Contract - November 2013 - (Page 62)

photography: courtesy oF mapos Feature: retail Bricks Over Clicks: Enhancing the In-Person Shopping Experience by Design by Caleb Mulvena As online shopping becomes increasingly simple and more convenient-and therefore more of a regular part of our lives-what are the ramifications for the brick-and-mortar store? How can retailers hold on to customers and attract new ones, when clicking on the "add to cart" button is becoming less of a hassle? Integrating the brand is a large part of the solution, but it is not limited to simply visual aspects such as color, graphics, and aesthetics. Today, designers and their clients must dig deeper and look at the values of the customer and brand strategy, and how these elements can come together to support the design of the space. Our job as designers involves creating an authentic experience that is directly in line with the brand and its values. I will explain how the keys to offering an authentic retail experience are designed according to psychographics and curating a lifestyle. The psychology of design One of the first things we must do when designing a store- or any project for that matter-is understand the audience. Who are the people the brand is trying to reach? What are their values? What makes them tick? What communities are they part of? We need to ask these questions, and then take our findings and see how they line up with the brand strategy. If we don't understand the customers, we are shooting in the dark. This is where psychographics come in. Unlike demographics-which categorize groups based on age, sex, income, and other factors-psychographics are the study of values, attitudes, personalities, interests, and lifestyles. A psychographics-based approach creates cultural groups around shared values and aspirations, resulting in a common language and usually shared experiences. This approach yields a more relevant design that has potential to resonate on a much deeper level than merely making a "cool" space. 62 The goal is to have each shopper feel like we are speaking directly to them, in a cultural language they understand. Quite often, clients come to us and already know their audience. For example, with the luxury cosmetics brand Fresh, the psychographics of its key customer base is a shopper we call The Indulger. This person sees luxury products as lavish and indulgent, is attracted to luxury for the unique way it makes them feel, and will make purchases based on emotive messaging. The design strategy for The Indulger was our Kitchen Table feature: a centerpiece table in the store where visitors are encouraged to spend time touching, smelling, sampling, reading, and talking about Fresh's latest offerings. Working on a global level with Fresh, we adjusted the design solution according to the market. The Kitchen Table was first introduced in Fresh stores in the United States, where there is a more open, exploratory approach to shopping compared to some other parts of the world. In the Shanghai location, every purchase is a direct result of consultation with expert staff, so we changed the design from an open table, at which shoppers can explore on their own, to a lower consultation table, where guests sit across from staff members for one-on-one consultations. This has proven to be highly successful in this market, and while it appears to be a different approach compared to the American design, it still appeals to customers on the psychographic level identified for the brand. When implementing psychographics as part of the design, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is that in some instances-especially with smaller, emerging brands-the design team usually helps the client define its core customer base through a series of in-depth work sessions. When managing client expectations, it is important to note that this is an iterative process with some back-and-forth, rather than a clean, immediate solution. Also, multiple november 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - November 2013

Contract - November 2013
Industry News
Columnist: Implementing an Ownership Transition: I Built a Firm—So How Do I Get Out?
Highlights from HD Americas
Breakthrough Design at 100% Design in London
Product Focus: Beyond the Plank
Product Focus: Hands-On Shopping
Product Briefs
U.N. North Delegates’ Lounge
Stuart Weitzman Milan Flagship
Marc Jacobs Beauty
Monsieur Bleu
Bricks Over Clicks: Enhancing the In-Person Shopping Experience by Design
Designers Select: Tables and Casegoods
Ad Index
Small Project: A Sales Gallery Previews Zaha Hadid’s 62-Story Condo Tower in Miami

Contract - November 2013