) and hypermarkets (1.25). The highest flow of customers was registered to Lidl, Profi and Market stores. These findings show that the purchasing power remained low and there have been changes in the purchasing behavior of the Romanians, who have intensified the visits to convenience stores. Average time spent at the cash register stands, as the last year, within 4-5 minutes per visit to the shops and the longest time spent at the cash register was recorded in Cora and Profi stores, followed by Kaufland, Billa, Market, Metro and Lidl stores. The lowest number of shopping carts found at the cash register was recorded at Selgros and Auchan. Shopping for Shopping Basket were carried out for 11 months between the dates of the month 1-5, in 13 stores owned by international retail chains present in Romania (Auchan, Cora, Kaufland, Real, Carrefour, Profi, Carrefour, Billa, Mega Image, Selgros, Metro, Lidl and Penny Market). On the other hand, according to IKA Romania – RetailerAnalysis, (IKA.Progressive Magazine, 2015), the total current number of shops per channel type in March 2015 was as follows: Cash&Carry – 54; Discount Store – 356; Hypermarket – 177; Proximity Store – 504; Specialized Store – 72; Supermarket – 377. Within this context allow us to mention that Carrefour recently (Stancu, 2015) opened the 4th Supeco store (discount profile; 1.500 – 2.000 sq.m.; < 7.000 SKUs). It is also worth to remember that Romania population density is 83.6 people per square kilometer. (Country Meters, 2015) Allow us to also take a look at the TOEMM picture from March this year: Table No. 1: Top Retailers on the Romanian Market, TOEMM, March 2015
Source: TOEMM, Romanian-American University, March 2015
As our readers remember, in the article entitled “ Distribution, the challenge of the super agility” ( Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine, Volume 5, Issue 3, Year 2014, pp. 19-26) we referred to the findings of a quantitative and qualitative research study (Retail Meter, aiming the habits and the buying behavior in stores) conducted in September 2014 by the company “Exact Cercetare si Consultanta” (http:// www.exactcc.ro/studii.aspx), highlighting, among other issues, that the top three preferences of the buyers of FMCG (considering the price-quality relationship while also looking for the product variety) were occupied by Kaufland, Lidl, and Carrefour. We also referred to the fact that within the new reality of the digital world of the Internet having gateways into our physical world (the “Internet of things” taking that concept to the next level), the new reality of “the always-on and always-there consumer”, (Beun, n.d.) “the spread and evolution of mobile technology” (Rowinski, 2014) and as “mobile is becoming the place for media consumption”, (Danova, 2014) we recalled some other opinions expressed in Romania in April 2014 and approaching the “War of online retailers” (Wall-Street.ro analyzing their visibility, authority in Google and the number of links to them, by using analysis tools such as: SeoMoz, Majestic SEO csi SimilarWeb.com) (Goaga, 2014) and the topic of “Which retailer attracts most visitors from paid traffic”(share of traffic to stores like Emag, Altex and Domo comes from paid keywords - mostly Google AdWords - and which these words are; EvoMag.ro attracted the most traffic from Social, especially Facebook; eMag.ro si Altex.ro generated about the same percentage of direct traffic; Altex.ro relied more on display than competitors). (Goaga, 2014) Instead of a Conclusion And taking into account what we showed in the second part of the present article, we dare to say that the Romanian retail market will also be an interesting “battlefield” in what concerns competing in offering customers consistent experiences whether they interact with a brand in-store, online or via mobile, by delivering them content fast and seamlessly across all these channels, while also not forgetting that the foundation of retailing is understanding what customers want and need, and consequently developing a deep understanding of the decision journey that the new shoppers undertake.
