Brand connection to people and place
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Pont Creative
Imagine the endless possibilties of a new brandscape.....
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2. We are the story tellers We are the storytellers. The creators of Aspirations, Dreams and
3. Telling the story Desires. The everyday environment is where the story is told. From
4. Story Shopfront to Community Spaces, creating imaginative alternate
5. Conversation thinking. Story telling is everything, captivating people for eons, it
6. Conversation gives us purpose, history and social connection. Within the environ-
7A Individual ment narrative and information needs to be conveyed so that the
7B. Brand space can be fully digested and understood. Regard these spaces
9. Experiental Retailing as a book from page 1 to the last page....
10. Experiental Retailing
11. Modular Retailing
12. Modular Retailing
14. Organic Retailing
17. Pace of design
18. Pace of design
19. The Market Place
20. The Market
21. Work and Live
22. Work and Live
25. Which Way
26. Which Way
29. What happened?
30. What Happened?
31. Common Sense
32. Common Sense
34. Contact We are the storytellers.
Telling The story
Watching passers-by on a Saturday afternoon, its easy to see that people are looking to
be entertained. They want to discover for themselves places within the townscape they
can call their own.
It is still evident however that the car has won the battle over the town centers and peo-
ples thinking. The general population seem happy to be enclosed in bubbles of existence,
the ﬁrst real experience and conversation is with the Town Scape. Roads happily dissect
pedestrian avenues and cut-off certain retail zones. The sense of “retail rhythm” can be
lost and the “pace” of the town misunderstood.
Therefore we really need to look at the town environment as a whole journey, where story
telling is key. From turning the ignition in the car though to parking, shopping and engaging
with the environment. Story telling is about Flow, Architecture, Brand Mix and Social Mix.
Story telling is enabling people to understand their environment and how they connect.
History and Pace
What ties us to a sense of place is memories. The cogs of time create habit forming in-
teractions. To get people to accept a new development or retail environment is to tie the
design intrinsically into their everyday lives at the pace that they can understand.
Human Scale Interaction
Where the space around the Architecture has a sense of connectivity, belonging to the
built environment and the people. People connect to these spaces at their own personal
level, building a relationship and understanding to that environment.
Organic Creative Connectivity
A sense you have added to the thinking to create something owned, personal and adap-
tive. Maybe social , political , different that forms connections within yourself and the com-
munity. You ask the question?
Towns to be regarded as a Brand, utilizing Technology that can be used as an enabling
tool to inspire and engage. Giving people the right information at the right time, use of way
ﬁnding technologies, such as iphone apps, information points and Wiﬁ Hotspots.
Many towns seem devoid of spaces given over to Almere, North Holland
social interaction, enlightenment, and places to con- Typical multi-billion euro architectural redevel-
nect with the environment. Diverse, Tangible, Or- opment where large architectural statements,
ganic entertaining spaces that create conversation, grande vistas and expensive use of materials is
reinforcing the brand of the town and connecting prevalent. These structures look great in an Ar-
people to the retail offers. chitectural Journal but in reality fail abysmally at
Typical towns are littered with dead spaces where a human level and interacts at the wrong pace.
potential for exploration is huge. Large open format Architectural statements rather than community
paved areas with poor seating options, sparse plant- zones where it is obvious to anyone that people
ing, areas devoid of a story create black holes in the come second place to pounds per square meter.
streetscape, these areas should be addressed as Watch out as people still vote in numbers and will
opportunities to tell stories rather than forgotten. turn their back on this bullish architectural ap-
In general Retailers, Architects and Town Planners proach and still shop the old town center.
turn their back on these areas not understanding Melboune Docklands
their real potential, why don’t they connect? Even in What a shame, where Architectural monuments
todays difficult times dormant shops create oppor- and corporate gratiﬁcations compete in a mud-
tunities. Why haven’t Pixar, Paramount or computer dled unconnected mismatch of a development.
gaming companies seen the real potential for roam- Forgotten people scale structures, they only serve
ing exhibitions within these spaces. Town Councils the buildings. What will be the outcome... Beware
should embraced these environments redeﬁning we are a product of our environment.
the Brand of the town rather than being intimidated
Why has Brand become key to the design of environments?
Everyone is A
Can we escape the suffocation of the term the “Branded Environment”.
Why is it that we hang all design on the brand? Brand is used as a
trigger mechanism, probably one of the ﬁrst things thought to us at
school, i.e. A for apple, B for Banana.... This helps us to identify our
needs, aspiration and emotion. Brand is what an object stands for and
on what personal level you “feel and understand it”.
