News archive

03 May 2022

The Digital Signage market is in rapid change

 

The Digital Signage market is in constant change and there are a couple of fundamental developments happing right now:

 

* Consolidation, Changing Business Models and New Competitive Positioning

* Shift of power between Software and Hardware

* Sustainability / Green Signage

 

Our Marketing & Communications Director Monika Lindquist will participate in a panel discussion at DSS / ISE in Barcelona May 11th to discuss New Approached to Digital Signage Integration together with Manlio Rommaneli M-Cube, Loek Wermenbol First Impression audiovisual and MOOD media The panel will be lead by Stefan Schieker from Invidis.

25 Apr 2022

Do technical solutions drag down the Starbucks brand?

The year was 2020 and the platform NRF: Retail Big Show in New York. Starbucks was the brand that the world looked at with fascination and envy. They were one of the brands that had succeeded with their digital transformation and highlighted as a success story. In the forefront was CEO Kevin Johnson with a clear message: people first.

 

Two years later, Johnson has stepped down and Starbucks stock price increased 7% the day after the announcement. There is no doubt that the brand is in free fall. The strong corporate culture is questioned, the union is chasing them, and customers do not receive the service that they are promised. The result is that more and more people choose other alternatives, in a segment where there are plenty of alternatives to choose from.

 

What happened?

 

The foundation of Kevin Johnson’s “people first” strategy was that technological development would give the staff more time to focus on the human encounter with their customers. By that, Starbucks could fulfill its old brand promise of being “the third place” for everyone.

 

But now, a couple of years later, critical voices are raised, both from the staff and the customers. Instead of increasing and improving the direct, personal meeting, Starbucks has moved more towards automation. Orders are placed in an app, and each employee has received higher demands on productivity behind the cashier than before. The stores focus entirely on take-away rather than staying in the store.

 

What happened to the investment that would make the visit more personal and more human?

 

Don’t get me wrong, I love technology and I’m the first to cheer on new, innovative solutions. Especially solutions such as Starbucks aimed towards, to streamline operational tasks with the help of AI, to give staff more time to take care of the customers. And the human interaction. Unfortunately, Starbucks seems to have fallen into the same trap as so many others, and instead started counting and focusing on the increase in efficiency at the expense of the customer meeting.

 

At a time when people are talking about the need for further digitization, it is more important than ever not to make this mistake. Technology is one tool among many, but it is not a universal solution to save money from personnel costs. Rather the opposite. If the belief in technology becomes too high, it easily also becomes the biggest focus. And if that happens, we are rapidly going in the wrong direction.

 

So – digitalize shops, cafes, restaurants, or whatever it is with technical solutions. But never, never, never forget about the personal meeting or the personal feeling. Sometimes technology is smart enough to both feel and become personal, but it can never beat a human interaction.

 

So, can Starbucks get out of this mess? It is not sure that they can. Or that they need to do it. But if they want to keep their brand promise of being the “third place”, they will need to go back to becoming a place where you want to both buy something and stay.

 

This column is written by our Marketing & Communications Director Monika Lindquist. Talk to our experts if you want to discuss retail strategy and how digital signage can enhance your visitor experience.

 

29 Mar 2022

Signage Player is an evolution not a revolution

Signage Player in focus when Visual Art’s CEO Anders Apelgren is interviewed by invidis. Where he talks about which strategy Visual Art is pursuing, how complex the development of a modern Digital Signage Software is and why a cloud-based platform is indispensable.

 

“We serve customers from North America to Australia. There is no way around a cloud-based, highly scalable and high-performance system architecture. Our Digital Signage Software Signage Player is now a global solution.” says Anders Apelgren.

 

Read full interview here:

https://invidis.de/en/story/visual-art-an-evolution-not-a-revolution/

 

Visit signageplayer.io if you want to know more about our Digital Signage Software, or contact our experts to know how we can help you with your digital communication channels.

 

Signage Player

14 Mar 2022

Visual Art shows the future of Digital Signage with cloud-based software

Visual Art is ready to take the next step as a leader within digital signage with the release of its cloud-based digital signage software. With Signage Player, Visual Art offers new and unique functionality as well as a completely new way of using digital communication channels as a central part of the business.

 

Visual Art, one of the leading actors within digital communication channels, continues their fast-paced expansion. The company primarily operates within Europe, but also have customers in Asia, North America, and Australia. With its expertise in both tech and design, Visual Art has a unique position as a total supplier, which also is the key to the ongoing, rapid expansion.

