When it comes right down to retail shopping, the very essence of exceptional marketing depends on remarkable services as well as engaging experiences. Themed shopping experiences is one way to leave a strong impression for your clientele. The fact that a lot of designer and luxury boutiques splurge on creative retail displays and pop-up shop marketing campaigns, is a clear sign that this is an opportunity that should not be missed. Sonia Rykiel’s recent opening of their store in Aoyama, Tokyo, epitomises the significance of such classic retail experiences. Their library-themed store packs a really eye catching interior, splash with red and generous shelves of books from the floor right up to the ceiling. And mind you, these are not just wallpaper printed art executions, but real use of props to simulate the theme desired. It all started from Paris where the retail experience centred around the origins of the Left Bank and the concept was later brought globally across the different Rykiel stores. For the A/W 2015 collection, the stores will now feature works from André Saraïva and Daniela Andrier, whom the latter curated an exclusive fragrance for the brand.
Courtesy of Ikea China/Yu Studio
Nothing beats brand intimacy when it comes to building consumer relationships. Proclaiming your benefits and unique propositions blatantly, in hopes of eliciting greater brand recognition creates passive communications, which would never connect your brand with your consumers. There is never one fixed methodology when it comes to building a brand’s emotional attachment together with your consumers. Cultural differences create diversity in our society, and it is vital that the right approach be adopted to create the most impactful marketing initiatives. IKEA China is one of the few really amazing IKEA outlets that recognizes the needs and culture of the chinese market when it comes to retail marketing. And trust me, they completely nailed it. I refer to an article at Adage.com which features an article on a short interview with IKEA’s marketing director, Ms. Camilla Hammar. In the interview, Ms. Hammar explained how IKEA China has changed its approach towards the chinese shoppers and how they learn to accept their customers getting all too comfortable with their products.
Ms. Hammar: People literally getting into the beds, taking off their shoes, getting under the covers. Not just one person, but sometimes as a couple or with a child.
One of the most bizarre marketing initiative that IKEA China has rolled out, involves the in-store marriage ceremony of 3 couples! IKEA China has learn to understand the fact that great effective work requires not just great ideas and executions, it is also the knowledge of understanding the market you are trying to sell to. Check out more of the article here.
Australian cosmetics brand Aesop commissioned Torafu Architects to convert a newly acquired retail location into a welcoming consumer experience. This reminds me of how great Shopper Marketing has helped developed a truly awesome consumer experience.
Having an already good retail concept to start with will no doubt give you great competitive edge against your rivals. But it is through great research and efforts that will truly achieve the right experience. I still remembered several projects that I have worked with in the past where briefs would require beautiful, stylish and sleek ambience. I would winced whenever I receive a brief of that vague requirements. Many brands do not really understand their audiences’ taste nor buying patterns. Shopper Marketing is one of the essential strategy to adopt when it comes to retail marketing. It is a fine balance between giving what your consumers want and aligning it with your brand messaging. You want to give them a holistic brand experience both online and offline.
Torafu Architects has a history of doing great work for clients like Toyota, Nike and Freitag. Looking at the pictures we can see how Torafu designed great walking allowance considering the rather tight long walkway space. The overall space was 2.6m in width, 7.8m in depth and 3.9m in height. What Torafu did was keeping brand consistency with Aesop’s already well established aesthetic. Combined with great use of earthy materials to compliment the beauty label’s branding, they managed to create the beautiful interior with blackened steel, weathered wood and sisal carpeting. What captures my attention is the large table space as well as the washbasin. Great interior concept that complements the retail experience.
Make sure what you sell and preach all comes in place at any point of your communication channel. In this case, the store is what gives your consumers’ the last impression upon their point of purchase.