Tag Archives: cosmetics

attention grabber

How do you make yourself visible with a tiny product on very little assigned real estate in a busy retail environment? When faced with this task for an end cap of a gondola in Sephora to introduce a new product line, we thought we’d turn up the volume on the benefit of the product using the tone of voice of the brand language.

In our case it was a lip puckering product line for a brand that charmingly but a bit provocatively plays on the naughty side of women in a retro esthetic of the past mid century.

This led us to create the theme of a historic figure – the theater candy girl, who offers out her goodies in a front loaded tray. With a little naughty twist this felt right on brand. We developed a retro style visual composition, that focused on the effect of the product with benefit centric call outs and statements, while building the actual product display trays projecting out of the visual to bring her to life. The result was a dynamic attention grabbing display.

endcap design

http://www.omniform.us

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Moving the crowds- strategic planning_part 3

In my previous post “Leading the way!” I wrote about how strategic “attractors” can help pull the customers through space by providing a sequence of stimuli throughout the experience. Today I want to look at how care needs to be given equally to the layout of the path.

We believe that a store layout is more favorable when it allows for a customer journey without repetition.

Creating a round trip experience will keep the attraction and interest levels up. As they move through a choreographed sequence of experiences they will not realize their way through the store, unless the way is experienced backwards, even for some parts. The repeated path is usually without value for the retailer as the customer will have the impression “to already have seen it” and likely expedite their way through that area without any interest or interaction with a product.

A good example to this theory are IKEA stores. They have driven this idea to a point where it is impossible to turn back without loosing orientation. So customers are almost forced to complete the journey if they want to ever see daylight again.

IKEA store layout and customer path

The negative aspect of taking it this far is that not every customer possesses the same attention span and not being able to exit when you want can create adverse impressions and annoyance. IKEA may get some impulse sales out of a disoriented customer but the experience won’t have a positive perception. (see related article in “Daily Telegraph”) The journey should be offered, not forced.

Below is the layout plan of our store example from the previous blog – a jewelry store omni//form designed for the French brand Mauboussin in Singapore. We have mapped possible journeys from the main entrance as well as the secondary but equally important VIP drive way.

<omni//form for Mauboussin in Singapore>
customer journey mapping
red main, blue VIP

Even though the store is relatively small, it is organized to allow for a customer round trip with attractors setup along the entire journey.

Not every space configuration will necessarily allow for a comfortable round trip journey. Small retail stores very often are narrow and long. The trick is to get the customer to explore the entire space offering by setting up an attractor or a functional area at the very end of the space. When we designed retail stores for MAC Cosmetics with such conditions, we usually set up an attractor at the deep end of space .

This could be a stimulating light element, such as a large light box visual or video screen since humans tend to walk towards light in darker environments. Alternatively we would locate the cash register all the way in the back, so that we could be sure that the customer see the entire store offering before check-out.

A round trip journey can also be created by simply introducing island displays, if the space allows.

<regis pean for MAC Cosmetics in New York>
video screen at the end of the space as a far sight attractor
and island displays to encourage round trip journeys

<regis pean for MAC Cosmetics in Los Angeles>
light source and cash register at the end of space
island displays encourage non repetitive paths

<regis pean for MAC Cosmetics in Tokyo>
wall gestures and displays lead around the corner guiding customers through the space

store designs by omni//form, inc

www.omniform.us

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Inspiring!

When it comes to retail concepts, few brands create spaces as diverse and conceptual as Camper and Aesop. Both brands, though fundamentally different in their origins and sales offerings, showcase a strong affinity to design. Design plays an instrumental role in the consumer experience of their brand.  Choosing design innovation as a life style that applies not only to their product allows them to push the envelope for unique solutions with every new store they open. In addition it is to note that Aesop often uses recycled materials or packaging elements creatively in new context. What makes it special is the fact that they team with independent designers (often locals reflecting best on local context) in creating shop concepts, ensuring each is totally unique in its setting in opposition to the trend of global uniformity.

Here are some of their most remarkable designs.-Truly inspirational!

 aesop paris

 aesop paris 2

 aesop melbourne

 aesop brisbane

 aesop singapore

 aesop strand arcade

 aesop brisbane 2

 aesop new york grand central

 aesop new york nolita

 camper vienna

 camper london

 camper lyon

 camper granada

 camper new york

 camper san francisco

 camper sevilla

 camper osaka

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Smashbox Cosmetics – launches New Store Design Internationally!

Smashbox Cosmetics launches a new store design to expand into international markets.