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Advertising Campaign: Building Creative Ideas George Cosmin TAnase
On the other hand, as shown (Jarsky, 2015) in March this year, marketers should care, for example, about real-time bidding (RTB, that lets website owners sell ad impressions through an advertising exchange platform), because of RTB advertisers getting more control over their campaigns performance and more targeted results for their clients. Developing an advertising campaign, like any other communications plan, consists of a sequence of steps. The starting point is the marketing strategy, on the basis of which a specific advertising strategy needs to be developed. The three main points in the advertising strategy are: the target group (to or with whom are we going to communicate?), the advertising objectives (why are we going to communicate or what are we trying to reach?) and the message strategy (what are we going to communicate?). The most difficult step is translating the advertising strategy into a creative strategy or, in other words, going from ‘what to say’ to ‘how to say it’. Afterwards the media strategy is developed. The different ideas will be evaluated on the basis of the creative Abstract brief and objectives stated, and the winning idea will be produced and implemented. In the process, the ads in Advertising is the most visible and most important inthe campaign may be tested, and oft en the effectiveness strument of the marketing communications mix. Large will be assessed after the campaign. sums of money are spent on advertising, and no other marketing phenomenon is subject to so much public Message strategy debate and controversy. Huge amounts of research are devoted to the question of what makes advertising efWhat are we going to say to the consumers? fective and to the role of advertising characteristics on The message strategy or advertising platform is a very its effectiveness. As is the case with other communicaimportant element of advertising strategy since it has tions instruments, special attention has to be devoted to to convince consumers. They have to know why they the different steps in advertising campaign development should buy the product, to learn in what way it is speand to the fit between the strategic marketing plan and cial, how it is beneficial or advantageous for them, how the advertising campaign. The most crucial step in this it can help them, what characteristics it has or what process is translating the creative idea in an advertising benefits and value it offers, etc. In order to answer the execution. To this end, it is important to devote a lot question ‘what to communicate?’ the advertiser has to of attention to different formal and content techniques know and understand the target group very well: he or and their effectiveness in advertising. But first of all, an she has to know what the product can do for the target overview is given of the different types of advertising. group, what the product can mean to them and how the product can help the consumers to reach their goals. Indeed, advertising can only be effective if it benefits the Keywords: creative strategy, effective advertisconsumer. Therefore, the message cannot be focused on ing, brand, positioning, communication, purchase seller objectives, but has to start from the target conbehavior, rational and emotional appeal, media sumers’ motives. 4 Some customers see a car just as a functional vehicle, a means of getting them from A to JEL Classification: M31, M37, L81, L82 B. This target group can perhaps be convinced by communicating the brand’s attributes (airbag, engine, etc.) or benefits (reliability, safety, etc.). A year ago, in April, it was argued (Bobowski, Other customers do not want to buy a car; they 2014) that today, in order to win back the audience scatwant to buy an image, a status. Obviously, communicatered across multiple media and many channels, brands tions to the latter group should be different from those have to be more strategic. That is why the marketing deto the former group. Communicating a lifestyle, an impartments are trying, for instance, according to his opinage or a product’s identity might be more suitable than ion, to harness the social buzz around must-see televitelling customers about attributes or benefits. Knowing sion by tying together television ads and social strategy. the problems, preferences and aspirations of the target
group may be essential for deciding on the right message. Furthermore, it is important not to confuse consumers. Therefore, most companies stick to promoting one unique benefit of their brand, which can be functional or non-functional. A functional benefit, also called a unique selling proposition (USP), usually refers to functional superiority in the sense that the brand offers the best quality, the best service, the lowest price, the most advanced technology. For example, Gillette is ‘the best a man can get’; there is ‘no better washing machine’ than Miele; Durex Avanti ‘gives the most natural feeling’; no card is more accepted than MasterCard, etc. A non-functional benefit usually reflects a unique psychological association to consumers and is referred to as an emotional selling proposition (ESP) . Center Parcs is a state of happiness, you buy L’Oréal because ‘you are worth it’ and you buy a PlayStation 3 because ‘this is living’. Other examples of brands that are promoted on the basis of non-functional benefits include Porsche, Rodania, Rolls-Royce, Louis Vuitton, and Van Cleef & Arpels. In order to know which USP or ESP to go for, the advertiser needs to have a clear consumer