C.O.R.E: Create Once Retail Everywhere

C.O.R.E: Create Once Retail Everywhere

MD Tim Rodwell reflects on whether over-thinking retail environments removes their relevancy. And wonders whether we would be better to trust our instincts….

I was recently having dinner with a friend who works in publishing, an industry that has seen seismic shifts in the past ten years.

We were talking about the paths our careers have taken and I was reminded of an experience from the early days of my career.

I had started work at a firm in the City of London in the marketing and public relations department. My then boss called me into her office and asked me to write a press release on a deal that the firm had recently completed.

I researched, wrote and reviewed the release. Not bad for a first cut I thought as I left the draft in my boss’ in tray. A day or so later the draft landed back on my desk struck through with one red line and post saying: ‘Awful, re-draft’.  Ouch I thought, and dutifully set about re-drafting. This went on for about a week until the deadline for sending the release approached. By which point I was at my wits end.

In a final attempt at ‘getting it right’ I reprinted my very first attempt and gave it back to her. Either a bold move, or a foolish one. I sat back down at my desk and awaited my P45. An hour later my phone rang and my boss told me to come to her office. I entered and she didn’t even look up, she just held the release aloft and said: ‘finally you’ve nailed it’.

As I told this story to my friend he thought a while and then said ‘C.O.P.E’. I asked him what he meant and he explained his firm’s system of Create. Once. Publish. Everywhere.  A system that makes the most of print, digital and social by allowing his company to roll-out content rapidly with few adaptations. Such were the changes in the publishing world that a whole new approach was required and C.O.P.E was his firm’s response.  It has served them very well as they now lead the pack in all three disciplines.

It got me to thinking about the retail environment. What if we adopted Create Once Retail Everywhere (C.O.R.E) as a guiding philosophy?

We spend so much time iterating concepts, and it is often not because we should, but because we can. So often (I’d argue virtually every time) our first thought or response is our best, but we then slavishly go ahead and iterate the creativity and immediacy out of it.

Retail should be fun, fast and fruitful. The product should be the star. Are we over complicating it all I wonder?

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