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The Yard Creative: Helping Retailers Create Incredible Experiences

  • 27 October 2017
  • Expert Insights

This post is part of our new Future of IoT series which interviews the leading founders and executives who are on the front lines of the industry to get a better understanding of what problems the industry is facing, what trends are taking place, and what the future looks like.

The following is an interview we recently had with Steve James-Royle, Co-Founder of The Yard Creative.

1. What’s the history of The Yard Creative? Where and how did you begin?

SJR: In 2007, we took the plunge and set up the agency with a view to deliver a very personal, high-quality creative service. We wanted rid of the ‘copy & paste' mindset.

Our previous agencies had taught us about what to do and a lot of what not to do. We wanted a better way for a creative agency to thrive; embracing the approach that creative people are at their best when they have freedom and inspiration from outside the studio.

2. What specific problem does The Yard Creative solve? How do you solve it?

SJR: TYC is a strategic retail design agency. We work with clients to help them innovate and push their businesses forward. We only work with clients that are looking for a disruptive step change in the way they do things. Always, our aim is to change a sector or create something remarkable.

Our approach to work utilises research and strategy as the foundation to all design ideas and rationale. We believe that we add the most value when involved on a project from the word go through to launch.

Our process begins with a scientific approach based on research and insight combined. Experience mapping is used as a tool to remove subjectivity from the decision process and helps the business to focus on delivering an elevated customer experience.

Technology, innovations, and trends along with futurology forecasts are used to strategise and formulate the BIG IDEA.

Once we have fired up our flat out crazy, innovative thinking our team of multidisciplinary designers and expert partners put their heads together to create the unexpected.

TYC – WorldVision

3. What’s the future of the IoT Industry?

SJR: It may seem obvious but we believe that the future of IoT industry is ‘connectivity everywhere'. The strength of IoT will lie in making the tasks of everyday life digital and simple to monitor remotely. However, the weakness of IoT is its intangibility, by improving its ‘visibility' people will begin to understand the benefits.

At TYC we believe that IoT will continue to help traditional brick and mortar retail stores compete with online. Bringing meaningful, personalised, interactive digital content into the store environment will help fulfill the physical senses whilst also enabling customers to feel their experience is customised.

IoT can also be leveraged in creative and unexpected ways to elevate physical brand activations or experiences. For example, in a recent project for World Vision an interactive magic mirror was used to capture passers-by and set them on an adventure to get closer to those in need. IoT elements were used throughout the engagement to boost the impact and make it memorable.

4. What are the top 3 technology trends you’re seeing in the IoT industry?

SJR: At TYC we are often looking for ways to integrate IoT into physical brand experiences. Particularly in the retail sector, beacons are becoming more commonplace as they enable more relevant engagement of customers in store. AI and machine learning are also concepts that we are experimenting with in the studio more and more.

About Steve James-Royle

With a background in retail strategy and interior design, Sian & I set up TYC in 2007 to offer our clients a personal level of service backed by evidential design. Before that, I was Associate Director at Astound, London and ran the interior side of the business.

The range of my projects over the past 15 years is wildly varied and includes: Tesco, Superdrug, John Lewis Food Hall, Harrods Man Shop, one of the first ever retail infrastructures in India for Reliance Industries, 3M Innovation Centre, B&Q UK & Hong Kong and KPN Telecom NL to name a few.

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