Retail Brand Communication Monitoring Centre

For more than 20 years, IULM University has been cultivating and developing competences in retail training and research, with the main contribution coming from Prof. Pellegrini, who over time has proposed several successful training projects, including the specialised Master of Science in Marketing, Consumption and Communication and the recently developed Master in Retail Brand & Customer Experience Management, developed together with Prof. Massara. The success of the educational projects is based on a long incubation period and an intense research activity, the results of which are visible through the publication of articles in international journals (e.g. Journal of Retailing, Journal of Retailing & Consumer Research, International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research), of various monographic volumes and through participation in the advisory boards of international and national academic journals. This has allowed us to continue to grow and specialise, attracting professionals, associations and companies that contribute to the success of the many educational initiatives and research.

Under pressure from digital and technological innovation, omnichannel retailing is now an integral part of brand and corporate communications and is becoming key to creating brand value that has a significant impact on commercial performance. Companies aware of constant innovation are interested in generating new knowledge and sharing practices to guide their investments.

The existence of an observatory for retail and communication issues is therefore of strategic importance in order to remain present and be a central reference for innovation in the retail sector in Italy.

The mission of the Retail Brand Communications Observatory is to conduct research that has real interest and impact for retail organizations. The research is carried out in collaboration with trade associations, industry-focused research centers and, of course, companies in the sector.

The Observatory's way of working means that its research addresses the real priorities of the retail sector. These priorities are identified in particular through an annual debate between a scientific table and a technical table, which form the structure of the Observatory.

Two types of outputs are envisaged: (a) cross-sectional studies, which are carried out to study a spontaneous phenomenon and are not repeated over time, and (b) longitudinal studies, which are carried out annually or over several years to study the evolution of a phenomenon.

Research findings are discussed at conferences at the national or international level, with data presented at the aggregate level and pooled in an open-access repository.

The partners allow the research center to collect data from their own organizations. They have the advantage of receiving research tailored to their organization and detailed reporting of the results.

 The Center therefore undertakes to carry out various other activities including:

  • Conducting one or more annual retail surveys;
  • Coordinating workshops, think tanks and debates on the results obtained;
  • Carrying out thematic research projects funded by one or more organizations;
  • Contribute to the dissemination of information relevant to the retail sector and in particular to retail communications;
  • Conduct training on topics related to the research conducted and the subject areas;
  • Carrying out consultancy work on behalf of organizations or companies on the competence topics.