How a Modernized Brand and Product Primed RICS Software for a Successful Exit
RICS Software, acquired in 2020 by Fullsteam, is a connected retail system that combines a modern Point of Sale, integrated payments, smart product catalogs, and comprehensive inventory management to help retailers move more inventory.
In the summer of 2019, RICS decided it was time to modernize and level up their product and brand to more effectively appeal to and solve problems for retailers.
Being in the software business for more than 20 years means you’ve figured out product market fit. Yet, as consumer expectations evolve, it’s imperative that you continue to innovate and evolve offerings to keep pace — and ideally, outpace — customer needs and expectations. For RICS, as payment providers like Shopify and Square were popping up, they understood the need to match or top the seamless user experience that those apps provide. They needed a modernized, mobile Point of Sale system in order to stay competitive, but according to RICS’s CEO Jason Becker, they had a “complete and total UX / UI skillset gap in our organization.”
At the same time, Jason and the leadership team at RICS realized they had a synchronous opportunity to evolve their brand and perception in market. This, coupled with a modern POS, could have a huge upside on the company’s market share.
RICS was operating in an industry where most brands (including their own) blended together. They were all uninspiring and somewhat stale. What an opportunity! RICS wanted and needed to separate themselves from the pack and to differentiate as the new, modern, connected retail system. When we began working together, there was an impending trade show that provided the perfect deadline for RICS to launch a new brand, and to elevate themselves in the eyes of the market.
The Innovatemap team who partnered with Jason Becker and the RICS leadership team includes:
- Tina Hafer (Executive Partner, Product Marketing)
- Lacey Lavies (Executive Partner, Product Strategy)
- Jon Moore (Principal, Product Design)
- Andy Kennedy (Principal, Brand Strategy)
- Parker McCullough (Senior Brand Designer)
The RICS POS (point of sale) interface needed to be simple and easy to use. Sales associates use the product to ring people up, make exchanges, print receipts, and process other retail tasks. These associates range in age and experience, and turnover can be quite high in these roles, so the product needed to be easy to learn (no training required), intuitive, fast, and elegant.
Our product management and UX team set out to redesign the mobile and tablet POS experiences to meet these needs. Jason shared, “Innovatemap filled this (UI/UX) organizational need and became an extension of our team bringing deep expertise, process knowledge, and skills.” Since this was an overhaul of an existing product, we revisited everything. In many cases, we challenged certain features and whether they needed to exist at all. The intentionality, thought partnership, and deep discussions about the big and little details among the RICS and Innovatemap teams was a key ingredient to the success.
To create a more compelling story and new visual identity that would help them stand out and resonate strongly with their existing market, RICS leaned on our brand and product marketing teams. The intent was to re-imagine how the business looks, talks, and feels by updating the brand and crafting more compelling positioning and messaging. All were collaborative processes that got at the core value to share with the world through words and visuals, activated through website, trade show booth and materials, sales decks, and more. Tina reflected, “our engagement was a moment for them to rethink everything. It was an opportunity for the executive team to come together and be challenged.” In the end, we collectively raised RICS’s game and allowed them to show up with a new confidence in the value they provide, swagger and pride in their new brand identity, and most importantly, had a measurable impact on the perception of RICS and ultimately, the value they were delivering in market.
Jason said it well: ”Our work will have a massive impact!” And it did.
RICS Software was acquired by Fullsteam in December 2020. And they continue to serve retailers with best in class, modern, connected retail systems!
A striking and modernized brand, a new way of resonating with the right story and positioning, and an incredible user experience can provide a serious competitive advantage. For RICS, the combination of these ended up being an unstoppable force in setting themselves apart from the competition — and for up-leveling their acquisition value.
The RICS team was incredibly collaborative and pushed us to exceed the original goals we set out to accomplish together. Lacey shared, “Jason has a mind for optimization and thinking differently” — both qualities that excite our team. Jon emphasized, “We had several important RICS stakeholders in the room for every single meeting. Having all of those highly skilled minds present, we felt deeply that we were in this with them. And because of that, we had some really, really great conversations about pushing the product forward and figuring out, together, how it should and shouldn’t work.”
When asked about the most surprising part about working with Innovatemap, Jason reflected, “…how much fun we’d have in the facilitated meetings. We did challenging work together and it was a blast. We’d leave the sessions totally spent, but we always felt the progress as it was happening.” We couldn’t agree more.