Brand Identity in Innovative Retail Environments

As the materials trends tracker, I am always out and about discovering what’s new and next, and this month, the Materialista’s focus is on retail. As our retail thread in August comes to a close, I am still amazed by how brands create (or re-create) environments, whether a pop-up, shop-in-shop, or a free standing store, that resonate with their customers and enhance brand loyalty.

Pop-up shops especially excite me and this is the greatest time to watch them spring about the globe. Pop-ups are a captivating and unique way for brands to speak to their customer in an innovative manor. Tiffany’s London pop-up is one of most successful stores I have seen recently (which ASI has also highlighted on our Pinterest board ‘What’s Trending in Retail Now.’) This is a great illustration of a brand honing in on their identity; those robin eggshell blue boxes have been around for nearly 200 years. Every woman will admit that little blue box makes their hearts flutter! Experiencing this in the middle of London is just incredible. What a fantastic way for Tiffany’s to capitalize on the concept of high-lo retail; their jewelry is available in a range of prices and in a setting like this; anyone would feel like they can walk in, engage, and shop.

In general, from pop-ups to shop-in-shops, regardless of the size of the space, it is important that the three-dimensional execution is always consistent. This month’s ASI’s Featured Project was the Givenchy boutique at Macy’s. Another great example of high-lo retailing, this is a brand taking their traditional and established aristocratic brand identity and translating a proven aesthetic into a more approachable, affordable, and mainstream setting. They, too, captured the aspirational customer in this thought-out environment.  

(Featured here is ASI’s Deco from Ornamental Surfaces, part of the ASI Decorative Surfaces collection.)

And when you are fortunate to be the Materialista, you have the privilege of collaborating with the most creative designers in the world and to engage in the creative process of translating the brand into materials! This is the most exciting; being involved in the inception of the concept, when the pyscographics are laid out and a brand who knows their customers profile is able to provide a memorable experience they want to return to again and again.

Boston Proper, a division of Chico’s, is known as “fashion for women who are fearlessly feminine, enviably chic and who possess poise and confidence.” Their retail stores are all about capturing the kind of woman who their space resonates with.  The opposite of high-lo retailing; it’s lo-high. The price point of their merchandize is affordable, though their brand aesthetic is luxe and modern.

Speaking of retail, next week, Architectural Systems is proud to be a returning emerald sponsor at the IRDC retail-intel event in Miami highlighting from the industry’s top influencers what’s trending in retail design. Nancy Jackson, ASI’s President, will be moderating a IRDC roundtable taking place Wednesday, September 3rd at 12 noon titled “Materials Trends, Strategies, and Cost-Saving Ideas.” ASI’s Shelly Ave, National Account Executive, will be in attendance too.

After this, at the end of September, Nancy will head to Savannah, Georgia with Ron Jackson, ASI’s CEO, to sponsor the design:retail Forum. Architectural Systems is looking forward to reconnecting with everyone as we are passionate about supporting these forums where we will also be celebrating 25 years of creativity and collaboration as a strategic materials partner.

During September 3-5  for IRDC I will be blogging live on what’s trending in retail design on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Posted at 8/27/2014 1:45 PM

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