 

– Digital communication channels have become a self-evident part of today’s market, both as a direct sales channel as well as a part of the brand experience in general. The digital signage software plays a central role in that development by making it possible to easily shift focus from the technology to the actual content. Anyone can use our software, says Anders Apelgren, CEO of Visual Art.

 

Signage Player is a software solution that has emerged as a separate, stand-alone product from Visual Art. The development and refinement of the solution has been on-going for many years, but in the last year, focus has shifted towards user-friendliness, template-based content, and overall integration possibilities.

 

– Signage Player is based on the latest cloud-based technology, which makes it possible for us to have customers and screens all over the world. We already have resellers in Asia and Australia for Signage Player, Anders Apelgren continues.

 

With the launch of Signage Player as a stand-alone product solution, Visual Art is also moving into the SaaS provider-space, something that further strengthens the company’s position on the market.

 

– We have always had two legs in this world – one with a focus on technology and one with focus on design and content through our extremely competent Design Studio. With our digital signage software, we can now build even more relevant and long-term collaborations with our customers that will benefit both them and us in this market space, Anders Apelgren continues.

 

Signage Player works on all types of operating systems and can be integrated on all platforms, without the need for external media players. This keeps costs down and makes administration easier, especially from remote locations. For Visual Art, however, the most exciting thing is the opportunities to constantly develop and add functions and integration in line with the customers’ needs.

 

– We have many exciting projects underway. We have, among other things built-in AI solutions to adapt content and function on the screens based on external parameters. By highlighting Signage Player as a stand-alone product, we can continue with this type of innovative solution that provides even higher added value for customers, Anders Apelgren concludes.

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Anders Apelgren CEO, Visual Art Group
Tel. +46 70 312 73 30, anders.apelgren@visualart.com

Monika Lindquist, Marketing & Communications Director, Visual Art
Tel. +46 72 333 23 83, monika.lindquist@visualart.com

 

About Visual Art Group

 

Visual Art is a leading full-service agency within digital communication channels (Digital Signage)in Europe, with head quarter in Stockholm. The company was founded 1997 and have today 120 employees within sales, tech, strategic and creative content production and support. Visual Art is a tech and data-droven strategic partner that helps its clients create real business value and to reach their KPI’s. www.visualart.com

 

Turn-over: 210 MSEK

Software licenses: 40 000 licenses in 32 countries

Employees: 120 employees in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Great Britain and the US.

Clients: McDonald’s, K Group (Kesko), Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Audi, Circle K, 7-Eleven and others.

03 Mar 2022

Visual Art recruites industry expert to lead Norwegian office

Visual Art is in rapid growth and have made a key recruitment of Anne-Mette Sørum as Country Manager, to lead the Norwegian Office from 1st of March. Sørum has 14 years experience from the industry and most recently comes from Smartsign where she held the role as Country Sales Manager.

 

McDonald’s, Circle K, NIO, Lyko, Meny and BigBite are some of the clients in Visual Art Norway’s portfolio. With high ambitions, growth targets and an existing pipeline, Sørum will lead to team to continued expansion.

 

– The company acts within a fast-growing industry and Visual Art is definitely the #1 company that delivers the whole package from start to end. At Visual Art you will meet people who understands content, marketing strategy and technical solutions alike and they will give you the best Digital Signage experience in the industry, says Anne-Mette Sørum, Country Manager Norway at Visual Art.

 

– Anne-Mette is a perfect match for Visual Art, both from a personal as well as a professional viewpoint. Her experience from Smartsign will also be extra valuable in the continued development of our digital signage software, CMS Signage Player, says Pontus Meijer, Chief Revenue Officer at Visual Art.

 

– The growth that we’ve seen within the industry the last couple of years show that there are many segments to operate in. Companies wants to communicate more rapidly with their employees, visitors demands information faster, and we all look for the best shopping experience when we decide to spend our money. All of this is possible to realize using Digital Signage, Anne-Mette Sørum continues.

 

Visual Art is a leading full-service agency within digital communication channels (Digital Signage) in Europe, with head quarter in Stockholm. The company was founded in 1997 and have around 120 employees within sales, tech, strategic and creative content production and support. Visual Art is a tech and data-driven strategic partner that helps the clients create real business value and to reach their KPI’s.