Legendary and “uber-hip”make-up line Smashbox Cosmetics – a spin-off of trendy Smashbox photo studios in Los Angeles – opened its first bespoke international installation in Douglas Berlin, Friedrichsstrasse on Friday, April 27th, 2012.

The design, crafted by omni//form,inc, a New York based design agency specialized on retail concepts for beauty/fashion and luxury, refers to the look and feel of a photo studio and captures the vibe of  the fashion, the glamour and the scene that put Smashbox studios on the map.

The product is “staged” in white boundary less space with focused lighting to create a scenario of highlights and shadows. Equipment to hold up shelving, displays and accessories is reminiscent of studio grip equipment. To support Smashbox’ image as “the digital brand” in the industry, the installation features ipads with video content and the possibility of live streams from Smashbox studios in L.A. as well as direct link ups with social media for customers to share their on-counter experience.

“It is important to create something that consumers can immediately associate with the brand,” says Péan, principle of omni//form, inc. “ Consumers in foreign countries are not yet familiar with Smashbox Cosmetics’ brand codes, so we are helping in our way to make it unique and recognizable.

For more information:

http://www.smashbox.com

http://www.omniform.us

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case study: branded design – the genetic code / part 3

In the last post I was explaining how we identify the DNA of a brand and extract the aesthetics around it as a starting point for a design of the retail fixtures.

In this case study on Smashbox Cosmetics it is the smashbox camera, the  grip elements of a photo studio and the studio setup that drive the design.

           

So we take all of these elements and create a base fixture that in this case mimics the studio setup and its aesthetics:

Then we make various formats of that base module and create variations from it so we end up with a family of elements we can setup in different ways to respond to retailer needs:

A Retail Gondola

A Back Wall

The goal is for a customer to easily recognize the heritage or root of a brand to be able to develop an affection to the brand story.

Successful brands translate their story into every aspect that touches a consumer, whether it be direct communication, advertising, product, packaging or the retail environment.

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case study: branded design – the genetic code / part 2

What if a brand does not have a “body”?

I have pointed out how a brand’s DNA is what defines it and sets it apart in BRANDED DESIGN – THE GENETIC CODE / PART 1

The physical retail space can be seen an extension of the brand’s DNA, as in it is the “body” of the brand.

For a brand that does not yet have its “body” or a physical space, we first have to “exfoliate” the marketing layers to get down to the original brand essence. Very often, the findings of this exercise stimulate a rethinking of the current brand positioning and its strategic development. It becomes an opportunity for the company to verify its core strategic direction and intent of the brand. Does the brand always deliver along its original intent?

Once we have identified “the essence” of the brand, we look for a representation of it to use as a starting point for our design strategy. It becomes the theme for the conceptual design approach. This can be as small as a key word, an ingredient, or a technique around which the brand was built. Any of these can become a catalyst to the design concept to formulate a design vision congruent with the brand’s defining theme.

case study: the aesthetic of a smashbox photo camera is the catalyst for our new design of the brand’s “body”

The emotional response and result

By looking at the brand this way, we peel back the layers to find its brand essence and use it as a catalyst to develop a design concept.

The design will be able hold up regardless of size and context because it is built directly into the brand’s genetic code. Using the code that made the brand to create a contextual environment allows the consumer to recognize the same emotional connection they have already established with the product and the brand. The environment becomes the logical extension of that emotion.

Esthetics linking directly back to Smashbox Cosmetics brand genetic heritage:

So the first step in our design method it is about (re)discovering what is already there, sometimes well hidden under many layers of distortion.  By observing and evaluating, we often find the best starting points. Every brand carries a powerful source code, it is just a matter of unveiling it and putting it back to use.

Next time I will show how we put this code to use and develop retail designs from it.

staging the product” – The Photo Studio setup for Smashbox Cosmetics

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Contrast tactics continued..

I just came across another beautiful example for using the tactic of strong contrast in retail design so I am tagging this onto my last post.

When beauty care brand Malin and Goetz went to create their LA retail store (which only opened very recently) they applied the same meticulously and minimalist design esthetic they are known for  through their packaging and founding New York store. You can see that here the problem of driving attention to small and similar looking products is resolved with color coding them and reducing the decor of the space around them so they can shine bright as visual attractor to the eye. Setting them up in a grid helps the eye finding them even easier.

The exterior facade is in sync with the whole concept: the window frames out what the brand wants you to see and nothing more!

A beautiful reduction to the essential.

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