Obstabteilung Billa


23. May 2016, Editorial

An effective staging is a world in itself. They make brands tangible and create emotional relationships to products.


brand staging

“Hey, what’s up? Welcome to the pier.” Enter into a Hollister clothing store and you are no longer in Vienna, London or Paris. You’re at the beach. Or, in a club. It’s evening. The Hollister shops are a brand world, created down to the smallest detail to give a casual surfer feeling. It starts outside the shop entrance, where a tin roof and wooden porch look just like a beach hut. And then it continues inside with loud music and low lighting, the fragrance of freedom – a perfume chosen according to season. Hollister is a mixture of relaxed holiday mood and crazy party night at any time of day.

Just like the Apple stores are always sleek and modern. Styled from top to bottom. Without frippery, without screaming consumerism, very sterile. And yet, everyone feels comfortable inside. Because there are long wooden tables with devices that can be tested, eight trees naturally placed, whilst daylight fills the store with bright moments as it comes through the large glass front.

Money is very helpful when creating brand worlds.
But creativity is more important.

Not every idea works in every industry. Where there’s a lot going on for one, it can be relatively quiet for everyone else.

Every industry has its own possibilities and means for perfectly setting the scene for their brand. The key is filtering out the contemporary essence of the product and presenting it as authentically as possible. Hollister, the American label mentioned above that belongs to Abercrombie & Fitch, can apparently afford EUR 3,000 per square metre – which is three time more than other retailers spend for creating their sales space. At Apple, everything is in the hands of Sir Jonathan Paul Ive (Jony Ive), the Chief Design Officer of the company. He even spends an unbelievable eight-and-a-half to ten million dollars (!) per store. (By the way: Apple currently operates more than 480 stores in 18 countries.) But for staging a unique brand world, it needs more than just a lot of money and an exceptional design talent. It needs – as always – a good idea. A creative point of departure. Something that attracts attention. And, above all: That stirs emotions.

Because not only is it the way the world looks that matters, it’s the way it feels. At Hollister, the over-20-somethings are often quickly overwhelmed while for the under-20, it’s paradise. At Apple, there is an employee manual that clearly specifies how customer conversations should ideally sound: not business-like, very personal, and no pressure. Exactly the way pre-informed buyers, thanks to the internet, like it. Uncomplicated. For other brands, things are exclusive and glossy, such as for expensive designer brands. For these types, service is immediate, assistance indispensable. In other cases, an unusual display at the POS might be enough. Perhaps even with a tasting. Such as from a chocolate company. Or a wine brand. No one has yet refused a sampling.

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