We live in a world of 24-hour news and unfettered access to and from others through an array of ever-expanding wireless devices, continuing the blur between “my time” and “their time.” Media, whether print, electronic or broadcast, are becoming increasingly fragmented, with more of the public receiving its information from a medley of blogs that stream to us on a daily basis.
Retail can be a channel that addresses that need where the consumer is looking to learn, be entertained and be delighted, all while making a social connection. This requires “iconicity,” that combination of visual cues that creates a personality so distinctive it becomes proprietary to the brand, with the store as an alternative media channel, transcending the more rational elements of price and convenience.
A recent study indicated that in the past, we thought we retained up to 10 percent of what we were exposed to. But now, with so much more stimuli, we actually recall only a micro-fraction of that amount. And what we do retain is mostly visual, indicating that a visually focused experience is key to being memorable.
Iconicity finds it roots in images and experience. Successful stores effectively become an “environmental blog” where the consumer and retailer “post” their thoughts of the day in the form of product, communication and experience.
Shared “emotional languages” of experience influence what we really “see” and “hear.” Is the consumer’s sense of your environment memorable? Or is it one that fails to register and is quickly discarded? In other words: Are you iconic?
David Nelson is vp, client strategy of JGA, a design, brand strategy and architecture firm in Southfield, Mich., and a member of VMSD’s Editorial Advisory Board.
laszlo regos, berkley, mich.