Wednesday 22 March 2023
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Melissa Gonzalez: How Brands Build Human Connections in a Digital Age

Joined today by Melissa Gonzalez, a Marketing and Retail Strategist, Founder of The Lionesque Group, and the author of The Pop Up Paradigm: How Brands Build Human Connections in a Digital Age.

Melissa Gonzalez

Discussion guide from my conversation with Melissa Gonzalez:

1. Cohesive experience / Consistent story.

2. Using temporary retail to generate loyalty.

3. All of this matters to both online retail and traditional bricks and mortar stores!

4. Open source commerce: brands/companies need to collaborate in order to make data work.

5. Hyper local communities for brands such as Athleta offering free yoga classes in certain store locations, Nike Community stores or the local bike shop whose storefront sells healthy food and coffee while you browse.

6. Customer empowered shopping with hyper-customization: 3D printing, where we are now and where it’s going. 

7. Virtual and augmented shopping experiences – what brands are doing it and are they impacting the ROI.

8. Pop-up shops: how to start one and the value.

About Melissa Gonzalez:

A former Wall Street Executive, Gonzalez is the founder of The Lionesque Group, a firm of pop up shop experts who have produced more than 100 retail experiences in New York City, Los Angeles, and the Hamptons. Some of her clients include major brands such as COTY/Marc Jacobs, CAT Footwear, J. Hilburn, and Food52, and she reflects on her work in her book, The Pop-Up Paradigm: How Brands Can Build Human Connections in a Digital Age.

In 2015 she was awarded Innovator of the Year for pop-up retail experiences by Retail Touchpoints. And, in 2014, her work was honored with the CLIO Image Award for experiential engagement, and was a finalist for the New York Design Award for marketing and branded experiences.  She has also been awarded the Wall Street Journal’s Donor of the Day, one of the top 20 Most Inspiring People in New York City, and one of the Top 100 Young CEO’s by Our Time’s White House Initiative.

A true visionary, Gonzalez is also the co-founder of THE MARKET at the Roger Smith Hotel, and an advisor to start ups, and Fotofwd. She is also a guest blogger on pop-up and immersive retail strategies for various outlets, and holds a degree from Pennsylvania State University.

Get Melissa’s book here!


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Co-founder of the intrepidNOW Media Network, Todd Schnick is a media + business strategist and talk show host + producer. He is a former marketing strategist, national political operative, and lobbyist. Todd has published five books, writes a business + lifestyle column, is a distance runner, and lives in Chicago with his wife Stephanie + family.