From in-store launderettes to EQ staff training, a new wave of customer-focused thinking is paving the way for successful retail stores.
Prop Studios MD, Lisa Ronan, spoke at ‘Retail Week Connect Masterclass – The Future of Store’. As part of the panel to discuss ‘The Role of the Store in the Digital Age’, Lisa looked at the key topics in a successful store experience for today’s customers.
Here we explore retail shop successes, pit-falls and the brands paving the way in a 3-part blog series – based around the questions put to Lisa.
What do successful stores you and your team have worked on look like?
Applying our retail design principles – every store we design starts with how to build customer connection, craft the customer journey, communicate brand purpose, have a strong identity and consider scalability. The challenge then is to apply these appropriately to your brand and customer.
Facegym: customer journey
Our most successful campaigns have been when we match the brand purpose with the customer connection and customer journey. For example, when we designed the Facegym store blueprint. Facegym is a brand that approaches beauty and skincare in an entirely new way. So, we approached their store design with that same frame of mind. We designed some visual brand cues to carry the brand identity through many different formats and then established the customer connection through some exciting, engaging experiences. This included a ‘make it’ oil bar with personalised oils in beautiful hand-blown glass vessels.
The Selfridges concession doubled in size within 3 months due to customer demand.
Missguided: customer engagement
We worked with Missguided for their Westfield store launch, which is a brand that totally disrupted the fast-fashion industry. When their launch store was due to open in Westfield, it aimed to blow competitors like Topshop and New Look out of the water!
We took this approach with our launch concept – this ‘blow them out of the water’ approach – and designed and built a giant pink monster truck right at the front of the store. This was a huge footfall and engagement driver – everyone wanted a photo with this truck. It established that customer connection, reflected brand identity, communicated purpose and influenced both the in-store and online journey, through social media.
Naturally: brand purpose
One more example is Naturally, a new grocery retailer, which offers high quality food and beverage at low prices, making healthy grocery food accessible for its community. Our store design reflected this; we built cost-efficient modular units with OSB to keep costs down and allow them to introduce new stock and displays every week. We reflect the community values of the brand in-store with a large sharing table space for tasting, chatting, chilling – creating a community around an affordable and exciting brand really.
Understanding your customer
Mainly it’s down to your brand and your customer. If you are opening a new store, refurbishing an existing store or launching your first store, step back and consider why your brand exists. And then what do your customers want from it? What emotions should they feel about your brand?
If its Missguided, it’s fun and rebellious, if it’s Facegym, its innovative but reassuring and if it’s Naturally it’s affordable and community focused – so create a showroom that embodies this. Your store is the best place to build an emotional connection with your customer.