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global Mike Branson Pearlfisher

Retail: Challenging by design

 

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This guest post comes from Mike Branson, Managing Partner, one of the three founding partners and head of the New York studio of the international design agency Pearlfisher. Mike challenges retail brand builders to push the boundaries of branding at retail in all its touch points.

 

Retail: Challenging by design

As brand channels to market become ever more diverse, a clear understanding of the core brand truth and directional thinking about how this can and should translate – both behaviorally and aesthetically – remains key, particularly in the context of the retail environment.

The advances of technology has maybe slightly blindsided us because we feel that we live in a more connected world than ever before. But, the dichotomy is that, we are actually much less physically connected and are looking to brands and retailers to reinstate and refresh that connection and create a deeper and more meaningful brand experience. And, of course, it is design that is the single most tangible interface between anything man made and with people who use it. Therefore, in a commercial context, how well a product or retail space is designed – in both the function and aesthetic – will affect the bottom line and business fortunes.

There are, of course, the mega successful and much cited retailers – like Target and Loblaws – that have maintained commercial success and recognition primarily by evolving the creation of the brand offer and the brand experience through the total design of the retail environment. But, in even just the past two years, if we look at any sector, any market, any global territory we see a change almost beyond all recognition. And it’s design that has been the prime catalyst as a new breed of brands has bravely changed and challenged existing paradigms to create new thoughts and visual expressions for brands – redefining both categories and the look of the retail environment.

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La Pâtisserie des Rêves in Paris sells a deluxe range of cakes and pastries but nothing in the sleek and minimalist design is reminiscent of a \"\"traditional patisserie. Rather it is more akin to strictly controlled lab conditions with the ‘masterpieces’ exhibited under their own temperature-controlled glass bells suspended from the ceiling. In contrast, Singapore’s Frolick yoghurt shop has a completely cool and playful attitude to being health-conscious with a plethora of colorful, fun and diverse Frolick brand slogan ‘badging’ – such as ‘My yoghurt will beat up your yoghurt’ – on everything from signage and fixtures, to packaging and real badges… Lifestyle store Pino, based in Helsinki, sells unique, functional and innovative design objects. The idea for the concept came from the name of the shop which means a ‘pile’ or ‘stack’ in Finnish and this idea is taken visually into the new logo and the design of the shop fixtures.

And if we look closer to home, we have seen an explosion of innovation right here in the US. Eataly NYC is the largest artisanal Italian marketplace but could actually claim to be a gastronomic town with a combination offering shopping, eating and workshops/classes all under one roof…But innovation is not just confined to the more traditional retail spaces as mobile and pop-up initiatives – such as Street Sweets a mobile kitchen bakery in New York providing handcrafted sweets and desserts – bring the brand and retail experience directly to us.

And, today, with consumers looking for a new experiential and emotional connection with retailers, these savvy establishments are challenging and breaking away from tried and traditional retail conventions through the design to give the consumers the space to truly experience, connect and interact with the brand, the environment and the fellow customers.

\"\"In a world of shorter attention spans for the over-choiced consumer, it is mold breaking, forward-thinking design that meets evolving human needs – and which stands out to give the competitive business advantage. Can our larger and more established retailers really afford to ignore the inspiration offered by these creative – and successful – boundary pushers?

Mike Branson, Managing Partner, Pearlfisher

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Categories
Pearlfisher The Private Brand Movement 2010 Conference Waitrose

Pearlfisher Helps Waitrose LOVE life!

\"\"International design agency Pearlfisher announced that it has created the design strategy, brand identity, naming and design expression for Waitrose LOVE life – a new Private Brand of delicious and nutritionally balanced foods launching in Waitrose stores nationwide beginning June 30th

The range is the grocer’s largest sub-brand launch since essential Waitrose, with over 270 products, and answers a demand from over half of Waitrose customers to help them include a wider range of whole food ingredients and avoid saturated fats in their diets. In addition, the Waitrose LOVE life logo will start to be further used on products and ingredients across the retailer’s entire offer, highlighting nutritional benefits to customers.

Pearlfisher Creative Director, Natalie Chung, comments, “Waitrose is an experience – an experience that is rooted in food but that goes well beyond food. The bright, bold packs and vibrancy of color reflect the variety, choice and nutritionally balanced offer and will also ensure stand out on shelf. The naming and design expression is also about bringing taste and vitality together to create an experience of freedom and pleasure.”

Waitrose Marketing Director, Rupert Thomas, comments, “Waitrose LOVE life gives people a new and unrestricted approach to eating a wide variety of the right thing. The new identity effectively works to indicate the nutritional value of the range and the design reflects its energy, vitality and positivity. We are thrilled with the work that Pearlfisher has done.”