insight. These are oft en revealed by qualitative research. For example, for Dove a consumer insight was that tiny, perfect models in advertising lower women’s self-esteem. Therefore, Dove came up with its real beauty campaign showing normal women of all ages, shapes and sizes in an attempt to inspire consumers to feel comfortable with themselves. Creative idea Before an advertising agency can start thinking of a creative strategy, the advertiser must give the agency a creative brief. The creative brief or the document that forms the starting point for the advertising agency should contain not only information on the target group, advertising objectives and message strategy, but also sufficient information concerning the background of the company, the product, the market and the competitors. This implies information concerning the past, present and future in order to give the agency as accurate a view of the brand and its environment as possible. Some examples of necessary elements are the long-term company and brand strategy, past, current and desired positioning, former advertising campaigns, message strategies and execution styles, desired media, available budget and timing of the different steps (creative idea, execution strategies, campaign running, etc.). The first step of the creative strategy is to develop a creative idea. But what is a creative idea? It is hard to give an accurate definition, but let us consider some attempts. A creative idea can be defined as an ‘original and imaginative thought designed to produce goal-directed and problem solving advertisements and commercials’. According to others, a creative advertis-
ing idea has to be attention-grabbing and should work as a catalyst in the sense that it should create a ‘chemical reaction’ of immediately understanding the brand’s position. According to the jazz musician Charlie Mingus, ‘Creativity is more than just being different. Everybody can play weird, that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple complicated is commonplace, making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.’ In essence, a creative idea seems to boil down to a proposition which makes it possible to communicate a brand’s position in an original, attention-getting, but easy-to-catch way. Several researchers argue that creativity probably is the most important aspect of advertising. An expert panel even held the opinion that ‘the selling power of a creative idea can exceed that of an ordinary idea by a multiple of 10’. Besides the need for a creative idea to develop effective advertising, one can question how creative the ad itself has to be. Indirect evidence of the belief in the success of creative ads might be the fact that advertising seems to be more creative than a few decades ago. However, attention-grabbing, originality and imagination do not suffice. In the end, advertising must help to accomplish marketing objectives. The existing studies do not convey consistent results. Some studies claim creativity has a positive impact on ad likeability, brand awareness, brand liking and purchase intentions, but other studies could not find a relation between ad creativity on the one hand and attitude towards the ad, brand attitude, purchase intention or firm profitability on the other. Although it is clear that a creative idea is needed to express a brand’s positioning statement attractively, the question remains as to how creative the ad itself should be. Also, research indicates that practitioner views on advertising creativity differ from those of consumers. It oft en happens that consumers rank commercials differently to creative directors. The latter are oft en quite surprised that the public do not select the ads perceived as most creative by themselves. The foregoing illustrates that more research is called for to find out how important creativity is in the eyes of consumers and what creativity means to them. In trying to generate the established advertising objectives, agencies or creatives can use a multitude of appeals, formats and execution strategies to express or translate their creative idea. Broadly speaking, two different types of creative appeals can be distinguished: rational appeals and emotional appeals. Emotional advertising appeals are advertisements whose main purpose is to elicit affective responses and to convey an image. Rational advertising appeals, on the other hand, contain features, practical details and verifiable, factually relevant cues that can serve as evaluative criteria. Referring to the difference between action and image communications, many image communications make use of emotional appeals, while most action communications
use rational appeals. Also, with respect to the difference between product performance and imagery communications, most product performance ads use rational elements, whereas imagery communications most oft en consist of emotional ads. However, mixed appeals also exist, employing both rational and emotional elements. Both for emotional and rational appeals, different formats or execution strategies and different types of endorsers can be used. Also, it has to be added here that several of the formats that can be used for rational appeals could just as well be used for emotional appeals, although they are discussed only once. For example, a comparative ad can be purely factual, describing own and competitive prices, but could also be humorous, such as Virgin Atlantic’s campaign featuring large billboards in airports with the message ‘Enjoy your overpriced flight’. Comparative advertising can be used as a means to differentiate a brand from