Doughnuts, DOOHs and don'ts.
Three themes seem to jump out of last month's Digital Signage Today top five: Dunkin' Donuts dominated, a new digital out-of-home network intrigued and digital signage problems (and how to avoid them) kept cropping up.
The top five stories on DST last month, in terms of most pageviews, took a look at the new digital signage-friendly Dunkin' Donuts store layouts; offered a glimpse of another new interactive projection tech; asked why there wasn't more digital signage; warned of top digital signage mistakes; and examined a new in-airport digital signage network from Clear Channel:
1. "Dunkin' makin' changes with digital signage": Dunkin' Donuts recently unveiled the brand's first new store designs in nearly seven years, and its new look includes a healthy flavoring of digital signage.
2. "Why isn't there more digital signage?": This commentary from digital signage expert Lyle Bunn offered a list of eight reasons why digital signage projects take forever to gestate or even "hit a wall."
3. "No need to touch: Projection tech turns objects interactive": There's a new wave of interactivity heading to store shelves — one in which there's no touchscreen required. One of the latest twists on interactive technology uses light and motion sensors to activate and project digital content onto a retail display table. Digital content is activated when a shopper picks up a display item.
4. "Watch out for the top 6 digital signage mistakes": Visix President Sean Matthews writes that buying digital signage requires an understanding of the key elements involved in a digital signage system and their interaction, including not only the specialized hardware and software required for the system itself but the personnel needed to install, operate and maintain it. Not to mention the content to fill the screen and keep it interesting.
5. "Clear Channel Airports launching in-airport digital signage TV channel": Digital signage technology is driving a new kind of in-airport TV channel being piloted by Clear Channel Airports and connectiVISION Digital Networks in airports across the U.S. ClearVision is being set up to deliver a mix of network and cable broadcast programming, in-house produced content, regional news and local advertising on uniquely branded channels for each airport.
So what are the key takeaways we can glean from last month's top five? Let's take a look:
1. People love Dunkin' Donuts.
Well, yes, but people also want to know how or why a super-successful QSR chain is deploying digital signage. Dunkin' included digital menu boards in the company's first new store design in years.
John Herth, senior director, Global Design and Construction Services at Dunkin' Brands, said the digital signage is an important piece of the new store design puzzle.
"Dunkin' Donuts' new store design is targeted to our busy, on-the-go guests who look to get in and get out quickly with great food and beverages served fast, fresh and at a great price," he said. "As we've evolved from a morning destination into a brand that serves people all day long, the new design reflects that with enhancements such as our new interactive, digital menu boards. These boards use video and add more color, excitement and clarity for customers ordering at the counter."
2. When Bunn speaks, people listen?
Also true. People probably do like to click on Bunn's commentaries to see what one of the most, if not the most, visible digital signage consultants has to say. But there's also apparently plenty of interest in why this medium hasn't spread quite as fast or become quite as ubiquitous as some had expected it to by now. From failure to satisfactorily prove potential ROI to simple inertia, Bunn looks at why some projects achieve failure to launch.
And the other main reason this story merited so many clicks likely is the simple fact that deployers just don't want their projects to fail — and if they can get a forewarning of what to look out for, they want it. Forewarned is forearmed.
3. Interactivity is still hot.
Deployers want to engage customers, and using some form of interactivity invests shoppers in the retail and selling process. Touchscreens are great, but some of the new interactive projection tech has some intriguing possibilities.
4. Pitfalls and perils are everywhere.
As with No. 2, people want to know what to look out for. Perhaps one of the best — and most basic — pieces of advice for deployers is offered up in this piece: Digital signage is more than a TV on a wall; don't be lulled into thinking it is.
5. There are still big ideas out there.
The Clear Channel Airports in-airport digital signage network is an interesting idea that one could easily see being modeled in other places. Now, location-specific digital signage channels aren't new, but the scale and scope of what this partnership has planned (basically an in-airport TV network, specific to each airport, running on digital signage) is or at least seems to be.
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