The Pearlfisher team included: Creative Director: Natalie Chung, Pearlfisher; Creative Partner: Jonathan Ford, Pearlfisher; Strategy Director: Yael Alaton, Pearlfisher; Senior Designer: Poppy Stedman and Designer: Vicki Willatts

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To learn more about Waitrose, its Private Brands and the Waitrose/Pearlfisher partnership please join me as I chair the Private Brand Movement conference in Chicago September 19 – 21. Where Maggie Hodgetts, Head of Design, for Waitrose and Jonathan Ford, Creative Partner for Pearlfisher will present

“Design For Life – Creating A New Design Language For Health And Wellbeing In The Retail Sector”

Together, Jonathan Ford, Creative Partner of Pearlfisher and Maggie Hodgetts, Head of Design at Waitrose, will present how the new Waitrose health and wellbeing proposition was defined so that it naturally fitted as a strategic cornerstone to Waitrose brand. As well as the opportunity to be amongst the first to see the new Waitrose health and wellbeing offer. Takeaways from this exclusive, ground-breaking presentation will include:

  • How a distinct personality and design language can make health and diet products exciting and create difference
  • How architecture, cohesive design and brand identity work to give life to the new Waitrose health and wellbeing offer
  • Future insights into the world of food and healthy convenience including analyzing cultural global shifts and tailoring to different markets

My Private Brand group members can register with the code MYPBRAND and receive 20% off the standard rates.

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Categories
Pearlfisher

Private Brands, Jonathon Ford & Yogurt

\"\"This month the trade magazine Packaging World features Private Brands in its video “Private-label smackdown: Tesco takes on name brand yogurts”. The video includes a interesting conversation with Jonathan Ford of the international design agency Pearlfisher. He takes a look at cues such as color, logotype and product photography in comparing Tesco\’s Private Brand yogurt with a variety of national U.K. yogurt products.

Watch the video.

Categories
Pearlfisher

Crabtree & Evelyn Bloom With Private Brand

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The FUSE 2011 conference closed on Wednesay with a number of retailer and Private Brand presentations including: Target and Crabtree & Evelyn.  Look for a Target Post early next week. Sandra Lee: Company Owner, CEO and Brand Guardian Of Crabtree & Evelyn along with Tess Wicksteed, Strategy Director, of the branding agency Pearlfisher presented their exciting partnership in \”Reviving An Icon: How to Stay True to Your Roots Whilst Becoming a Global Icon\” in the Brand Strategy track at the conference. The lively presentation from the two engaging women presented Crabtree & Evelyn\’s journey to reinvent and reinvigorate its brand over the last few years and the stunning strategic work from Pearlfisher. The new designs give an obvious and reverential nod to the retailers past while modernizing and refreshing the packaging.

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The following is a series of interviews with both women conducted by the official blog of FUSE, NEXT BIG DESIGN

Sandra Lee: Company Owner, CEO and Brand Guardian Of Crabtree & Evelyn

Tell us about a Crabtree & Evelyn project you are working on or recently completed that you are proud of
I am really delighted with our newly launched Floral Fragrance Collection, comprised of four exquisite single note scents, Iris, Rosewater, Lavender and Lily as this collection truly offers moments of indulgence to women of all ages. Formulated in partnership with master perfumers, our luxurious body care formulations and perfumes bring to life the timeline elegance, beauty and romance of the garden in full bloom. The collection is artfully crafted and presented in elegant packaging that features quintessentially English water color designs that are a modern take on the botanical illustration that are inspired by the vibrancy in nature.

Think ahead 5 years, what major changes for design do you see?
I believe design will become more individual and more expressive in the future. Our markets today are highly saturated and brands are often competing for the same space and mindset. Design is increasingly the differentiator, it is how brands create a strong sense of identity, create experiences and express their specialness. I see design in the future very much becoming intrinsic to brand value, especially the intangible that makes brands unique. I think more and more brands will recognize this and we will start to see more original design with a stronger sense of individuality and expression. Especially as we continue to emerge from the financial crisis, I think it will be a very exciting time for design both in terms of ideas and aesthetics.

