EDGE – Getting Personal

As we start slowly peeling off the coping methods that were developed during the dumpster fire that was last year, we start to re-prioritize. Many of us found that 2020, while not the year we planned gave time to contemplate what our priorities truly were. We decided to source our own produce and build beautiful gardens in our backyards. We opted to spend our money on helping others in need whether that was the BLM movement or essential workers who were our everyday heroes in times of uncertainty. We made business decisions out of fear because there was no light in sight, no path to follow. We decided our time was better spent learning to bake and cook with our families and close friends rather than rushing to our local watering hole for happy hour. We learned that you could run through the entire library in Netflix and people who house giant cats are some of the most fascinating people in pop-culture. We shifted, we changed, we grew, and we coped. Now it’s time to take what we learned and dust off some of the bad habits that may have come with it and figure out what’s important now.

The next couple months EDGE will be allowing space for vulnerable moments in hopes of assisting in personal growth. We will start the quarter with a lesson on personal branding. Helping employees and ourselves learn a little more about allowing our authentic self to come through. We will ask employees to find their “why” in hopes of creating better colleague relationships, allow for better self-advocacy, push further towards our passions and create a space where individuality is nurtured and desired. Understanding how to market oneself will ultimately help us to be better marketers for our clients.

From personal branding we will then push ourselves by discussing mental health. A topic that in recent years has become highly prioritized and politicized. Mental health is something that Match Retail asks their employees to think about regularly. Our leaders push us to take a step away, get outside, take an extended lunch or a day off to re-group and come back ready to create. We will share some thoughts from industry leaders and our own staff during a monthly session in May.

The last part of our quarter will dive into personal finance. One of those topics that people seem to get a little smaller in their chairs during. We dipped our toes into this last year with a guest speaker from the Pledgettes, a local group leading the charge in personal growth in numerous ways. We will be bringing back a guest speaker to talk a little more in depth about how we spend our money, how we should be talking about it and how we can better think about it.

It’s going to be a great quarter with a lot of opportunity to grow and we could not be more excited.

EDGE

 

EDGE – Leading For Change

To wrap up EDGE’s Q1 thematic of CHANGE, and in celebration of Women’s History month, we welcomed guest speaker Kathryn Simpson. Kathryn is a change leadership consultant with many years of hands-on experience. Kathryn collaborates with leaders in organizations of all sizes across North America and Europe, to create pathways to organizational success through focus and alignment.

Ahead of the session, each Match Retail team member received a copy of Kathryn’s best-selling book Leading For Change. How to thrive during uncertain times. During the interactive discussion, Kathryn shared her own stories of change, examined learnings and highlighted how the process was effective. We reviewed the eight factors of successful change and discussed how each person, at any level, can play a role. Through survey results, we were able to identify as an organization where Match Retail has succeeded in leading through change as well as areas of opportunity. We left the session with a stronger understanding of why it is important to lead change effectively in 2021 and beyond, and the key success factors to doing it well.

After our session with Kathryn we had the pleasure of hosting a live question and answer session through our social channels to gain and share some great insights and learnings on leading change within the workplace and personal life. Here is what Kathryn had to say;

Why is it important to you to lead change well?

I am very energized when I am part of organizations coming together to create a strong future. I’m grateful I have been able to help leaders at all levels guide their organizations and teams to successful futures.

How can we ensure that change is being implemented and measured flawlessly both in the workplace and personally?

Measure change from many perspectives, not just the easily quantifiable finance and process measures but from the more difficult and important people measures whether they are customers or employees.

What advice would you give someone who wants to be a leader of change within their organization but is currently not in a leadership role?

Learn from customers or other functions what is going on and what is likely to happen in the future. You will also be able to spot opportunities to change and influence those around you, by describing the change you want to make.

How would you advise employees in an organization to adapt to changes that may be outside their comfort zone?

Express your feelings and what you see as the barriers to change. Understand why change is happening and ask what is carved in stone. Find out if there are opportunities to design something that will work better for you and your team.

We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to listen and learn from Kathryn Simpson in last months EDGE session and look forward to working together as a team to lead change here at Match Retail.

Evolution of Merchandising Over 15 Years

At Match Retail, merchandising is our “thing”. We have created efficiencies in the way we work, and we are passionate about what we do. We get in and out with minimal customer interference and strong brand presence and the best part is, we simply love what we do!