a competitor. A direct comparative ad explicitly names the comparison brand (oft en a well-known competitive brand) and claims that the comparison brand is inferior to the advertised brand with respect to a specific attribute. An indirect comparative ad does not explicitly mention a comparison brand, but argues to be superior on a certain attribute compared with other brands (‘Gillette, the best a man can get’). For a long time, directly comparative advertising was an American phenomenon. However, the European Commission has decided to allow comparative advertising in certain circumstances. A study points out that consumers in countries in which comparative advertising is not allowed, or is used infrequently, have a much more negative attitude towards comparative ads than American consumers. Taylor Nelson Sofres found in 2001 that two-thirds of UK consumers find comparable ads unacceptable; women were most opposed and youngsters aged between 16 and 24 minded least that brands criticize competitors. Research in France showed that direct comparative ads led to more positive brand attitudes than indirect or non-comparative ads. However, French advertisers remain unconvinced of the effectiveness of comparative advertising on French consumers and do not intend to use it more oft en in the future. Also in Spain, comparative advertising does not seem to be well received. A study revealed that the more intense the comparative claim, the less consumers believed the propositions, the more counter-arguments were formed, and the more negative attitudes and brand intentions became. This seems to suggest that advertisers should be careful about using this technique in Europe. Consumers seem to devote more attention to a comparative than to a non-comparative ad. The reason is that since at least two brands are being compared, the ad is relevant to more consumers (users of both the sponsored and comparison brand). Because
of more attention, comparative ads lead to a better message and brand awareness, evoke more cognitive responses and, as a consequence, enhance a more central communications processing. However, it should be noted that consumers perceive comparative advertising as less credible. A recent different for men and women. For men, comparative advertising seems to increase brand evaluations and purchase intentions because it increases their brand involvement and enhances processing. For women, on the other hand, comparative advertising leads to heightened persuasive intent perceptions and these perceptions decrease brand evaluation and purchase intentions. Concerning product positioning, positive effects can be observed. With new brand introductions, advertisers oft en stress the superiority of the new brand over a more familiar competitor on a typical attribute. By doing so, two desirable goals seem to be reached: (1) the new product is associated with the comparison brand and, as a consequence, more easily included in the consideration set of the target consumers; (2) the brand advertised is different from, and is more likely to be preferred to, the comparison brand. The attitude towards the brand usually is positively influenced by comparative ads, while the contrary holds for the attitude towards the ad. The latter is perceived to be less personal, less friendly and amusing, less honest and more aggressive. Although conative or behavioral effects have not been extensively studied, it seems that comparative ads have a positive influence on purchase intention. Furthermore, comparative as opposed to non-comparative ads seem to enhance purchase behavior, as indicated by coupon redemption. Although the balance of advantages and disadvantages turns out to be in favor of comparative advertising, one should also take into account the following threats. The use of comparative advertising may lead to aggressive, competitive media wars when the comparison brand feels attacked (the so-called boomerang effect). Furthermore, comparative advertising may be misleading and confusing for consumers. One should try to avoid promoting a competitive brand. This occurs when, as a result of the ad, the consumer wrongly thinks the ad sponsor is the comparison brand. Costs may also rise because of lawsuits etc. Finally, remember that comparative ads are not appreciated to the same extent in different cultures and countries. The findings reported in US studies may not hold at all for Europe, Asia, etc. Campaign implementation After advertising agencies have come up with creative and executional ideas, the advertiser has to evaluate the different alternatives on the basis of the creative brief. This means that the idea ultimately cho-
sen needs to be suitable for and appealing to the target tural characteristics have to be taken into account. group, be capable of reaching the advertising objectives, and be a kind of catalyst, making the brand’s position immediately clear in a simple, eye-catching References manner. The idea must also fit with the company’s and  Belch, M. and Belch, G. (2008), Introduction to the brand’s long-term strategy and with previous camAdvertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marpaigns. It has to be adaptable to the different media keting Communications Perspective, 6th editito be used, and financially implementable within the on. New York: McGraw-Hill. given advertising budget and within the given time  Bobowski, K. (2014), The Connected limits. When agreement is reached on the creative Campaign Why Social and TV Make a idea to be used for the different media, the ads need to Powerful Advertising Combination, avaibe produced. Since ad production