 

For more information

 

Anne-Mette Sørum, Country Manager Norway, Visual Art
Tel. +47 95 145 136, anne-mette.sørum@visualart.com

Pontus Meijer, Chief Revenue Officer, Visual Art
Tel. +46 70 937 67 00, pontus.meijer@visualart.com

Monika Lindquist, Marketing & Communications Director, Visual Art
Tel. +46 72 333 23 83, monika.lindquist@visualart.com

 

NIO

Visual Art

NIO Visual Art

McDonald’s

Visual Art Visual Art

24 Feb 2022

Visual Art is gearing up in North America, hiring a new Market Director

Visual Art is focusing on growth and has recently recruited Glenn Schackmuth as North America Market Director. Glenn will be responsible for a new and exciting opportunity to grow the Visual Art business for our digital signage and technical solutions in North America, while also managing our Chicago office and business operations. 

 

Prior to joining Visual Art, Glenn was part of the technical leadership at McDonald’s Innovation Center, leading new strategic system development global market support.  Glenn also held technical and commercial leadership roles at Marmon Foodservice Technologies, a leading supplier of food and beverage equipment for quick service restaurants and other adjacent industries.

 

Who is Glenn Schackmuth?

I’m a multi-faceted individual with some fairly broad experience and interests. I have always been interested in technology and applications where value can be provided for a business or end consumer.

My previous positions have involved new technology or solution development combined with the promotion of the solutions and the value they provide to the customer.

Visual Art appealed to me as a next step in my career due to their history in continuously improving and leveraging technology with a focus on customer needs.

 

What is your view of Visual Art?

I have been impressed with the talent and leadership at Visual Art.

I have experienced first-hand, a culture of innovation and creativity that are driven by a strong desire in developing products that exceed customer expectations.

They take the time to collaborate with the customer to understand their strategies and goals, providing the best solution to meet those goals.

Additionally, the people I have met (mostly virtually of course) across the organization have been extremely open and supportive.

 

How can you contribute to Visual Art’s future success in North America?

Customer focus and an increased awareness of the Visual Art brand.  As we increase our presence in North America with a small but growing team, we have the ability to focus on individual customer needs, working with them to leverage our products and design studio  in meeting their strategies and growth plans.

We also have the support and insights from years of Visual Art experience in evolving the digital business in Europe with may industry-leading customers in a variety of business channels.

 

What are you looking forward to the most?

Growing a team and expanding the Visual Art business in North America.   . . .and having some fun along the way.

 

Contact our experts if you want to know more about how we can help you create successful digital signage solutions for your business.

 

Visual Art

Visual Art

15 Feb 2022

Visual Art takes over Smarteyes digital communication channels

Smarteyes has, after procurement, chosen Visual Art as their new supplier for all its digital communication channels. In total, there are about 90 screens in Sweden, Denmark, and Germany.

 

Digital communication channels are a self-evident part of Smarteyes stores where they are used as a natural part of their media mix. The screens are used both on sidewalks and walkways, to attract both new and existing customers. Inside of the stores, they also get the opportunity to drive sales by showing customers relevant campaigns and information. To facilitate operation and maintenance, Visual Art has now been chosen as the new supplier.

 

– Visual Art had a big advantage because they could offer installation teams in all our markets. This is an advantage both practically and financially, regardless of whether it concerns upgrading and maintenance of existing stores as well as new establishments, says Jonas Fredriksson, Commercial Manager at Smarteyes.

 

Visual Arts technologically advanced platform enables 100% remote control of the operation of all screens in Smarteyes stores, something that is both time and cost-efficient.

 

– From now on, Smarteyes can easily control and adapt the content centrally but can of course still create locally adapted content for individual stores and screens. We look forward to being a part of planned new establishments, says Pontus Meijer, Chief Revenue Officer at Visual Art.

 

Visual Arts digital signage software Signage Player makes it possible to easily control and manage all content centrally. Through a web-based, template solution, you can also connect additional functionality such as queue number systems and AI solutions that change content automatically on the screens depending on external events or circumstances.

 

03 Feb 2022

How Visual Art’s turnkey digital signage offer is expanding

Visual Art’s CEO Anders Apelgren was recently interviewed by industry expert Dave Haynes for his podcast Sixteen:Nine.

– Many companies in the digital signage ecosystem are all about the technology, still, so it’s interesting to come across a tech company that functions as a turnkey provider, but leads with the creative aspect. It’s even in the name – Visual Art, says Dave Haynes

Listen to the interview below (or read the transcript here)

01 Feb 2022

Visual Art strengthens the Finnish office with an experienced Business Manager

Visual Art is growing rapidly in Finland, and Country Manager Juha Kaavinen is strengthening his team. Karri Naakka, is the new Business Manager, who will drive business development and support future expansion. Karri has 14 years of experience from Digital Signage and was one of three founders of the company Marketmedia Oy, which in 2015 was acquired by the competitor ZetaDisplay.

