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50 Best Companies to Watch 2022

‘Blending innovation and pragmatism’: Horizon Retail Marketing Solutions, a top-class multi-location marketing agency, is making its international expansion a success


“Our work is visible in a wide range of channels and retail formats.”

The colossal changes that the pandemic brought to the retail landscape are here to stay. Bricks-and-mortar stores, which were presumed dead by many, are more alive than ever and customers are craving in-person shopping experiences. For example, more than 80% of Gen-Z consumers prefer to shop in-store to discover new products. On top of that, rising digital marketing costs are leading brands to look at physical retail and POP solutions to lower shopper acquisition costs. Therefore, in-store shopping is ramping up, and brands and retailers are expanding their physical presence.

In an increasingly visually competitive context, brands must create a unique experience to catch customers’ eyes and bring to life the value proposition of their products. This is exactly where Horizon Retail Marketing Solutions (Horizon RMS) stands, helping them to navigate this crucial moment for retail and sell more products. As a direct consequence of its work in transforming products into bestsellers, Horizon RMS has been recently recognized as the ‘Top Retail Marketing Solutions Provider’ in Europe 2022.

Horizon RMS, a retail design and brand communications agency, designs and manufactures exciting and innovative retail displays for world-class brands and retailers (such as Asus, Logitech, Navico, etc.). It has a highly experienced team of multi-skilled individuals who work with clients to provide concepts and ideas through design, print, production, installation, and compliance.

Horizon was incorporated in 2008 and is headquartered in Ely, Cambridgeshire.

The Silicon Review reached out to Andrew Moss, CEO and founder of Horizon RMS, who spoke about how the company is making a difference in this segment and plans to stay at the forefront. Below is an excerpt.

Head to Head with Andrew Moss, CEO and Founder of Horizon RMS

Q. What is Horizon’s point of differentiation? And how has the company managed to produce exciting retail displays for world-class brands and retailers?

Building strong long-term relationships with our clients is at the heart of all we do. Unlike many of our competitors, we work with them to provide concepts and ideas through research, design, production, installation, and compliance. This allows us to add value to projects at any point in the process and offer a cost-effective and flexible solution to clients. We immerse ourselves by becoming users, consumers, shoppers, and customers. Once we understand the client’s objectives and discover exactly what they need, we provide them with a cutting-edge solution that ensures their success and higher ROI. Therefore, blending innovation and pragmatism in our service is what sets us apart.

Q. How responsive is Horizon to the changing needs of these world-class brands and retailers?

The success of our partners is our success. This pushes us to be always on the cutting edge of retail marketing innovation. We foster long-term relationships where dialogue and co-creation are the standards, allowing us to grasp valuable insights about their evolving needs to constantly update our value proposition. We are not reactive to brands and retailers’ evolving needs, we are proactively coming up with innovative solutions that expand their pie and increase their marketing effectiveness.

The best example to illustrate this is the irruption of omnichannel commerce as the new normal. Clients are increasingly demanding the application of technology into POP solutions. However, we understood that the task was not to embed fancy tech for the sake of it. In a world where everyone has a phone, our emphasis is on delivering information by using QR codes, Bluetooth, etc. to help brands achieve consistency, and bridge the gap between their online and offline channels. Of course, we do use screens and other types of more conventional tech to attract customers and drive interactivity. But the first question should always be why we should use screens when the customers have already one on their hands. For this reason, we have made huge investments in the latest technology to not only provide an immersive and interactive omnichannel experience in-store. But also, to transform the display into a smart marketing solution that allows monitoring remotely the number and nature of customer interactions with the display. This enables our clients to localize and personalize the content shown on digital screens, implement nimble targeting strategies, and store-to-store promotion approaches.

Q. How skilled is the Horizon team of experts? And how do they bring value to the company?

We are a multi-location marketing agency with an international team based in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Germany. Our vision is to continue growing and expanding our capabilities across Europe and other marketplaces. That is why it is a critical attribute that our international team covers most European languages, providing great support to our customers and installation teams regardless of where they are or aim to sell their products. Our international team is technically skilled and highly experienced in all types of retail marketing activation. They come from three key backgrounds: they have either experience working in retail and for retailers, experience working for brands, or experience working agency side. A combination of these gives us the perfect context for our creative-led services.

Q. What strategies does Horizon implement to encourage innovation in the workplace?

Innovation is part of the DNA of our service. We are a gold sponsor of our trade association POPAI (Point of Purchase Advertising Institute), which gives access to thousands of global retail brand activation case studies. This level of exposure is the perfect creative motivation and inspiration for our designers and sales team. Moreover, we participate in the most important retail exhibitions and events worldwide, such as Las Vegas, Berlin, Paris, and London to ensure that our thinking is current and future-proof. Lastly, we work alongside Aston University and Innovate UK through their Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) program to benefit from the insight of business academics and faculty, as well as ensure that our business model and operations remain relevant in an ever-changing world.

Q. In what industries are your clients? Can you provide us with one or two success stories describing the challenges your clients faced and how your solutions helped them overcome those challenges?

For over 13 years, we have worked across most retail sectors from health and beauty to fashion and footwear to consumer electronics, gaming, etc. Our work is visible in a wide range of channels and retail formats. 

A good recent example is the racing station POSM that we designed, produced, and installed for Logitech, which we hope, is on route to winning the award for the most immersive shopping experience in the POPAI awards 2022. Logitech was not only facing barriers to trial such as consumers’ lack of awareness, and motivation to try its steering wheel in-store, but also, to purchase, concerning the price, compatibility, and home space. We created an ultrarealistic driving experience that brings to life the brand's value proposition of using the steering wheel and makes shoppers curious to try it. It delivered a crucial part of shoppers’ journey, tailored to the target audience, and communicates clear messages addressing trial and purchase barriers. Brand exposure and positioning achieved were remarkable, which is reflected in the excellent ROI figures obtained worldwide.

Q. Is there anything else you want us to highlight that we might have missed?

Nowadays, it is paramount to talk about the environment. Any form of retail marketing comes at a great environmental cost. At Horizon, we understand and appreciate this, having in place clear environmental strategies that guide us to make sure that we are sustainable and responsible. For instance, we actively use Sustain, an eco-design indicator tool that allows us to measure the environmental impact of our POP solutions and adjust the design to minimize our footprint and utilize the most suitable materials and methods.

Andrew Moss | Founder & CEO

Andrew Moss has worked for international design and marketing businesses for over 30 years. The financial crash in 2008 provided him with the perfect climate for the creation of this exciting trade marketing specialized business. The company is meant to continue its growth path in the forthcoming years.

“We are not reactive to brands and retailers’ evolving needs, we are proactively coming up with innovative solutions that expand their pie and increase their marketing effectiveness.”