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Three essential truths, golden rules to live by in the digital age

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Retail's BIG Show attendees were treated to a bit of British wit and wisdom yesterday from Oliver Walsh, founder of Wednesday, the digital creative agency behind luxury fashion brands like Tory Burch, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Mr Porter, Armani, H&M and J.Crew.

Style and technology are a natural pair in the fashion world, where it's all about pushing creative limits. But, citing the Englishman's love of order and rule, Walsh quite neatly outlined three areas that can help retailers form their game plans for our new digital reality.

Truth: It has never been easier to build brand trust.
Rule: Add value to your customer's life through more than just the product you sell.

With unlimited ways to communicate and spread messages, communication flows in every which way. This is an opportunity for brands that work to become a credible authority for content that engages, entertains and informs customers.

Truth: Brands are a part of communities beyond their control but not their influence.
Rule: Consistently activate your brand considering its broader cultural context.

How often has a fashion brand released a commercial only to have parodies receive more views? It's ok. The customer has more power than ever, so using the appropriate social platforms and understanding that social is about shared experiences and is critical to success. Look for where your voice and your brand values resonate with customers so you can build a network of good will. Campaigns like Nike's "Find your greatness" were mentioned more than 430,000 times a day on Facebook alone.

Truth: You see online and offline, but your customers only see you.
Rule: Deliver a singular experience of your brand online and offline.

Pulling off on omnichannel approach is complex, but it's what your customer already expects. They've already changed the way they shop, but most retailers are not yet ready with the systems, business intelligence and technology to create truly channel-agnostic experiences. It's time to figure out and invest in how to leverage the loads of data available to make a personalized, unique and fabulous experience regardless of the path.