There are other things on the 'to-do' list, but since things are a bit dark, it might be a good time to cover retail.
That's right, retail. Considered by by many to be the getto of agency life - formulaic, reactive and stuck in the old 'messaging' timewarp. And mostly it is. But that's not the fault of the category, it's more to do with majority of people within it. Either the people in agencies who 'do their time' until they get to do something sexier, or the people in the marketing departments who insist the bigger you scream 'sale' the more footfall you'll enjoy. But it doesn't have to be this way.
At its best, retail can be the most interesting thing you could ever work on. It changes from week to week, you'll never work an anything else that relies on good design quite so much- and it's all based on understanding how people behave - staff as well as customers. You need to find a really good brand proposition that's flexible enough for weekly market shocks, own brand, more projects than I can think of right now and more media too - that's hard, which is why so many do it badly. That's a lot to have to think about, and a great way to learn. You get lots of little projects where you can experiment far more than an FMCG brand where the budget is ploughed into maybe three campaigns a year. You'll be doing something new every week!
And is there anything more admirable than Ikea's'chuck out your chintz' or Sainsbury's'Try something new today'?
This is a summary of something I did for the people at work, it's mostly taken from accompanying notes, so please take it that way, the prose is not exactly Wildean (and there will be typos of course since it was internal and not checked to the Nth degree).
Naturally it has elements of Paco Underhill's 'Why we buy', which is a must read, but it also has the experience of a 2 supermarkets, a bank, 2 furniture retailers and a computer retailer (to start with). Don't feel sorry for me, much of this was fun, I learned quick. And the bits that were not so great taught me a lot about WHAT NOT TO DO!.