Active Design: design should not only look great but make shoppers act
Retailing and design have long been
associated together. We can all think of
great retail design concepts that
have captured our imaginations.
However, changes in the marketing landscape
are creating fresh challenges for retailers and brand
owners. The design industry is ideally positioned to
take advantage of these changes — but only if it gets
out of its ivory tower and wakes up to the realities of
shopping in the 21st century.
Few would dispute that the job of any designer
is to capture the essence and values of any brand for
which they are working, whether that be designing a
piece of packaging or a whole environment.
But in a world where virtually every product
category is suffering from brand proliferation and
time-pressured shoppers are being enticed by ever
more sophisticated retail offerings, effective design
has to do more. It must work for the benefit of the
shopper as well as the retailer and brand owner.
It has to sell actively.
By definition, the world’s great retail environments
are the result of great design thinking and execution.
This has been most obvious in categories where the
shopping experience is part of the brand experience
(whether that be retailers themselves like Selfridges
in London, Printemps in Paris, or brand owners like
Prada and Ralph Lauren).
Our move into the “experience economy” has
furthered this trend, with brands like Lego creating
stores where young consumers can immerse themselves
in the brand. As retailers seek to both differentiate
themselves in an increasingly competitive marketplace
and build a deeper connection with their shoppers
(beyond traditional attributes centered around price
and value), we can see examples of a “branded
experience” in previously more functional channels
and categories, such as grocery and consumer
Download the complete articleSource, The Hub, September/October 2007