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Interior stores and brand temples

Wayne McMaster

12 April 2017

High-end interior brands need to pay special attention to the way we sell and innovate at the point of purchase.

Where before luxury and premium brands use brick-and-mortar stores mainly to sell products, we now need to aim at designing multifunctional, controlled spaces to create brand experiences and communicate brand beliefs through events, exhibitions, and collaborations.

These stores function need to act almost like religious temples for discerning consumers.

Religious Temples

Prada embarked on a unique project in combination with AMO, a research studio based in Rotterdam, and the renowned architect Rem Koolhaas. The result was a wide-ranging project that included special “Epicenters”: stores designed to provide a working laboratory for experimental shopping experiences. The project also included a plan for an extended web presence, the development of specialized, site-specific shopping tools, the application of emerging technology, and innovative programming ideas such as exhibitions, film screenings, concerts, and other public events.

BMW Welt (BMW World) in Munich is another example of a temple-like showroom where consumers can experience the brand. Designed by architects Coop Himmelblau and opened in October 2007 at a cost of US$200 million. This building is not a museum which celebrates heritage, but rather an exhibition and visitor centre that looks forward and it is here that customers can choose and take delivery of their new cars.The initiative entertains, engages, educates, and interacts with consumers in an environment that materializes the BMW brand.

Brands like Apple and Nike have similarly transformed their stores into temples in their respective “Apple Store” and “Nike Town”. The temple is the opportunity that your brand has to physically connect with your customer.

The “Red Bull Station” in São Paulo was designed to “give wings” to young artists by providing them with music studios, artist residencies, and exhibition spaces. Importantly, creating a temple does not necessarily require high investment.

Used in this way, the store-turned-temple is our brand’s best opportunity to connect with consumers.


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