Topping Up Your Brand
There is a trend towards online retailers creating flagship showrooms and traditional retailers closing satellite stores. The trend is tightening up retail strategies but it means reducing the brand impact within local areas. Physical retail is becoming more alive than ever and is the most effective way of creating a brand experience as creativity is limited online.
We believe there is still a brilliant opportunity to expand a retail footprint past the flagship store without the cookie cutter format of opening multiple stores. We recommend creating unique small stores and pop up shops to create those memorable brand experiences within local areas.
Small stores and pop up shops allow bespoke communication, targeted sales and dramatically increase a retail footprint without costing the earth.
Over the last 12 months we have seen Chanel and Armani open standalone beauty stores in the beauty quarter in Covent Garden. Why not create a unique ‘accessories store’ with sunglasses, handbags and shoes? Each collection would benefit from its own conceptual space where it can shine.
Improving The Retail Footprint
- Flagship Store – Your no.1 store is a destination. It needs to have a physical ‘doing’ experience within the space. What can I experience and where can I hang out?
- High Street Stores and Malls – There needs to be a reason for these stores. Their job is to tell that brand story with a local connection.
- Concessions – Space is limited and your brand needs to fit in and stand out at the same time, you’ve got to catch the customer’s eye.
- Small Stores – These spaces can behave as an advertising piece for the online or can sell one product group ‘accessories’ ‘beauty’ ‘food’ and create a larger revenue stream for a particular department
- Digital Experiential – Everyone is talking about the store of the future. A physical space given up to a full blown digital experience allows the customer to truly engage with the brand and its stories with big PR value.
- Pop Ups – Here is the opportunity to take risks and be uber creative. See this physical space as a localised campaign or a marketing event to shout about the brand and make waves on social media.
John Lewis have opened two small stores in the last couple of years aiming to build brand awareness among the millions of international and local shoppers at Terminal 2, Heathrow and Kings Cross St Pancras. You can reserve the latest fashion, technology and fragrance items and pick them up as you are passing through the stores. John Lewis are also working on a shop in shop concept at Robinsons department store in Dubai and Kuala Lumpar carefully increasing their store footprint focusing on bedroom, bathroom and homeware items only.
Keeping It Local
Fendi are brilliant at creating pop up shops that relate to and suit each local area from Tokyo to London to New York. Pop up shops are a chance to be playful and take risks and gain great PR. The mobile flower shop that botanical designer Azuma Makoto created for Fendi is proof that not all pop-ups need to be large scale productions. The artist adorned a three-wheeled Italian vehicle with an intricate floral display and outfitted the side of the truck as an open storefront. The vendor/driver sold limited edition Fendi bags and vases of Makoto’s floral arrangements to promote the fashion label’s 2016 Spring/Summer collection.
Scandinavian high street fashion brand Cos is heavily influenced by design and architecture and is thought of as an affordable alternative to luxury brand Prada. They have built a global business with 104 stores in 25 countries without using conventional advertising or catwalk shows. Instead they collaborate with designers and artists to create experiential marketing pieces and interesting pop up shops. Their latest collaboration with Studio Swine at the Salon del Mobile Milano ‘New Spring’ was a show-stopper. An interactive installation and multi-sensory experience in a 1930’s disused Cinema.
Cos (left to right) with Nendo, Snarkitecture, Studio Swine
Dom Perignon don’t have physical retail stores, but they have initiated marketing collaborations which have put them in the physical space. October last year Dom Perignon and Claridges collaborated to create the ultimate event for champagne sippers taking up the entirety of South Molton Street. The pop up space ‘Transform’ was a 15 minute interactive experience where visitors could uncover the magic behind the brand through sights and sounds whilst drinking a glass of bubbly. They also collaborated with Aston Martin to create something unique for demanding customers, an Aston Martin Rapide S car with removable cellar of champagne!
Dom Perignon (left to right) with Claridges, Jeff Koon, Aston Martin
Physical retail is blooming with a huge opportunity for creativity and innovation. A clear strategic vision across a multitude of store types and collaborative events can create a sensational retail brand experience for all customers in all locales.