The Term “Brand” can feel like some overstated 80’s throw- back. The
80’s was the time of the Brand, but look back and this was when the
big 3 Branding companies came to light, is it a conspiracy! The ques-
tion is there Brand loyalty these days? Brand seems to be changing,
ever adaptive, chattering at an emotional level, rather than authorita-
tive, it wants to be my friend.
Brand is relevant though, its order in chaos, its tying down a creative
force, an energy, something felt and emotional to a set of rules. Watch
out though as its not an equation as everyone is an individual, hope-
fully. But does this pose a question about homogenized Brands and
Brand saturation? Everything is Branded these days, Marketed and
Packaged.. Any room for some individuality?
Why haven’t larger brands embraced the cultural diversity ethos in
Retail, aiming the offer at local retail avenues, more culturally aware,
rather than placing shops in homogenized shopping malls?
The Shop becomes an Experience, rather than
fully dependent on a sale - the shop is there as a place of learning,
meetings and interaction. A place to explore customer needs and bond.
Utilizing a kit of parts ethos. The dif-
ferent orientations and demograph-
ics of a store can be narrowed down
to a mechano kit, one size ﬁts all anal-
ogy. Different parts of the kit can con-
nect at different paces and suit dif-
ferent personalty types. Brand heavy
thinking, as the Brand is key here to
reinforce the look and feel.
Modular design may seem the easy
option to a roll out solution in Retail
and in Exhibition design, low cost per
m2 and simple to construct. The
problem with modular design princi-
ples is that it can seem cold, inhuman
and alienating, maybe a fools gold?
Why not use the modular principles
in Retail and design a ﬂexible adapt-
able solution that connects to people
at different levels. A design for Exhibi-
tions that embraces bespoke but can
also be a rollout, that is the key.
A New wave of thinking where the retail
environment adapts to the social and de-
mographic changes. The space echoes
the customers needs framing and evoking
new spaces to engage at different levels. .
A shop, street, architectural environment
has to adapt to change... A bank situated
next to a coffee retailer... A book store next
to a sandwich bar. Adaptive and ﬂuid the
next step is for the brands to cross-over,
enabling a hybrid solution. A bank becomes
a place to meet, a bookstore a place to
eat.. Brands that have the vision, where we
can exist in the crossover.
Always looking for new areas of retail development opportunities,
travel hubs lend themselves as the one common connector. The
main question is how do you connect with someone travelling be-
tween A-C and has no time for B. Yes its a question of pace but also
a question of offer. Travelling by ferry recently it was easy to see
hoards of families in poorly thought out seating arrangements, with
lack of facilities and entertainment. Could a book store/ bank cafe
zone be a solution or various interactive, seasonal exhibitions for
Playstation or Xbox? Just as an example. The same applies to Mo-
torway Service Stations, surely the offer there can be more imagina-
Banks have really been at the forefront of change recently, utilizing
Stations and High Street, from HSBC Mega Bank Retail to Rabo
Bank central Station coffee offer. If we look at the changing offers
here it can be applied to other retail situations. All travel connec-
tions can be utilized to offer different services at a level to connect
with the traveller.
Pace of Design
In our everyday lives we set a pace. Whether we are rushing to the station, on the school run
or ﬂying off on holiday, everything we do has a pace. Take for example, the difference in stroll-
ing down the High Street on a sunny Sunday afternoon or rushing to catch the 7.20 Cannon
Street train to London, each scenario completely different and your aspect, outlook and con-
nection to the environment completely changes. What is interesting is, people will change to
circumstance but the demographic wont. We therefore have the ability to change the pace of
an environment to echo the pace of the street, a faster or slower pace, dependent on the offer
and level of experience you want to convey.
The same rule can apply to the Exhibition Environment, very much aligned with the fast pace of
the station example. The key here is mirroring what the delegate feels and needs at that time
and then changing the pace of design accordingly to echo this.
The Market Place
Driving in the car for 20 minutes to be greeted by
huge formatted car parks, to shop in sterile, stagnant,
bland customer ﬂow led environments which only goes
to reinforce the sense of social isolation and aliena-
tion. Finally, to be greeted by a row of self-scanning
counters that emphasizes the mechanical and proc-
ess driven shopping environment. It is obvious that
way ﬁnding, pathﬁnding and navigation has taken over
The sense of touch and smell is replaced by rows of
ﬁltered plasticized over promised products. What has
happened to the markets? The sense of theatre, buzz,
excitement and social interaction, the “learning experi-
ence” of food and cooking.