This month we had a chance to sit down with Dahlia Chiesurin, Director of Client Services and Operations to give us some insights into the evolving world of merchandising from past, present and future and how she feels it has evolved and where it’s going!

So, what is merchandising?

Known as the final step in retail projects, merchandisers like to think of themselves as the little fairies working behind the scenes to create the magic on shelf. It may not always be the most glamourous, but the end result is beauty and brand presence day in and day out through consistent executional excellence and attention to detail! Merchandising has certainly evolved over the past 15 years and we are proud to have been there for it, contributing to the evolution.

“Merchandisers are the little fairies that work behind the scenes to create magic”

Driven by aggressive KPIs, it can make or break a marketing campaign, it supports the billboards, creates appeal of a given product at store level and ultimately represents the company and brand. Merchandising can often be overlooked however it is crucial to the success of any marketing campaign, product launch and new collection, with its high traffic visibility, rapid deployment of infield resources and quality control we understand what it takes to make sure brands are the forefront of the customer in the retail landscape.

How has it evolved?

One may think that merchandising is viewed as a basic task that may not require change or cannot be improved, but when we look back over the past 15 years the evolution of merchandising has far surpassed this idea through its identification as the crucial final step in a marketing campaign.

“We went from hardly any in-store visibility to live updates accessible anytime, anywhere making it easier to communicate with teams and clients!”

Merchandising consists of many touch points both before and after execution and over the past 15 years our teams have certainly seen these changes evolve in many ways that have helped with both communication and efficiency for merchandisers and clients. When we think of technology changes, we see that programs, phones and data capture have come such a long way making it a pivotal moment for merchandisers. From capturing images on a phone to online live digital visibility of executions we have seen such great change that has helped drive speed and accuracy in the work at retail. Technology advancements have allowed us to create live tracking documents that are available anytime from all locations, including remote locations which allows us to pivot quickly. Reporting results and KPI compliance has become more insightful for clients, allowing for immediate knowledge of the field execution. Our merchandisers are the eyes and ears. Even client briefs and communication have evolved from mail and print to digital and online portal communication and tracking, allowing for faster approvals.

What’s to come?

Looking ahead with artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) we see it as a game changer in merchandising through the use of interactive planograms on tablets. These planograms allow customers to visually see each tray component and product sequence for a more virtual and interactive instore experience. Damaged components can be ordered directly on the planogram and are reported directly to client for ordering. Corrective planograms can now be uploaded immediately, allow for replacements to limit any errors and drive speed accurately.

“Allowing consumers to test out products virtually has created a whole new experience that’s provided them an opportunity to adapt to a new way of trying out products”

A virtual and interactive world has already started and with the technology behind augmented reality (AR) programing providing brands the resources to bring customers a virtual “trying” experience in the comfort of their own homes or instore with the click of a button.

Evolution and experience have guided merchandisers to understand what it takes to make sure brands are at the forefront of customers in the retail landscape in effective and efficient ways. Brands need to be Retail Ready for the consumer shopping experience and to drive sales. Our merchandisers are passionate to make it happen!

Choose To Challenge

When I was born, my parents wanted to give me a good, strong name. So they named me Austen. When I send an email, people address me with male pronouns. When I showed up at my Professor’s office hours in college, they were always surprised to meet a petite, 4’10” woman.Whether my parents knew it or not, their decision to give me a traditionally male name gave mea small leg up in a world that doesn’t always lend an ear to women.

My dad had three daughters, and he raised us just like he would have raised sons. We grew up in a little 2 bedroom home on 50 acres in the mountains of Colorado and our days were full of dirt biking, hiking, climbing trees, shooting, and taking care of chickens, pigs, dogs, cats, and turtles. We never heard the phrase “No, that’s for boys”, and so I grew up blissfully unaware that in some situations, my gender would put me at a disadvantage or worse.

As I grew up and learned more about gender disparities that still exist in our culture today I asked my dad why he didn’t warn me. His answer was simple. “The only obstacles you have, are the ones that you perceive”.

I think there’s profound wisdom in this mentality that’s rooted in true self-confidence and self-worth. I’ve never viewed myself as incapable or less deserving. I never internalized the challenges that women face. And I truly believe that truth has helped me succeed.

