Goals & Objectives
With reference back to the Brand Guidelines, it is clear that all goals and objectives have been met throughout this project. The re-branding strategy and 3D store simulation on SketchUp has been designed with appropriate VM choices made accordingly to the brand value, identity and positioning, as well as taking into consideration the market needs.
- The re-branding strategy has been communicated through the Brand Guidelines and highlights all relevant aspects of the new brand, GRACE.
- The 3D store simulation reflecting appropriate VM is further detailed below.
- Increased profit and market share will be obtained through the expansion of the brand into a highly profitable market (Business Insider, 2015), and also the unique concept of the agile store providing flexibility in location and optimising product capacity display.
GRACE Store VM
Identity – This value has been met through the high-end display and finding the right balance between luxury and approachable with a mix of elegant materials (marble patterning, gold metal, clean perspex) and more homely, comforting materials (shaggy rug, wood, wicker) which results in the consumer feeling at ease and calm whilst still feeling like they are in a luxury environment. The attention to detail has been achieved by careful product placement, and prop details such as flower vases, magazines and plants which provides the consumer with an all-encapsulating experience.
The colour scheme throughout the VM is communicated effectively through the flower wall, POS, furniture and fixtures and meets the identity calmness, femininity and sophistication with muted navy reflecting trust, calmness and a certain maturity, pink tones reflecting femininity and love, grey taupe reflecting neutrality and earthiness and gold reflecting elegance and sophistication (Colour Affects, n.d.)
Meaning – The unique consumer experience is translated primarily through store visuals, by combining a multitude of different decorations/fixture display such as the flower wall/hanging flowers in the fitting area/floral box fixture stands. These imaginative displays are uncommon in retail stores and using a 360 degree approach envelopes the consumer into the romantic world of the brand and acts as a memorable talking point.
The use of flowers is linked to happiness, positive mood and making intimate connections, and especially roses signifying romance (The Flower Expert, n.d.) therefore promoting effective VM in communicating femininity and a happy environment.
Response – The consumer responds with high satisfaction due to the clear and logical layout of the stores, with clear zoning to indicate a meticulous and thorough journey. The consultation area provides a high focus on customer service, simulating a luxury experience. Alongside the retail area which is designed to be a much more familiar and friendly environment designed to calm the consumer and induce a welcoming and positive vibe.
The responses of elegance, romance and classic are triggered by the combination of experiential factors which ultimately meet the brand values and prove effective VM (see Experiential Retail for details).
Relationships – The inspirational nature of the store meets this objective by communicating an all-inclusive styling approach. Apparel is displayed alongside cosmetics, footwear and accessories, to engage the consumer in an environment where all her needs are met simultaneously. This is similar to the VM style of &OS which provides brand consistency and also provides a familiar and welcome environment for the consumer, promoting feelings of calmness and using positive memories of relationships with &OS and relating it to GRACE.
The extra special CRM is promoted with the consultation area where the consumer can discuss ideas and have a consultant guide them through their GRACE journey. This enhances the consumer-brand relationship by gaining trust and building a connection which can ultimately provide favourable brand associations and build brand value.
The consumer journey is extremely relevant to increasing sales and satisfaction as it provides a logical route around the store to expose the consumer to the maximum number of products and provide a thorough brand experience. This is effective in promoting sales opportunities whilst also engaging the consumer in an inspirational and all-inclusive styling experience, which is true to brand values. The GRACE pop-up is always merchandised into 3 areas to optimise the consumer journey and allow the consumer to feel relaxed and calm when moving around the store.
The three key areas are:
- Consultation/Cash Desk
- Fitting Rooms
Consequently, to engage best with the GRACE experience a sales associate must guide through from area 1-3 and curate for the customer; the role is essential in creating a seamless luxury experience.
In-line with GRACE’s new competitors, the pop-up has maintained a ‘high-street feel’ by placing the retail area at the front of the store, this VM is effective as it allows consumers to instantly feel at ease in a recognisable, comfortable environment.
The luxury factor has been incorporated into the consultation and fitting area by using spacious design and elegant props, a minimalist product display and presentation throughout the store also contributes to the high-end feel. The consultation area is equipped with an iPad and style books to aid the initial process of discussing the bride’s inspiration behind her wedding look. The subtle inclusion of technology links back to the target consumer’s digitally-savvy nature and allows the consumer to easily show her Pinterest/online inspiration.
An improvement could be made to the customer service interaction where seamless customer experience tools are becoming widespread, connecting data solutions are empowering sales assistants to deliver a much richer experience for customers in-store. Armed with tablets they can offer ‘clienteling’ to shoppers through access to their individual shopping histories (WGSN, 2016). This would hugely improve the customer relationship with the brand and vastly improve perception of GRACE to be highly relevant and in-line with the consumer’s nature. This would also act as an important competitive advantage in terms of the market.
Logo & POS
The GRACE logo is placed on the front of the till and corresponds to the standards set in the brand guidelines. When printed in gold against the white background and marble border it promotes elegance, femininity, and complements the surrounding visuals. The logo is only present on the desk and on packaging so it complements the high-end and luxurious vibe of the brand.
POS materials reflect the colour, typography and illustration/graphic themes originally stated in the brand guidelines. The abstract art element adds to the VM by establishing an inspirational and luxurious atmosphere by rejecting the traditional loud and commercial style product/price call-outs commonly seen in low-end retailers. The close-up textural fabric shots also adds and inspirational theme and engages the consumer by appealing to their senses.
Fixtures and VM concepts have been designed to be…
- Fully mobile to ease the transition when moving locations with the use of wheels and easy set-ups/dismantling procedures.
- Flexible in terms of adapting to new spaces which provides a higher utility function when moving into smaller/awkwardly-shaped retail spaces.
- Multi-functional displays (the ability to present apparel, accessories and footwear) which provides visual inspiration and high utility.
This proves effective VM due to the agile concept of the store and its requirement to be portable when in transit. By incorporating these features the store can effectively adapt to best suit the space and still communicate the core brand identity and values, providing the consumer with the ultimate GRACE experience wherever the pop-up appears.
- The below image shows how the agile concept of the pop-up can be translated from a large space into a much smaller one without losing the core values and identity of the GRACE brand.
- The consumer can consequently expect the same delivery of information, products and look and feel from whichever site they choose to visit.
Business Insider. (2015).The Most Expensive Clothing Item for Women has gone Mass Market. Available at:http://www.businessinsider.com/wedding-dresses-are-going-mass-market-2015-10?IR=T (Accessed: 28 April 2017).
Colour Affects. (n.d.). Psychological Properties Of Colours. Available at: http://www.colour-affects.co.uk/psychological-properties-of-colours (Accessed 28 April 2017).
The Flower Expert. (n.d.). Rose Flower Meanings. Available at: http://www.theflowerexpert.com/content/aboutflowers/flowermeanings/rose-flower-meanings
WGSN. (2016). Technology Insights – Retail’s Big Show 2016. Available at: https://www.wgsn.com/content/board_viewer/#/64017/page/1 (Accessed 1 May 2017).