With the rapid advancement of digital commerce, physical retailers face the challenge of acquiring more efficient tools to compete in the physical world. This has become more urgent given the impact of the pandemic on physical stores.
“Certainly, the pandemic has made it more difficult for companies that rely on a face-to-face and face-to-face experience,” said Andrea Brown, design director at Mucca, a US-based design and branding company.
“Many industries that traditionally relied on in-store experiences, such as food shopping and high-end luxury goods, have moved online, demonstrating that there are other ways for brands to strengthen. trust outside the physical storefront. “
Even before the pandemic hit, some physical retailers were already taking a multisensory approach to ensure their spaces served more than a transactional function.
However, this approach had to evolve further in the era of COVID, where the tactile element is discouraged. This is a problem especially for beauty, where the experiences of touching and trying have long been considered essential.
“We don’t have a crystal ball when it comes to the pandemic, but it certainly highlighted the fact that it is even more essential to have a strong brand in times of uncertainty.” Brown said.
“People will always seek a personal connection with the businesses they support, so it’s more important than ever that brand communication makes people feel something, with a strong point of view and an authentic tone of voice. “
Recently, the company worked with South Korean multi-brand beauty retailer Chicor to grab the attention of young, digital-native consumers.
The company worked with the Shinsegae-owned brand to develop a campaign, which consisted of a series of bold, vibrantly colored visuals designed to reflect the beauty retailer’s unique playful spirit.
Among the design elements, Mucca introduced a 3D treatment for the store’s typography and graphics, inspired by the rise of online retailing during the pandemic.
This gave the design aesthetic more of a “Digital sensation”which mimicked how models and products would appear in computer-generated cyberspace.
With a diluted multisensory experience, brands need to communicate through other assets like brand typography – think Apple, Amazon, Disney, and the typeface that immediately comes to mind.
“One of those most powerful assets is a recognizable typeface that speaks to consumers and becomes synonymous with your brand. For example, for Sephora, we created a set of custom typefaces that define the brand at every touchpoint. It has become an investment that will last well beyond the last marketing campaign. Brown said.
The physical retail space faces more hurdles than the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic.
On the one hand, direct-to-consumer brands have increasingly become competitive players thanks to their ability to leverage the power of social media to connect with consumers on a more personal level.
“With their ability to be more nimble than traditional retailers, they can take more risk when it comes to their visual identities and marketing campaigns.”says Brown
Given the rapid development of trends, Brown said it’s essential for brands to allow room for change and progression.
“Trends come and go very quickly, largely because of the influence of social media. In creating the identity of the Chicor multi-brand store, we kept in mind that the system had to be designed to grow, evolve and be able to react to trends, while retaining its fundamental elements. This approach has helped her stay relevant and “future proof” while maintaining her loyal fan base. “