But please don’t take me as a fool. I am not discrediting any struggle we as women face, and I’m not saying that to be naive is better or smarter. I’m simply offering the thought that we can acknowledge our obstacles without making them part of our identity. This is a choice.

The theme of this International Women’s Month is “Choose to Challenge”. So, I’m calling on you to challenge the obstacles you may face without giving them the power to hold you back. Acknowledge the hills you’re about to climb without doubting your ability to climb them. The world is at your fingertips, so go do whatever the hell you want.

Written by Public Label’s Social Media Strategy Manager, Austen Overman

Innovatus Capital Partners Acquires Public Label and Match Retail, Two Leading Agencies under Match Marketing Group

Deal Accelerates Growth Trajectory and Capabilities of Agencies Specializing in Integrated Marketing and Retail Expertise

Investment adviser and portfolio management firm Innovatus Capital Partners, LLC (“Innovatus”) announced today that it has acquired Match Marketing Group’s Public Label and Match Retail – two North American agencies out of Boulder, CO and Toronto, ON – from Southfield Capital. The acquisition comes on the heels of Innovatus’ purchase of VSA Partners in January, a leading design and brand experience agency that represented the foundational entity in this newly created global marketing services platform.

The acquisition marks the next stage of evolution for Public Label and Match Retail following Match Marketing Group’s restructuring and official launch of the two agencies in December 2020. Public Label, a creative marketing agency, and Match Retail, a leading sales, merchandising and branded retail agency, are now positioned to further strengthen their respective capabilities in North America and beyond with the support of the new ownership.

“We are impressed with the unique positioning that Public Label and Match Retail bring to the North American clients they serve,” said Ravi Bhagavatula, Partner at Innovatus. “Both agencies are seeing positive momentum following the recent launch and are poised for strong growth in their sectors.”

The launch of Public Label and Match Retail was the result of an extensive overhaul and modernization of Match Marketing Group’s expertise and offerings. The decision to form two separate agencies provided clarity of purpose and allowed each agency to clearly articulate what makes them different in the marketplace. Public Label offers integrated, experiential, shopper and digital marketing for clients such as Progressive, adidas, Fujifilm, Mars Wrigley, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, OZO and Ford Bronco. Match Retail, which helps brands get “retail ready” and drive conversion in traditional shopping environments, has been operating for over 12 years, primarily in Canada. Current clients include LG, Rogers Communications, TELUS, Nespresso, Danone and L’Oréal.

“We’re thrilled to begin a new chapter with Innovatus Capital Partners,” said Brian Cohen, CEO of Public Label and Match Retail. “We had a tremendous run with Southfield Capital, and they were instrumental in helping facilitate this transition. Given our new trajectory, Innovatus is the accelerant we need to take our agencies to the next level of growth. We have a shared vision for where the market is going, and are aligned on investment opportunities in data/analytics, technology and culture. We’re looking forward to a fantastic partnership.”

The leadership team for Public Label and Match Retail will remain unchanged under the new ownership.

EDGE – Education is Power

Last month we celebrated Black History Month at Match Retail with guest speaker, Carey Mason. Carey is the owner / CEO of The Alternative Board, which provides coaching to business owners and CEOs. He is also a social justice speaker and activist.

In his conversation with us, Carey shared personal incidents and experiences that highlighted how diversity, equity, and inclusion had impacted him from his birth to current day. Spanning six decades, Carey’s stories described his journey as a child growing up in the “de-segregated” south to working as a senior executive for a Fortune 250 global business before launching his own diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting practice assisting businesses to change their culture. The magnitude of research that Carey’s family had developed to understand their deep roots was incredibly impactful to our employee base and inspired many to get digging into their past as well.

Carey’s presentation, while humorous by design, allowed for reflection and insightful learnings intended to invoke contemplation of similar experiences and challenge our willingness to make changes that better ourselves and by extension our local community.

The Match Retail team regrouped the following day to reflect and share personal stories and histories of our own. Therefore continuing our education and focus on the people that make up this wonderful community of creative minds.

