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Creating unique environments, one space at a time is what we do. As retail consultants, Beauleigh specializes in the creation of dynamic retail experiences bringing our vision to landmark retail centres across the country, working coast to coast from Vancouver to Montreal.

We’re always on the hunt for something we’ve never seen before. Unique concepts with feel-good vibes. Places with a wicked atmosphere, great food and unmatched design. A place where we would want to take our friends, hold our next meeting and of course somewhere to take our next Instagram picture (key!).

We had the opportunity to meet with Georgette Packaging and they asked us; what do we look for when prospecting concepts who we think are doing it right?

We had a hard time coming up with only one answer! Creating, executing and sustaining a wicked concept doesn’t happen overnight. We’ve broken it down into five takeaways for any savvy business looking to get there, or perhaps take their business to that next level.

1. AestheticStore Design

The aesthetic is not necessarily the first thing we look for, as this is something that can happen with a good designer, but it is definitely what grabs our attention. Store design creates character, brand and directly affects the mood and ambience of the retail environment.

Store design doesn’t have to be over the top anymore. Sometimes, less can be more. Whether it’s colour blocked walls, exposed brick, rustic brass lighting fixtures, customized art or neon lights with a witty saying, the aesthetic is what uniquely sets the tone for your atmosphere. Your customers will want to spend more time in your space and visit again and again.

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Maman – First Canadian Place – Photo Credit: Phil Crozier 

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Materials brought in from the South of France to create an authentic aesthetic true to Maman’s brand.

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Maman – Packaging by Georgette Packaging 

2.MarketingBranding and Social Media

Branding has the biggest role when it comes to developing a concept, creating awareness and having an impact on social media users. Georgette Packaging gets it. They understand how crucial it is to stand out in the market, be recognized, memorable and get customers excited to market on your behalf to their hundreds (or thousands) of friends and followers.

It’s 2017, and the reality is that we live in a world of social media. One of the first questions we ask is “how Instagram-worthy is it?”

There is a lot of conversation around the notion that the presentation of food trumps how it actually tastes. We don’t necessarily agree and this is exactly why it is crucial for us to make sure we get out there and actually visit these places, try their product and meet with the operators behind the concept. Your product needs to taste just as good as it looks (and photographs).

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Pilot Coffee Roasters – Union Station

Instagram Snapshot –  @pilotcoffee

3.Atmosphere – Create a Gathering Place

A concept can have all the right ideas, but it is the execution that counts, bringing it all together to create a gathering place with a good vibe. The ambience and customer service all play a role in what type of atmosphere is created.

You need to be able to create an environment that screams good vibes where people want to go to hang out and stay for a long period of time because they feel welcomed, comfortable, cool and not pressured.  So from the time the customer walks by the storefront and the design aesthetic catches their attention, to walking into the store or restaurant and sensing right away that the environment is unique (ambience) and then the customer’s first interaction with the staff (customer service), all of this is crucial to the customer’s experience.

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Cactus Club Café – First Canadian Place

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Considerably one of Toronto’s most popular rooftop patios because of its unmatched atmosphere with the city’s best DJ’s, food and staff. To top it off, this rooftop is open all year long with a retractable roof.

4.Create Synergistic Partnerships

Sometimes a concept can work better when partnered with another, and there are good reasons for this; limited product, small space required which may be difficult to secure or cost of leasing in triple A locations. In these situations, creating a partnership with another concept creates a synergy that  can make both concepts stronger together. Why? Because they can compliment one another.

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iQ  Food & Greenhouse Juice – First Canadian Place

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Creating a synergistic partnership, these two concepts came together to open in one space combining their delicious and healthy menu options in one location.

5.Create an experience

If you really want to “get there” the last tip we can give you is to focus on the experiential aspect which is to create a lifestyle experience.

By 2018 millennials will have more spending power than any other generation. Now, more than ever before, there is a greater demand for retailers and restauranteurs to create this experience for their consumers, as millennials want that experience more than the product itself.

Observe deeper, create an animated environment focusing on escapism, communal buzz and entertainment to ultimately create a unique experience. Many retailers now offer customizable products, cooking classes, in store make-up tutorials, DIY-dinner-parties in furniture stores or have a focus on participatory initiatives that keep the customer engaged. Even on a smaller scale, engaging in product launches, events, pre-purchasing or even offering exclusive experiences for your best customers, all play a role in making them feel like they are valued.

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Adidas – NYC Flagship Photo Credit: Adidas

Designed to portray a stadium-like retail concept. Customers can watch various live games, try on merchandise in locker rooms instead of dressing rooms, test and experience products on a track and field area and even customize certain merchandise.

 

Written by beauleigh