 

The cloud-based Digital Signage software CMS Signage Player is the heart of Visual Arts solutions and creates a solid foundation for growth through SaaS revenue. K Group, McDonald’s, Jungle Juicebar and Nobia together with an exciting pipeline form a stable customer base that enables future growth.

 

Kesko (K Group) recently signed a long-term agreement with Visual Art. An agreement that applies to a customized version of Visual Arts’ own developed software CMS Signage Player. This Digital Signage software is used to create and publish content on more than 15,000 digital communication channels in Kesko’s grocery stores.

 

– Visual Art is an inspiring tech and media company with a strong corporate culture that invests in growth. I feel that we have an incredibly strong position in the market with CMS Signage Player and that we have the internal capacity to constantly develop this to meet our customers’ needs, as well as customize when needed. I have seen many digital signage software and this is the simplest and most intuitive platform despite the innovative features that are in it, says Karri Naakka, Business Manager at Visual Art.

 

– Karri and Juha have previous experience of jointly establishing and running a digital signage company to become the market leader in Finland, to see their drive and vision to do it again with Visual Art is incredibly inspiring. With his 14 years in the industry, he has a solid knowledge and network that allows him to start delivering from day one. He understands what drives our customers’ business and will be a key person for further investments, says Pontus Meijer, Chief Revenue Officer at Visual Art.

 

– The internal Design Studio also impresses me. So many talented people in concept development and content production, this is a lead that very few competitors can compete with, Karri Naakka continues

 

For more information:

Pontus Meijer, Chief Revenue Officer, Visual Art
Tel. +46 70 937 67 00, pontus.meijer@visualart.com

Monika Lindquist, Marketing & Communications Director, Visual Art
Tel. +46 72 333 23 83, monika.lindquist@visualart.com

 

About Visual Art Group

Visual Art is a leading full-service agency within digital communication channels (Digital Signage)in Europe, with head quarter in Stockholm. The company was founded 1997 and have today 120 employees within sales, tech, strategic and creative content production and support. Visual Art is a tech and data-driven strategic partner that helps its clients create real business value and to reach their KPI’s. www.visualart.com

 

Revenue: 210 MSEK (2021)

Software licenses: 40 000 licenses in 32 countries

 

Employees: 120 employees in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Great Britain and the US.

Clients: McDonald’s, K Group (Kesko), Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Audi, Circle K, 7-Eleven and others.

26 Jan 2022

Visual Art expands operations

Visual Art, the market leading digital communication company has taken over the operations of Ocean MediaTech. With ambitious growth plans, Visual Art will continue to expand its “best in class” client focused digital signage software solutions across Europe.

The company is currently present in eight markets with ambitions to become the market leader in Europe.

Visual Art’s blue chip client portfolio including McDonald’s, ICA, Kesko, Circle K, NIO, 7-Eleven and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield will be enhanced by customers such as Synsam and Skruf adding over SEK 40 million to Visual Art’s annual revenue.

 

– We are in a strong expansive phase and are incredibly happy to be able to partner up with clients who, like us, are on a strong growth journey in Europe. We also get new employees who possess solid knowledge in LED and will continue with our strong partnership with the Ocean Outdoor group. We are excited to be a leading operator in a fast-growing digital signage market where the interest from our clients is increasing, says Anders Apelgren, CEO of Visual Art Group

 

– We will continue to invest in our digital signage software and other innovative solutions such as the AI solution we started delivering to a fast-food chain in 2020 to, among other things, increase the average receipt, Anders Apelgren continues.

 

Visual Art will take over from February 1, 2022.

 

For more information:

Anders Apelgren CEO, Visual Art Group
Tel. +46 70 312 73 30, anders.apelgren@visualart.com

Monika Lindquist, Marketing & Communications Director, Visual Art
Tel. +46 72 333 23 83, monika.lindquist@visualart.com

 

About Visual Art Group

Visual Art is a leading full-service agency within digital communication channels (Digital Signage) in Europe, with head quarter in Stockholm. The company was founded 1997 and have today 120 employees within sales, tech, strategic and creative content production, and support. Visual Art is a tech and data-driven strategic partner that helps its clients create real business value and to reach their KPI’s. www.visualart.com

Revenue: 210 MSEK (2021)
Software licenses: 40 000 licenses in 32 countries

Employees: 120 employees in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Great Britain and the US.
Clients: McDonald’s, K Group (Kesko), Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Audi, Circle K, 7-Eleven and others.

NIO Visual Art

 

Visual Art logotype