In this episode of the SLN Podcast, John Peters is joined by Bob Neville, Founding Director of Direct to Consumer, a leading design and prototype agency for brands and retail experiences. Bob has been telling brand stories through retail experiences and design for over 30 years. Bob cut his teeth in Hong Kong, opening stores for adidas across Asia before ultimately joining New Balance as Global Creative Director and Head of Retail where he oversaw over 5,000 locations. With his new venture, DTC, Bob is now helping brands like Coca-Cola activate in new ways across the globe.

Podcast Highlights

9:50 – Networking in the sports industry: “In the sports industry and I suppose the corporate world, a lot of people that you have some great relationships with move on to other organizations. So your network just grows quite significantly.”

12:47 – Evolution and revolution: “It’s all about evolution and revolution, but from a business perspective you’re dealing with legacy stores or environments. And as you roll something new out, you gotta be cautious and conscious of some of those retailers and partners and the retail footprints that they’ve got.”

15:15 – New Balance’s Generational Stores: “It was really about understanding where the brand came from in 1906 with the chicken’s foot, the arch support. And if there’s this incredible story of performance that goes all the way back to 1906. So what I did is created an environment for telling that story, a retail environment, that commercial environment that could tell that story so that people understand that and are able to buy and buy into that story and that history through the purchase of products.”

24:42 – What is DTC and how it began: “So DTC is about direct to consumer, but it’s also about the design test center about testing things before they hit the street or before there’s consumer interaction.”

30:00 – What brands DTC is a fan of: “I love the way that Tesla is still a car brand, but really took themselves to the center of a high street and were presenting and selling cars in a new way.”