Incorporating Brand Identity in Your Retail Space
March 24, 2021
The look and feel of retail spaces has evolved incrementally over the last 10-20 years. The growth of online shopping has steadily changed the physical store layout, store branding concepts, marketing strategies, and even the perceived need for a physical retail space.
However, the sudden impact of the coronavirus pandemic dramatically accelerated the use of online shopping. We witnessed how quickly things can change, especially for brick-and-mortar retail spaces. The lasting impact demonstrates the need to reconsider the brand strategies implemented within the store environment. It’s no longer enough for a retailer to simply have a well-crafted interior. Going forward, the physical retail space will have to be more focused on the store’s entire brand experience.
Our helpful branding guidelines offer ways to use various imagery and copy-style elements to effectively convey your values and personality throughout your retail space.
Convey Continuity to Make Your Brand Recognizable
Like every other brand expression, the store environment should follow the brand guidelines and specific design practices. The set rules and restrictions of a brand identity manual provide the foundation. From color palette and typography to imagery and brand voice, every branding element used correctly will convey continuity at every brand touchpoint.
Continuity is important in making your brand recognizable and reliable. It ultimately communicates that your brand takes pride in the details. The more often customers see the same messages, colors, typography, or images, the more likely they will retain them.
Provide a Complete Roadmap for the Shopper’s Journey
The physical store may be the first exposure to a retail brand, or it could be the conclusion of the shopper’s journey. Each stage of that journey, from the e-commerce site to in-store pickup, should feel like the next logical step along the way. A brand identity guide will typically provide templates and layout guides for marketing advertisements, e-commerce site layouts, and more.
The store environment is the physical expression of the retail brand and should incorporate these layout guidelines when creating signage and wall decor. The customer will experience the same brand identity at every stage of their shopping journey.
Foster a Sense of Belonging so Customers Feel Connected
Stores used to be thought of as a place to exchange money for goods, but now they have evolved to be more of a place for people to come together, where connected spaces create an experience. It is a place to touch and feel the product as well as engage with store associates. The use of brand lifestyle imagery combined with brand messaging will foster a unique sense of place. Aligning a brand with function can go a long way and can affect the nature of the environment—making it more welcoming and conducive to focus on the product or service.
Validate Brand Story Through the Lens of Environment
Communicating the core values and strengths of the store brand is essential. By creating a physical presence through the lens of the brand story—and supporting that story graphically—it will further communicate the narrative and validate the overall brand. Without a story, the branding in a store environment can be vague and inconsistent. Every message communicated within the space should follow the voice and tone guidelines. The story validates the brand.
Reinforce Brand Value and Create Advocacy
Reinforce the value of product or service with engaging signage, innovative designs, and immersive environments. By incorporating color choices from a palette, employing clever typography treatments, and using larger-than-life imagery, stores have the potential to add enduring brand value. Creating brand value keeps customers coming back and reinforcing brand value. A strong brand value will ultimately translate into brand advocacy for both store customers and store associates.
Through the clever use of color choices, lifestyle imagery, typography, and engaging messages, retail stores can create an environment that provides an immersive space for people to come together and stay connected. Besides the actual product, the store is the ultimate showcase, and it’s the only physical touchpoint between the brand and the customer.
So why not start today by incorporating brand identity into the retail environment? Contact IES today to learn how we can help create a retail environment that represents your business’s total brand experience.