The changing face of retail destinations and how design can help

Insights, Marketing, Opinions

Retail destinations are no longer just shopping centres; they are evolving into so much more – they are places to be entertained, to be nourished and of course to make purchases. As they evolve and morph into new identities how does this impact the design and branding which sits alongside it?

From a B2B perspective we see this as an opportunity to develop a lifestyle, consumer slant in the marketing collateral to allow our clients to reach out to new prospective retail and leisure brands. We are telling a story and using engaging socially-driven photography to be more emotive, highlighting the uniqueness of each destination or the portfolio of venues.

Take these two examples we have recently completed for Hammerson:

Our brief for The Bullring Estate was to create a leasing brochure to bring to life the buzz and excitement surrounding the three distinct areas of The Bullring Estate; Bullring, Grand Central and LinkStreet.

In response we created an 8pp A3 newspaper-style brochure which reflected the vibrancy of the city itself, the breadth of brands but most importantly how the destination is continuing to evolve for the retailers and restaurants and ultimately the consumer as leisure habits change. The newspaper was filled with inspiring photography and copy which brought The Bullring Estate to life with the colour palette reinforcing its personality and its position as an exciting, vibrant and iconic destination.

For Hammerson’s annual portfolio guide; it needed to work harder to not only outline their assets, but also to highlight that these are destinations ‘where more happens’.

In answer to this we developed “MORE”, an editorially-driven magazine which illustrated Hammerson’s knowledge, thought leadership and commitment to their portfolio of destinations for now and the future. Using a lifestyle editor we developed a range of features and stories which would draw in the reader whilst also highlighting Hammerson as being at the forefront of the future of leisure destinations. Articles included The future of retail, in-store innovations, test driving the Hammerson PLUS app, insider guides to Reading and Leeds and where more happens.

In conclusion as a creative agency we need to adapt as quickly as our clients do to the changing face of retail of destinations. It’s essential that we immerse ourselves in their business and truly understand how they are evolving so we can interpret their objectives into thought-provoking marketing collateral.