Archive for the 'brand' Category

The queue starts here

On the Topshop style blog today a guide to how to queue. Useful if you’re one of the “baying crowds” (their words not mine!). And you can even get a colour coded wristband, attending a store event now becomes a festival and you can look back and say “I was there” or sell it on ebay then you can buy one and pretend you were there! Now if someone had the idea to make fake Topshop wristbands …

On a slightly different typography note there’s an interesting article on the CR blog about the Kate Moss brand, at least the Topshop version of it.

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The Peroni gallery

How simple product as retail can be. And product values by association seems a good idea as well. One to put into the data bank for next time we do a visual merchandising project and as always it proves simple is best, isn’t that always the case?

Thanks to Brandflakes for Breakfast for this.

Customer Service at Ilva

Last week Ilva won an award at the Retail Week Awards for it’s Customer Service. Well in fact the award was for Innovative Retailer of the Year and I quote “Crucial to the Danish Furniture retailer Ilva making its mark when it arrived in the UK last year was its ability to attract good staff”. The text in the awards brochure goes on to talk about the company putting together a comprehensive package to attract and retain good quality staff including health care provision and pay rates in the upper ‘quartile’ for the sector. Other initiatives include a profiling tool known as DISCovery, something to do with dominance, influence, sustainability and conscientisouness!

This is all fine so far, but based on our experience when we visited Ilva in Gateshead there seems no proof of this actually working. Sullen staff (nice haircuts mind!) standing around in groups, trying it seemed to learn how to use the IT system, arguing with each other in the café and who didn’t know what they sold to eat, cashiers slumped with their chins on their hands chatting to each other while a customer waited to be served, diffucult directions to enter and exit the building (customer service is not all about staff) and ultimately very few staff who looked like they had any experience in even buying furniture, (a prerequisite I think in being a retailer or working for one is knowledge from a customer point of view).

I care about customer service because it’s close to my heart and is a fundemental basic of retail design, and what’s annoying is to give a business an award when the innovation plainly has not reached the shop floor. Perhaps all the staff have been to Denmark for their training, perhaps they know the product inside out, but when they don’t communicate any of the brand to the customers the innovation obviously fails. Surely any award has to have substance in order for it to be authentic? I wonder if any of the judges visited the businesses who were up for this particular award, shopped at them and drew conclusions from real experiences, if they had they would know that giving the award to Ilva makes it not worth the crystal it’s etched in.

I do enjoy a good rant

Are (UK clothes store) River Island breaking the law? Great article about accessibility

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The future of Television

The Venice Project has announced a name change, a brand even, to Joost. Although still in beta this looks very exciting and promising, it’s ever cheaper to create content these days although as always the idea is the thing or as I read on the 37 signals blog today ‘the macguffin‘. With the admission of Apple that it’s a lifestyle brand not a computer company (I wonder how Apple Corps took this) this type of content will get easier to stream into our homes and perhaps garner more than a singular audience, or will our watching habits change (if they haven’t already) so we watch our bespoke entertainment in isolation or with others but online? There’s still something comforting about watching television or a film as a family at a prescribed time, if the content’s good enough, that’s what we’ll do.
Joost imageJoost navigation
As yet I’ve only signed up for Beta so waiting impatiently to get invited and see how it works as despite the blogs and information there’s nothing better than getting something yourself to see how it works and slots in with your life.