 

Diversity, equity and inclusion with Carey Mason

Last month, we had the absolute honor in being able to have Carey Mason as a guest speaker, in celebration of Black History Month.  Carey shared with us his personal experiences which were important in molding his desire to be an activist and social justice speaker for diversity, equity and inclusion. Carey’s stories took us on his journey from growing up in a “de-segregated south,” to being the first in his family to obtain a college education, to becoming a senior executive of a Fortune 250 global business to finally launching The Alternative Board – a diversity, equity and inclusion consulting practice focused on educating and assisting businesses to implement change.  The discussion proved to be thought provoking and engaging, with the final 45 minutes being open to discussion. Employees were given the opportunity to openly and safely discuss the way in which diversity, equity and inclusion played a role in their lives, together with any questions, comments or concerns which they wanted to share.

We were humbled and grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from Carey, and we hope to bring him back again in the future so that we continue to learn, grow, and continue this conversation outside of one month per year.

 

We Stand In Solidarity To #EndBullying

Match Retails stands in solidarity with our client @Telus in their TELUS Wise campaign to #endbullying. On February 24th we took the pledge along with over 2 Million Canadians to being kind and respectful, to not engage in bullying and to help if we see it happening. Please join us and take the pledge here http://www.telus.com/endbullying

#EndBullying

Learn more about the TELUS Wise #Endbullying campaign | TELUS
Help TELUS ensure the digital space is a safe place by taking the TELUS Wise Digital Pledge. Users can take the Pledge on this page and learn more about cyberbullying prevention and intervention in…
www.telus.com

EDGE – Let It Burn

To kick off 2021 and EDGE’s Q1 theme of CHANGE, the January session took a deep dive into Glennon Doyle’s bestselling memoir Untamed with a focus on the chapter “Let It Burn”.  Difficult and thought-provoking discussion questions were posed to the group that sparked insightful and open dialogue around the concept of the world’s memos and how Doyle encourages her readers to let those memos burn in pursuit of constantly developing your own truth.  Doyle writes, “Destruction is essential to construction.  If we want to build the new, we must be willing to let the old burn.”

Digging deeper into the chapter, the topic of social justice and the memos that are created around its perception kept the group’s focus for the majority of the session.  Doyle writes, “I let burn my cherished, comfortable idea of America as a place of liberty and justice for all.  I let a truer, wider perspective be born in its place, one that included the American experience of people who don’t look like me.”  Discussing our own experiences since the June’s re-sparking of the BLM Movement brought a variety of viewpoints and perspective in accepting a new way to view privilege and justice not only in America, but all over the world.

The Only Constant Is Change

You may be familiar with the saying, “you can’t step in the same river twice.” Originally said by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus who is known for his doctrine that change is central to how the universe works. The exact quote actually goes:

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” (source: https://iep.utm.edu/heraclit/)

Whether this statement resonates with you or not, change is an unavoidable part of human existence. And even so, we often find ourselves resisting it. Perhaps most often in the face of fear, the longing for nostalgia, or simply in seeking comfort, we cling to the familiar.

Here at Match Retail, we’ve been thinking about (and experiencing) a lot of change lately. A new agency identity, a new government administration, pandemic uncertainty, and rapidly evolving social justice conversations – to name a few. Which is why EDGE, our diversity leadership initiative, has chosen our Q1 theme as change.

We started the year with a book discussion on a chapter from Glennon Doyle’s bestselling memoir, Untamed. In the chapter, titled “Let It Burn,” Doyle inspires readers to let burn the memos that the world has issued in pursuit of our own truth. One of these memos brought us to the topic of social justice and kept us there. Doyle writes,

“I let burn my cherished, comfortable idea of America as a place of liberty and justice for all. I let a truer, wider perspective be born in its black, one that includes the American experience of people who don’t look like me.” (76)

The theme of change will propel us through February’s recognition of Black History Month and Women’s Month in March. Individually and as a collective, Match Retail is eager to continue to address these topics and the change that is needed to create a world that we want to live in.

Heraclitus’ theory describes “Becoming” as a constant state of flux in our universe, meaning we must always be willing to let go of the past in order to embrace the future. And with that, we will leave you with a final quote from Doyle that will hopefully inspire you to burn your memos and greet the flux of our world with open arms, “We are only alive only to the degree to which we are willing to be annihilated. Our next life will always cost us this one.” (74)

See you in our next life,

The EDGE Team