The traditional high street food offer, the Baker, the
Fishmonger, The Butcher, they all give a sense of con-
nection to the social mix and demographic. Why not
embrace the High Street not so much Tesco Metro
but Tesco the “family” Butcher or “local” Grocery store,
also utilizing the shift to organic local produce and fair
trade goods. This would go to reinforce the Brand and
social connection at street level and can also be incor-
porated into larger dedicated shopping outlets.
Work and Live
Live and work
Extensions of everyday life, why aren’t ofﬁces condusive to the way we live today? Today heiraches are still
formed by where we sit. It seems many ofﬁces today follow the old 50’s ethos, as you work your way up the
ladder you eventually get to sit behind a large oak desk and bark orders at your subordinates, access to natu-
ral light surely only for the Managing Directors of this world. However social interaction and ways of work-
ing have changed drastically over the last 10-15 years, such as ﬂextime, Videoconferencing Technology and
ﬂexible working with laptops. Fundamentally the Workplace Environment should embrace this to align with
We cannot forget that the core fundamental denominator is business, however also enabling the individual to
work according to their personality traits, rather than shoehorned into an environment that is not conduisive
to their working ethos is paramount. Everyone is an individual and has different ways or working. Employees
shouldn’t have to change their personality to ﬁt the built environment but the built environment adapts and
changes to suit them.
Corporate workplaces are seen these days as an ex-
tension of the Brand, featuring green star accredited
ESD workplace environments. These spaces feature
beautifully designed receptions and showcase meeting
rooms, but should the company in question ask you to sit
with the employees then its a completely different sto-
ry. Poor lighting levels, glaring reﬂections on computer
screens and high level of people trafﬁc by work stations
just some of the bug bears. We should not forget that
these are spaces for people to work and interact. Cre-
ate highly ﬁnished environments that cannot adapt to
suit change in needs after a year and the radical design
turns out to be a complete waste of time and money.
Areas to consider in the workpace where ﬂexibility and
alignment to workers needs are:-
21 Dedicated Work Spaces,
and ﬂex zones.
Areas to consider reinforcing Brand are:-
Rows and Rows of blue Exhibition carpet, poor lighting and tired
delegates. The Exhibition Environment can seem a rather bizarre
place to try and convey all of your companies ideas and offers to
a prospective client. Exhibitions can seem like Brand competition
pieces in competition with the neighboring stand. Who has the best
stand? Who wins with the largest formatted graphic display and
shiny stainless steel detailing.
Overload of information, ﬂoor to ceiling graphics, reliant on handouts
and goodie bags. How do you stand out from the crowd and relay
the necessary information in that ﬁrst encounter with the delegate?
What is the story you want to convey about your Brand Values. This
is at the forefront of any marketing strategy. If every brand is shout-
ing how will you get noticed above the rest.
The marketing should start to tell the story long before the delegate
even sets foot on the stand.
Differentiate from the rest, dare to be different.
Simplify the information on offer from the design of the stand to the
information hand-outs into understandable bite-sized chunks.
Branding pace is key to any Exhibition. Where graphics, material
selection, stand orientation and design is key to convey an under-
standing of the product and company offer.
Is it all about” Wow Factor”, a Brand Piece? Or a usable stand where
product is the hero.
Consider the Street Scene... What can be interesting is the Retail/
Exhibition crossover, where the shop/exhibition wants to focus on a
stronger Brand element conveying information about the product.
The sales of the product are secondary, twin this with a normal High
Street Retail offer and this adds another dimension to connect the
Brand with the prospective customer.
Rather than a crossover, why do we not see the arrival of dedicated
exhibitions set into the street scene?
people need social space and interaction.
Townscape Architecture needs to address this.
Environments where people can purchase, meet,
think, chat and just be. we all must be well aware
that the processed bland brand fed environments
create souless people with little or no connection
to the built enviroment... we need to understand
the consequences....and develop as designers a
social consciousness within the design space.
So where do we go from here?
is it time to reconsider?
these are important times, there are
We need to recreate connections with the
where people are understood.. where roll
out architecture and brand
is reconﬁgured to meet the needs of the
Where the town scape environment
mirrors the people it is there to serve.
Common sense is specifying locally sourced environmentally sustain-
able materials. A design incorporating Reusability, its a disaster to see
an Exhibition junked purely because it is cheaper than reusing it again.
This is where design has failed.
Design to company requirements, however ﬂexibility should always be
a main factor, the design in question such as a retail outlet therfore will
not have to be ripped out every 3-4 years as it can’t adapt to change.
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