LA 03 – Understanding ideals

Brief:

Visit a popular store, like an Apple, Nike, Levi, H&M or an Ikea store. The brand should be well-known and you must visit a shop where their products are being displayed or distributed. In smaller towns you may not have access to these stores, in this case you will need to find a section showcasing these items and view how they are displayed or laid out. Before going to the shop, determine the following about their brand identity and, once at the shop, evaluate how they remain true to their brand identity or not. How is the brand identity enhanced (or, perhaps, not expressed) at the point of customer interaction? Hand in a write-up with photos of the following:

  1. What brand identity element are they using in their logo (e.g. abstract mark or word mark)?
  2. What do you think their brand ideal is?
  3. How do they remain true to their brand ideal within their shops?
  4. Evaluate the customer experience according to the brand ideal. (For example, if the brand ideal is “innovation”, do you get a sense of that ideal when you visit the outlet?)
  5. Evaluate the visual display of the products according to the brand ideal. (For example, if the brand ideal is “value”, is this expressed in the way they display the products?)

 

Eplehuset (the apple house)

Eplehuset is a norwegian Apple Premium Reseller. They have all the newest Apple products, and they can also fix any Apple product for you there. They do not only sell Apple products there, though Apple does dominate the shop with their products, for instance they sell headphones by famous producer Bose (not directly competitors to Apple).

I think their brand ideal is to carry out simplicity, elegancy, quality and status. An image. It’s the same thing as music genres, metalheads don’t typically wear the same clothes as classical music fans. In this way, people can be devided into two groups: Android users and iPhone users. When entering the shop, I noticed how similar all the people in the shop were. Different kinds of people, yet completely identical. I realized that it’s about desiring quality. Whether that quality is better than the other products on the market – is up for discussion, but quality nonetheless. It’s about trusting the quality you believe you are buying.

Every single person I saw in the shop was obviously there for the quality they “knew” they would find. The confidence they had in the product they wanted was easy to spot. Apple is a quality brand. That is their brand ideal, to empower people with their product.

I really liked the layout of the shop. Huge windows from top to bottom, simple colors and clean layouts, following our favorite slogan “less is more”. Though I believe the products could have been presented in a even better and “cleaner” way, I think they’ve done a good job decorating.

Customer Experience:
The first thing you see when you come in to this shop is a round table of iPhones placed in a perfect circle. To your right, there are Mac’s and Ipads for display. To your left there is an Apple Watch-table display, followed by another round table of iPhones and then at the end a Mac laptop-display. In the back of the shop are the less important (less in focus) products such as covers, chords, bags etc. The employees seem silent, yet helpful and assisting. The customers seem polite, confident and patient.

Apple’s ideal is to empower self expression, and though I don’t feel very self-expressive walking in the shop, I would understand how an Apple fan would. This shop is layed out precicely for the Apple customer, it is built on the image of Apple itself, simplicity and elegancy.

The products are placed elegantly, far enough away from eachother to give an impression of air around each product and also each display. Room to be it’s own product, room to be yourself. It’s almost like going to a fancy restaurant, except the feast is for the eyes only. The only thing out of place in this shop is the incredibly ugly black chord-leader under the table of the Apple Watch display. I don’t think I am exaggerating when I say that it draws the entire visual experience down at least 20%. It should be covered with something that blends more in with the background (floor and table) in order to stay true to their main product’s company values.

 

Sources:

https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eplehuset
http://nordic.businessinsider.com/apple-taking-huge-risk-with-new-iphone-strategy-2016-7?r=US&IR=T

 

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