GUEST BLOG: Increasing the role of architecture in brand design - Retail Shopfitting Summit
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  • GUEST BLOG: Increasing the role of architecture in brand design


    A confluence of trends are intensifying the need for brand designers and architects to work closely together, particularly in retail, as Sarah Davies Prosper’s Associate Director explains…

    As part of a team of architects that works collaboratively alongside brand designers here at Prosper, I was encouraged to see a recent article in Curbed (an online architecture and design magazine) underlining the increasing role that architecture is taking in branding and advertising and the benefits of this multidisciplinary approach.

    The Curbed article’s premise is that experiential design firms need cool spaces to sell brands and architects make that happen. Prosper closely integrates brand design with architecture to deliver strongly branded physical spaces, particularly for our retail clients. So many of the trends and benefits are pertinent to how we work and why.

    The notion of experience design, and of architects working for brands is nothing new, yet the confluence of various trends is intensifying demand for this multidisciplinary way of working. These changes include advances in mobile and display technology, the demise of traditional retail, millennials’ preference for experiences and tech brands expanding into the physical world.

    Relevant for retail

    With traditional advertising losing its effectiveness and traditional store design less able to attract shoppers, retail brands are particularly keen to experiment with creating new and exciting physical spaces, from pop-ups to elaborate retail environments, to boost awareness and sales.

    The growing demand for more immersive experiences makes real world spaces even more important, and they need work harder to woo shoppers away from buying online. Larger high-street retailers are realising it’s no longer just about square footage and how many products they can fit in, but more about the quality of experience beyond a functional transaction.

    From our work with the retail sector, Prosper knows just how crucial the link between branding and architecture is. Architecture is a conduit and physical manifestation of brand values – so a brand and its environment need to totally complement each other.

    Warings Lifestore is a great example – Prosper created the brand design but also delivered the physical retail space that encapsulates and embodies those conceptual values.

    The benefits of shared understanding

    With Prosper being an integrated agency, where various disciplines work together collaboratively, we smooth the process for the client and avoid a disjointed delivery.

    By taking a holistic approach and dealing with everything in-house, we all benefit from a shared understanding of each other’s processes and rationale. When everyone understands the whole process, we can all better contribute to the conversation about the project.

    As architects able to feed into the process sooner, while still at the conceptual stage, we can advise against things that may not work when it comes to physical delivery, which is highly valuable in saving our clients time and money.

    It’s striking that balance of allowing the brand designers enough creative space to develop a wow idea but also tempering that with the practicality of what’s physically doable and cost-effective.

    Designers and architects come at projects from very different angles but when we share the same goal, we are united in achieving the best outcome for our clients and deliver that with a unified voice.

    To find out more about our joint approach, please get in touch


    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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