Test your digital IQ. The digital evolution driven by e-commerce sales should change the words associated with key words in retail.

May 29, 2018 Monica Weglicki

Carl Jung first studied mental associations with words in 1917. His work eventually became the Word Association Test, and he served as research director continuing the evolution of the concept. Today you can see it applied in crossword puzzles, online games and other channels.

The table below shows key words relating to a retail facility. What is the first word that comes to mind?

Word Association for Retailers
  Word   First word that comes to mind
  Building and lighting controls  
  Operating expenses  
  Brick and mortar location  

Jung looked for cluster complexes to provide proof for the existence of the unconscious. Cluster complexes meant outliers to Jung. We’re not looking for outliers, but similarities in this example as the first thought can indicate our programmed or conditioned responses.


Why should I care? Mindset.

The digital evolution driven by retail e-commerce sales should change that first response. A retailer engaged in employing a connected environment in their brick and mortar facilities might have very different responses than one simply upgrading their lighting and controls. That’s because IoT solutions, whether embedded in smart LED luminaires or connected across a building, can direct to higher projected gross margins. This comes from indoor positioning systems that when fully engaged can route customers to higher profit items and better-rated products. Or track inventory or high-value assets. This is just a bit of what IoT can do when mapping an internal space.

How A Modern Retailer Might Respond
Word Old response New response with connected buildings
  Building and lighting controls   Building management   Efficient
  Operating expenses   Normal costs   Sustainability
  Security   Loss prevention   Asset and process tracking
  ROI   Inventory productivity   Recurring revenue from IoT application development
  Plan-o-gram   Store layout   Wayfinding and improved layout
  Brick and mortar location   Cost center   Strategic asset

Navigant research recently published an article about the benefits of IoT lighting for the retail landscape. The study surveyed 46,000 shoppers and resulted in increased sales from employing omnichannel retail strategies. Of note, 73% of the participants used multiple channels for shopping. Added to Amazon’s recent move into the physical store space, there is concrete evidence that brick and mortar is not going away anytime soon.

Share your key words on our LinkedIn page.


About Lee Lichlyter

Vice President, AtriusTM IoT Product Management at Acuity Brands, Inc.


Lee Lichlyter has spent his career in emerging technologies, innovating the path of technology for over 30 years in C-level positions for Fortune 500 organizations, technology firms and startups across various industries. He has a demonstrated track record as an innovator, leading initiatives for geospatial consulting, emerging technology markets, SaaS and indoor positioning products. He has a passion for driving teams and organizations to perform to their fullest potential. Lee currently serves as Vice President of IoT Product Management for Acuity Brands, where he manages the teams who oversee the full life cycle of the Atrius IoT offering, from strategy and development to launch, support and future innovations.   

“Atrius is a partner to customers who share our vision for turning their buildings into strategic assets through the use of IoT technology.”


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