Gold Sponsor Q&A - Horizon



In-store retail is changing for good, and we are leading that change with our cutting-edge approach to retail marketing and point of purchase.

Describe your business in less than 15 words True retail marketing specialists. Helping you sell more with a pragmatic and customer-centric approach that works.

What would you say to someone who was thinking about entering? Preparing the entries for the awards every year is such an amazing experience that allows retrospection, satisfaction with the work done, and identification of strengths and opportunities in your service. It is worth entering your projects as these awards are a celebration of service excellence in our industry that really helps get the word out of your brand and your quality product to be recognised.

If you had to sum up the POPAI awards in 3 words, what would they be? Awe-inspiring, prestigious, buzz-creators.

What does it mean to you to sponsor the POPAI Awards? At Horizon, we are proud long-standing golden sponsors of the POPAI Awards. And we do it for a reason. We believe that these awards greatly contribute to the well-being and recognition of our industry worldwide. Brands and retailers can see the creativity, innovation, and excellence in shopper engagement that we put in their hands. Therefore, for us, the sponsorship is a catalyst for continuous improvement that helps everyone grow bigger and healthier within the current dynamic retail scenario.

What do you think makes a great retail experience? I think that the answer to this question varies with time, since who really answers it is the final customer. And our behaviour as shoppers has evolved incredibly in the last couple of years owing to the pandemic. That is what really matters to us. At Horizon, we pride ourselves on being good listeners. Our customer-centric approach helps us understand our client's objectives and discover exactly what it is they need to create value for the final customer. Now we are seeing that consumer shopping expectations and buying journeys have changed and can start and end on any channel. So, a good retail experience bridges the gap between online and offline touch points to create a consistent omni-channel experience. Shoppers should be able to feel and experience the products in such a way that they cannot experience them online. It should be emotional, educational, inspiring, tactile, and ultimately foster a relationship between the brand and the customer.

How do you innovate in your business? Our service is grounded on a customer-centric approach that pushes us to be always on the cutting edge of retail marketing innovation. We treat our customers as partners. This implies fostering long-term relationships with them where dialogue and co-creation are the standards, allowing us to grasp valuable insights about their evolving needs to constantly update our value proposition. Therefore, we are not reactive to brands and retailers’ evolving needs, we are proactively making investments to come up with innovative solutions that expand their pie and increase their marketing effectiveness.

How important do you think it is for our industry to continually look to the future? I think that looking at the future and bridging the gap between what we do now and what is expected of us to be doing in the future is the only way forward. The past should be a place of learning, not a place of living. And I firmly believe that incremental innovation in our industry comes down to closely monitoring how customers buy, what they expect to find in stores, and how innovations in technology play a role in there to find new ways to create value with POP solutions.

What role does in-store digital have in the retail experience? Nowadays, it is critical. Clients are increasingly demanding the application of technology into POP solutions. However, we understood that the task was not to embed fancy tech for the sake of it. In a world where everyone has a phone, our emphasis is on delivering information by using QR codes, Bluetooth, etc. to help brands achieve consistency across online and off channels. Of course, we do use screens and other types of more conventional tech to attract customers and foment interactivity. But the first question should always be why we should use screens when the customers have already one on their hands. For this reason, we have made huge investments in the latest technology to design and produce displays that not only provide an immersive and interactive omni-channel experience in-store. But also, to transform the display into a smart marketing solution that allows monitoring remotely the number and nature of customer interactions with the display. This enables our clients to localise and personalise the content shown on digital screens, implement nimble targeting strategies, and store-to-store promotion approaches.