needs special skills, lable at: http://www.marketingprofs.com/ this job is typically carried out by technical experts. opinions/2014/24939/the-connected-camPhotography, typography and sound recording need paign-why-social-and-tv-make-a-powerful-adto be well thought through, so that headline, baseline, vertising-combination#ixzz30Y1FwYLu copy, background music, pack shots, presenters, char De Mooij, M. (2005), Global Marketing and acters, the set, etc., form an integrated and consistent Advertising: Understanding Cultural Paradoad. As soon as the advertiser approves of the ad proxes, 2nd edition. Thousands Oaks, CA: Sage. posal, the ads are produced and handed over to the  Hofstede, G. and Hofstede, G.J. (2004), Cultumedia. After the campaign has run, it has to be evalures and Organizations: Soft ware for the Mind, ated for its effectiveness. In order to do this, it is very 2nd edition. New York: McGraw-Hill Professiimportant to have clear, measurable objectives at the onal. beginning of the campaign development process, as  Jarski, V.M. (2015), Everything You Need well as accurate data of the situation prior to the camto Know About Real Time Bidding [Infograpaign launch. phic], available at: http://www.marketingprofs. com/chirp/2015/27207/everything-you-needConclusions to-know-about-real-time-bidding-infographic#ixzz3TyCQuq6S Creativity is hard to describe, but bringing the mes Mueller, B. (2004), Dynamics of International sage in an original, novel and appealing way comes Advertising . New York: Peter Lang. close. In general, two broad types of creative appeals,  O’Guinn, T., Allen, C.T. and Semenik, R.J. rational and emotional, can be used to develop a cam(2008), Advertising and Integrated Brand Propaign, although mixed forms also exist. Emotional motion , 4th edition. Mason, OH: Th omson/ appeals are ads whose main purpose is to elicit afSouth-Western. fective responses and to convey an image. Rational appeals, on the other hand, contain information cues such as price, value, quality, performance, components, availability, taste, warranties, new ideas, etc. For both rational and emotional appeals, different formats or execution strategies can be used. Rational appeals may, for instance, make use of a talking head, a demonstration, a problem solution, a testimonial, a slice of life, a drama or a (direct or indirect) comparison with competitors. Emotional appeals may be based on humor, fear, warmth, eroticism, music or the like. Rational and emotional appeals may further feature different types of endorsers: ordinary people, experts or celebrities. None of the execution strategies works in all situations and for all target groups; for example, although everyone agrees that emotional techniques are capable of attracting attention, it is by no means certain that they get the message across in the manner intended. Therefore caution should be taken to select the right technique. In cross-cultural advertising campaigns, substantial differences in cul-
Sharing with our distinguished Readers a well-known source of usable and useful knowledge… Prof. Dr. h. c. Léon F. WEGNEZ is an Honorary Member of the Romanian Distribution Committee, and distinguished Member of the Editorial Board of our “Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine“. According to the recent announcement made by the European Retail Academy (ERA), the distinguished Léon F. Wegnez is the 2015 “Man of the Year” (the distinguished personalities who have been honored by ERA in the last four years were: Romano Prodi, Klaus Toepfer, Robert Aumann, and Mikhail Fedorov). Knowing our distinguished readers’ thirst for knowledge, we offer you, by courtesy of this remarkable personality, a short selection from “Distribution d’aujourd’hui”, 55ème année, Octobre-Novembre-Decembre 2014, Brussels.
European Retail Academy ERA AT its 10th Anniversary
Theodor valentin Purcarea
Abstract European Retail Academy (ERA) was founded in February 2005 at EuroShop, the world leading exhibition for retail technology, by Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier and some of his academic friends to support the Bologna-process and the interaction between theory and application in the field. Today www.european-retail-academy.org has links to more than 225 research-institutes for trade/marketing/ tourism all over the world. One focus of Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier and his friends from the very beginning of the European Retail Academy was to exchange students like he himself experienced in multiple AIESEC-exchanges during his studies. Key words: Retail; Environmental Retail Management; Competence for Vocational Training; Crowd Funding JEL Classification: A23; I29; L81; M53
It is well-known that the European Retail Academy (ERA) was founded in February 2005 at EuroShop, the world leading exhibition for retail technology, by Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier and some of his academic friends to support the Bologna-process and the interaction between theory and application in the field. Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier is an Honorary Member of the Romanian Distribution Committee, and distinguished Member of the Editorial Board of “Romanian Distribution Committee Magazine”. Romanian Distribution Committee has awarded Professor Bernd Hallier in 2006 the title of “Designer of the Year”. Main special issue for ERA was lifelong learning and the proliferation to vocational training/blended learning by modern technologies (EuCVoT). As we showed before, ERA met for its Annual Meeting 2011 at the EHI Retail Institute, GS1 Germany and EuroShop.
