Working with over 1,000 client brands means, among other things, that I rarely go a day without coming across coverage of one or more of them for excelling in some aspect of business – be it marketing, social media, accounting and finance, corporate culture, you name it. But yesterday was different, because our clients swept the biggest award show in retail, at the National Retail Foundation’s Annual Convention. I asked the Client Success Director working with each brand to share insights on what led their client to this huge win.

Gold Medal Award: Kip Tindell, Chairman and CEO, The Container Store

From Justin McGarry, Client Success Director: “The Container Store’s award-winning qualities shine through in their interactions with our team. They’ve really created a fiercely passionate and empowering corporate culture. And most importantly, they’re living their corporate values – from the CEO down. Their employees’ enthusiasm for their business comes across even on our synch up calls. Meanwhile, they’re listening to their customers’ feedback and, as a result, continually enhancing their products. These efforts, along with the infectious passion their employees show, have created an extremely loyal fan base for the company.”

Here’s a fantastic video interview that Big Think recorded with Tindell, highlighting The Container Store’s “employee first” culture (link):

Retail Innovator of the Year: Glen T. Senk, CEO, URBN, Urban Outfitters, Inc.

From Lisa Tu, Client Success Director: “It’s no surprise that Mr. Senk would win this year’s NRF Retail Innovator Award for his perseverance with Urban Outfitters.  With Glen’s leadership, Urban Outfitters has been able to provide their customers with the ability to connect to the brand at a level that other retailers aspire to reach.   They’ve achieved success by building an online community that not only powers the voice of the customer, but allows advocates to also connect through shared passions—fashion, music, and photos are just to name a few.  As Urban Outfitters’ Client Success Director, I’ve witnessed their dedication to fostering their community from showcasing top contributors in marketing campaigns to encouraging customers to provide fashion expertise to those needing advice.  Glen definitely stands at the forefront of innovation, and Urban Outfitters holds true to be a brand that drives creativity from within.”

Check out Senk’s keynote from last year’s Shop.org Annual Summit; some fascinating thoughts on how the merchandising and retail spaces are changing (link):

International Retailer of the Year: Sir Philip Green, Arcadia Group

From Kristin Philbin, Client Success Director: “Congratulations to Sir Philip Green and the Arcadia Group on this win!  I have had the chance to work with 7 of their High Street Brands to develop their social commerce and customer feedback strategy.  Their overall enthusiasm, attention to detail, and concern for their customers has helped them establish a significant and rapidly growing ecommerce presence.  Each brand has maintained a distinct identity within the marketplace while working together on shared resources and innovation.  I am certain they will continue to achieve more success such as this.”

In the following video from The Telegraph , Sir Philip explains why brands must be smarter to sell in a down economy, in which consumers are more “risk averse at every level” of their lives (link):

It’s inspiring to get to work with some of retail’s most innovative brands. Congratulations to our client partners on their well-deserved recognition.