written by Lee Wiser McIntosh
I’m crushing hard for Dallas-based Glass-Media and all the potential they they can unleash for the traditional brick and mortar jewelry store. I first encountered them at the pre-pandemic Atlanta Jewelry Show in March. If ever I’ve felt “the future of retail,” it was then and it was instantaneous.
Glass-Media creates an atmosphere. The customer sees jewelry as they’ve never seen it before: larger than life, moving, or changing before their very eyes. Imagination is key. And imagination makes all things possible. Their work is tastefully theatrical, so naturally, this new visual environment has been proven to drive footfall, build brand awareness and increase customer engagement.
Glass-Media’s first foray into the jewelry industry was at JCK Las Vegas 2019 followed by the Atlanta Jewelry Show. At JCK they participated in the Retail Innovation Lab, a curated group of emerging technologies relevant to the retail jewelry business and subsequently presented on the main stage through the JCK Think Tank program. They’ve created pilot custom-tailored solutions with Helzberg Diamonds, James Avery, Swarovski, Signet Jewelers, Pandora, and watch brand Daniel Wellington.
Let’s explore how they accomplish any jewelry store’s objective of getting more eyeballs on your jewelry.
Projection-based display technology is foundational. Glass-Media developed their own semi-permanent, paper thin films that cling to your storefront’s window. Easily edited, the images are projected on to the film and change to intrigue window-shoppers and draw them into the store. The storefront displays remain timely, seasonal, and up to date with your store calendar.
Once people are drawn inside the store, Glass-Media merges the digital and physical environments with dynamic fixtures. There are fully customizable shelving and frames which can be layered with LCD monitors to create miniature environments that create a backlit glow to complement the merchandise in front of it. Their “Spotlight” fixtures are particularly lovely. The small scale creates a more intimate display, drawing the customer in close, transforming the merchandise into experiential works of art. Best of all, as a tabletop or standalone display, they can be moved around the store.
“We map visual content around the physical products with relative ease… and because we are nimble translators of branding, we quickly execute
customized solutions.” Black explained.
Projection has merchandising applications as well with projection-based augmented reality. They’re able to project digital images of jewelry on to a neck form that looks incredibly realistic.
Glass-Media was founded by Daniel Black. He inherited a strong, analytical mind from his father, a pediatric heart surgeon, and from his mother, an artist, he was gifted with out-of-the-box thinking. The resulting Glass-Media melds his skill set into an innovative technology company “on a mission to transform how brands engage customers.” There are ten full-time, forward-thinking staffers: visual storytellers, digital artists, designers and engineers. Supporting this team are 30-40 freelancers scattered across the globe and in every time zone which is especially useful on tight deadlines when they are literally working around the clock.
Not only is Glass-Media technologically innovative, they are quick to respond to the needs of the jeweler with creatively priced tools that can be implemented on a rental, short-term or long-term basis. Brand collaborations and co-op initiatives are ideal for short-term engagements. Special events and seasonal activations can be produced for a 30-90 day rental period. If you are committing to a store renovation, talk with them first to see how projection-based technologies can be seamlessly integrated into your new store design.
Glass-Media is responding to the factors that are shaping the brick and mortar by revitalizing the storefront and enhancing the in-store experience with elegant digital solutions. They cut through the visual noise and distractions with unique, experiential display. For the curious, and I do indeed hope you are, I highly recommend a visit to their website: www.glass-media.com. Plan to take your time. There is a lot of content, beautifully organized and ready for exploration. Really want your mind blown? Look into their Frictionless Engagement. Then set up an exploratory conversation. As part of their COVID-19 recovery, they are building out a studio in their Dallas offices as a customer experience lab to demonstrate their capabilities and how it might look in your store.
The stage is set. We will be seeing more digital activations, not less and the jewelry space, historically slow to embrace technology, will stay relevant by welcoming this kind of innovative thinking.
This article about Daniel Black of Glass-Media is the third in a series of conversations with prognosticators, visionaries, and super smart people who know our industry and seek to make us better and stronger. Our last interview looked at the agency side, and this article shows a tech company that works with traditional agencies to transform how brands engage with customers. I’m looking forward to delving deeper into different verticals and sharing those insights with you. ~ lwM / The Jewel Vox.
Thoughts, comments? Hate mail?: lwM@thejewelvox.com
I’d love to know what you think about augmented reality, experiential design, and how your jewelry store’s plan to implement fresh technologies. Thanks in advance for your input.