Today www.european-retail-academy.org has links to more than 225 research-institutes for trade/ marketing/ tourism all over the world, and the ERA Hall of Fame selects each year one professor who stands for outstanding contributions within the international interaction of research and applied sciences. Continuously SubSites have been launched to target special interest groups via AgriBusinessForum, Environmental Retail Management, Competence for Vocational Training, Forum Art Business, Global Green University, Art/Therapy/Geomancy (KTG) and Urban Revitalization. According to Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier: “Those information platforms are partly Number 1 at Google in their segments; but even more important are our student-activities: they are our investment into Future and Peace”. On March 5, this year ERA announced that The Romanian Association for Consumers’ Protection (APC Romania) marked Thursday 25 February, 2015, its 25th anniversary with a special event that took place at the InterContinental Hotel in Bucharest. President of APC Romania is Associate Professor Costel Stanciu (APC Romania is a Founding Member of the Romanian Distribution Committee, and Dr. Costel Stanciu is an Honorary Member of the Romanian Distribution Committee). APC Romania is a member of BEUC, and is also playing an active role in Consumers International, the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD), and European Consumer Consultative Group (ECCG). Professors Bernd Hallier (President of European Retail Academy) and Leon F. Wegnez (Secretary General of AIDA Brussels) sent congratulatory messages to APC Romania on the occasion of this 25th Celebration. President of the Romanian Distribution Committee, Theodor Purcarea, Professor at the Romanian-American University, received APC Romania honor award. ERA also informed that on 28 May, 2014, Romanian-American University organized in collaboration with the Romanian Distribution Committee and APC Romania a remarkable Roundtable: “Consumer protection and the pressure of economic and societal changes: the digital revolution; the sustainable consumption; the social exclusion, the vulnerable consumers and the accessibility.”
lion. The event “Crowd Day” gives the opportunity to companies with differentiated high technological products as well as start ups and ecological oriented firms to find their potential investors that could support and execute their ideas, campaigns and goals. According to Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier this it is also a great opportunity for students leaving university and looking for financial support for clever ideas!
Costel Stanciu, President of APC Romania and Theodor Purcarea, President of Romanian Distribution Committee Source: http://www.european-retail-academy.org/
Ten days after the above mentioned announcement, ERA reminded us that one focus of Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier and his friends from the very beginning of the European Retail Academy was to exchange students like he himself experienced in multiple AIESEC-exchanges during his studies (there are two types of exchanges, the academic ones and the vocational ones). At the moment Nora Tineva is a vocational trainee (see also : www. european-retail-academy.org/EUCVOT). In Bulgaria she worked for Erasmus Student Network Bulgaria (ESN Bulgaria). In November 2015 the ESN Cologne/Germany will organize a 4-days-platform for ESN network sections from Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland and UK. More: WEP Koln.
On March 26, 2015 ERA informed us that in Cologne/Germany an interesting event about “Crowd Funding” took place under the slogan “One day for the crowd”. In this fruitful platform at the local Chamber of Industry and Commerce more than 700 participators and more than 300 speakers took part as they held discussions and presentations for more than 28 hours as part of an intensive program. Part of the success-story in Cologne was also that it was the third event of this topic - with increasing competence. Furthermore, since it has been launched the German Crowd Funding Network has managed to double each year the amount of investments - in 2012 it has gathered 31€ million , in 2013 65€ million and in 2014 the impressive amount of 140 € mil-
Nora Tineva with Jo Vorstadt Source: http://www.european-retail-academy.org/
The first visit of Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier in Romania took place in May 1998 on the occasion of the 24th International Congress of AIDA Brussels organized by the Romanian Distribution Committee. Launching the so-called „Evolution Tornado Retail”, Professor Hallier argued (inter alia) that: less seen by the consumers but more by the experts and some dedicated academics is the change of the backstage in retail; no attention at all was paid to the evaluation of philosophies offered by the steady upgrade of retail-technologies; consumers can gain much more impact onto the listing of products, onto services within a store (it might be the time when the outlets become a “point of consumers”- POC – again).
Within this context it is also worth to mention that on June 1st 2011 Romanian American Univer-
sity (RAU) awarded the prestigious “Diploma of Special Academic Merit” to Professor Bernd Hallier in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the promotion of the international transfer of know-how between business and universities, bringing more transparency on retail-research and retail-education, his successful involvement in the Social Dialogue project “Establishing a European Network for Anticipating skill needs in the commerce sector”, the attention paid to the evaluation of philosophies offered by the steady upgrade of retail-technologies, and his active involvement in developing cooperation between Germany and Eastern markets.
Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier, Food Waste Management, Book cover
“Diploma of Special Academic Merit” was handed over to Professor Bernd Hallier by RAU Rector Ovidiu Folcut