What inspired you to get in the field and spearhead the Crabtree & Evelyn brand? What keeps you motivated?
I have always felt a strong connection with the Crabtree & Evelyn brand. I can vividly recall the moment I first encountered our iconic Jojoba Seashell soap while on holiday in Carmel with my family 20 years ago. Even then, I immediately felt the richness of the brand and felt the strength of its heritage. However what also excited me was the brands potential. Crabtree & Evelyn is such an iconic brand with a truly wonderful story, but like all good icons it\’s on a journey and needs to remain relevant and desirable to suit the needs and lifestyles of today\’s consumers. It needs to do this whilst remaining true to its roots and heritage. I remember the first time I used the product and how the fragrance and experience delighted my senses. This first encounter motivates me and reminds me of the brands truth as we take Crabtree & Evelyn on its global journey into the future. Crabtree & Evelyn transcends beyond being purely a product, and I am motivated by the power of aesthetics and design to bring the brands truth to life for our modern day consumers around the world at every touchpoint of their lives

What is one thing you’re excited about for this year’s Fuse?
I am thrilled to be here to able to learn from so many great minds and leaders in the industry. Design is a crucial element for Crabtree & Evelyn to deliver upon our brand values for our customers and so we have much to learn from the masters!

What is your favorite brand?
There are too many to list! However, a brand that I do admire and enjoy very much is Prada. It is contemporary; relevant yet remains true to its heritage and workmanship.

If you could invite 2 people to dinner (dead or alive) who would they be?
Mother Theresa and Anna Wintour. Quite an unusual combination I know, but I really admire the inner resilience, tenacity and strength of these two great women. Mother Theresa was able to continually give of herself despite her own doubts and challenges, and the same inner strength is also undeniable in Anna Wintour, who is able to lead the fashion trends while remaining true to her own style in the ever-changing fashion industry. It would be an honour to have dinner with these two amazing ladies.

What is your dream project?
Every project I work on for Crabtree & Evelyn is a dream project for me as it is a joy and delight to create new collections that offer moments of indulgences for our customers. I am privileged to work with a brand with such a rich heritage, strong design principles and genuine brand values. My vocation has now become my vacation when working with our master perfumers, skilled formulators and gifted designers!

Learn more about Crabtree & Evelyn at www.crabtree-evelyn.com.

Tess Wicksteed, Strategy Director, of the branding agency Pearlfisher

Tell us about a project you are working on or recently completed that you are proud of?
I like working in China – they are so quick and entrepreneurial, imaginative and clever. We recently redesigned one of their biggest water brands, Nongfu. The express intention of the brand was to celebrate a Chinese future worthy of the best of their past. They invested in a proper immersion upfront, which meant we really understood their objectives and preferences – throughout they were decisive and immediate in their feedback. The working relationship was very respectful – a real partnership.

Think 5 years ahead, what major changes for design do you see?
It depends how depressed I am feeling. In a positive mood I think that all the creative branding industries will fold into design. Design is really the definitive form of brand media – it is preoccupied with the big idea at the heart of the brand and finding a form with which to express it at its most impactful and long-lasting. It’s the precursor to everything else. If you have a bold idea it only counts if you have a strong and unified aesthetic with which to communicate it.
Or, if I am feeling a bit depressed then I think that the design industry will sigh gently and fold into the other sectors. Design is sometimes a bit too nice for its own good.

What inspired you to get into the field? What keeps you motivated?
I like good culture. Good brands are an important part of creating good culture. Good brands tend to be the ones that are preoccupied with ideals or ideas and that use design to propagate them. I’m motivated by the very large amount of really awful and unnecessary stuff that is out there.

What is one thing you’re excited about for this year’s Fuse?
I’ve never been to Fuse so I am very excited about understanding what everyone else is so excited about!

What is your favorite brand?
New York – I believe in it. It has all the characteristics I look for in an icon – intensity (it keeps on suprising me), intimacy (I have a special personal relationship with it), popularity (its intensely democratic anyone can belong here) and longevity (it has lasting appeal)

If you could invite 2 people to dinner (dead or alive) who would they be?
Franny and Zooey

What is your dream project?
Redesigning the UK on American principles: America has a narrative of itself that is both verbal and visual that the UK could have and doesn’t really. The UK has a lot going for it but it doesn’t have a public narrative about its role in the modern world for people to get behind – it’s a repositioning exercise that I would love to do. I see my time here in America as an opportunity to learn from her and see what works and what doesn’t and then take it back home. America has a dream even if it can’t always live it.

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Categories
Pearlfisher Safeway

More In-Kind from Safeway

\"\"I have written about Safeway’s new Private Brand In-Kind, this post presents a closer look as well as acknowledgement for the agency responsible for the work Pearlfisher. The London and New York based design agency created a new tone of voice for Safeway\’s natural personal care Private Brand, In-Kind. The soft color palette and distinct, organic shapes of the bottles create a modern and engaging brand presence. The designs challenge the traditional language of off the shelf copycat Private Brands, standing up both at shelf and in home as a Brand with a distinct attitude and tone of voice.

Designed by Pearlfisher Creative Director: Mark Christou

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