Brand Space Futures

We have witnessed a switch in power, particularly on the high street.

Its all with the customer now.

Customers who have split into tribes and sub-tribes, each with their own tastes and wants.

All demand their experience be unique in some way.

All are armed with mobile technology.

And I’ll be interested to see where this goes in the end.

I’ve already seen this play havoc with supply chain models and the ability for brands to calculate their return on investment.

You can hear them asking, ‘What, you mean we’ve got to redesign this concept every time we open a new store?’

And here’s the real issue.

Sameness is easy. Easy to cost, easy to plan, easy to staff, easy for negotiating with suppliers.

You can’t get away from this, at least not if you want a business that sustains itself.

I work with some quite unusual people.

They do things er… differently.

Things that everyone else likes to replicate in terms of interior design.

These people don’t really look at what their competitors are doing too much. They don’t take inspiration from other commercial spaces.

They just talk to their customers and ask them what they want.

Their approach is best described in Simon Sinek’s book ‘Start with Why’.

Their approach is driven from a deeper sense of who they are, why they do what they do, and the purpose that drives their company and their customers.

And because of this their company makes a name for itself in a unique set of spaces.

But what they do so well as a one-off becomes harder to do at scale.

Crucially it becomes a fake when you do it a second time. The charm and reasoning behind the original does not always apply in the same way again. There are new circumstances to address.

So how do you avoid the ‘chain’ mentality? How can you continue to invent, while keeping your costs under control?

You follow Pareto’s Law.

Which states that 80% of the effects, come from 20% of the causes.

So you plan for 80% of your space being the same, but 20% of it changing, causing the connection, the experience and the sales.

Here are some examples;

-Ace Hotel

-Paul Smith

-Citizen M

-Deus Ex Machina

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