When Retail is Iconic.

Is your retail environment memorable? Or even Iconic? This article from VMSD magazine is rich in interesting observations. Just what is "iconicity"?

David Nelson (leading figure at JGA, company specialized in design, brand strategy and architecture, and also member at VMSD Editorial Advisory Board) in an article of VMSD magazine he offers interesting cues about retail environments in the light of current trends as for information, technology, social network and shopping experience.

Today we live under a 24 hour bombing of news and with unfettered access to and from others, thanks to an array of ever-expanding wireless devices which more and more blur the line between "my time" and "their time". Media and other communication channels are more and more fragmented since the public has been absorbing information through a medley of blogs streaming on a daily basis. Retail too can become an efficient channel able to satisfy the consumer when he needs to learn, to be entertained and delighted, meanwhile activating a real social connection. This requires "iconicity," that's to say that combination of visual cues creating such a distinctive and peculiar personality to become proprietary to the brand. The store turns into an alternative media, transcending the more rational elements such as price and convenience.

As indicated in a recent study, in the past we thought to retain up to the 10% of what we were exposed to. But now, with so many stimuli, we actually absorb only a micro fraction of that percentage; what we retain is mostly visual, so proving that a "visually focused" experience is the key to be memorable.

Iconicity finds its roots in images and experiences; and so successful stores effectively become "environmental blogs" where consumer and retailer "post" their thoughts of the day in the form of products, communication and experiences. And it is that sharing of emotional languages that influences what we really see and hear.

Here's the final question: is your retail environment memorable for your consumer? In other words: are you ICONIC?

(source: vmsd.com)