• The New Age of Vending Machines

    Posted December 6, 2013 By in Vivid Blog With | No Comments The New Age of Vending Machines

    The 21st century vending machine will leave you delving for your credit card rather than your loose change, and is more likely to supply you with a designer handbag over the once standard chocolate bar. We have been looking at the latest, most innovative and fun vending machines out there. 

    Selfridges department store have recently installed the worlds first champagne vending machine.  The decadent addition to their Christmas Emporium contains up to 350 bottles of Moet and Chandon champagne, each of which is coated in miniature Swarovski crystals!

    For a reasonable £18, customers can purchase one of the 200ml bottles either as a gift for a loved one or to devour there and then, in an attempt to lessen the pain of Christmas Shopping.

    Selfridges Champagne Vending Machine
     

    This in fact only the latest in a line of luxury vending machines that have been unveiled in recent times.

    Earlier in the year, Selfridges provided a Chanel vending machine that dispensed mascaras and their rival department store Harvey Nichols hosted a BeautyMart machine that dispensed an array of beauty treats.

     Selfridges chanel vending machineHarvey Nics Vending Machine

    Commuters in New York City can access a variety of L’Oreal products from vending machines in the subway. With choices designed to clash or match outfits – customers need never panic about leaving the house without an appropriate lipstick again!

    loreal vending machines

    Over on the higher end of the pricing scale London’s Westfield shopping centre introduced a machine that dispenses gold bars called ‘Gold to Go’. Whilst Westfield malls in LA have vending machines filled with luxury food goods such as caviar, truffles and even snails.

    Westfield Vending Machine

     And for all the really big spenders out there, a vending machine at the Mondrian South Beach Hotel in Miami sells luxury items such as Bentley cars and even 24 carat gold handcuffs …

    However this new generation of vending machines are not just for the luxury shopper and sometimes the contents do not require any cash in exchange!

     Hellmann’s mayonnaise recently created a slot machine that allowed customers in Brazil to pull on a lever in order to dispense recipe instructions and samples of dishes that used mayonnaise in the ingredients. Even better though, if a lucky customer hit the jackpot, they were rewarded with multiple jars of Hellmann’s mayonnaise.

    Hellmanns vending machine

    Strongbow latched on to the trend for personalised vending machines when they launched their new dark fruit drink with the ‘Earn it’ campaign.  Commuters in London’s Victoria Station were challenged to hit targets on an interactive vending machine that rewarded successful applicants with a refreshing Strongbow dark fruit drink.

     Strongbow vending machine

    The most famous of these promotional vending machines are probably Coca Cola’s  ‘Friendship Machine’, which offering a two for one service on the condition that you worked alongside your friend to claim your prize.

     These vending machine installations allow customers a more beskoke, fun and personalised in store/ on the go service. Providing there are no ‘trapped behind the glass’ moments, which are often experienced with the regular confectionary vending machines, this is an excellent idea!

    These machines create a fun shopping experience that is more personable and instant than an online shopping service, as well as creating conversation and interaction between fellow shoppers.

  • Take the Gingerbread Challenge

    Posted By in Vivid Blog With | No Comments Take the Gingerbread Challenge

    Happy Christmas everybody!!

    To celebrate and get everyone into the festive spirit, our elves have been baking gingerbread and crafting them into a wondrous digital Gingerbread Generator, so you too can create your very own Gingerbread House, with the mere touch of a few buttons.

    Have a go and share with your colleagues, friends and family and you could win a Fortnum & Mason Hamper.

    Click on the house below to start:

    Vivid Brand Gingerbread Generator

  • Christmas Online

    Posted November 29, 2013 By in Vivid Blog With | No Comments Christmas Online

    In the run up towards Christmas, things can get kind of hectic! In between all the parties and consumption of mulled wine, there is theendless task of shopping for the perfect present for loved ones.

     The impact of increased Online Shopping at Xmas each year, has meant that Shoppers have become more and more savvy about snaring last minute bargains and deals in the retailer promotions held in the last two panic stricken weeks before Christmas, with some Shoppers leaving it as later as Christmas Eve and even on Boxing day. For the first time this year, Retailers have copied the US’s  ’ Black Friday’ approach, by offering early discounts to encourage Shoppers to buy earlier and keep the cash flow rolling.

    The good news is that the endless pacing up and down of the high street is rapidly being replaced  by a considerably more relaxing ‘click a button from the comfort of your armchair / coffee shop’ approach, thanks to the power of the internet / and increasing use of mobile devices.

    With access to Online shopping 24/7,  more and more people are doing their research and making their purchases from the comfort of their own home.

    A study by Pay Pal suggest that 9 out of 10 people will buy their Christmas gifts online, with the MD of Paypal stated that, ‘Our retailers are leading the world in making it easy to shop from the sofa, train and bus – while giving the best of both worlds with click and collect.’

    Also The Daily Mail reported that sales on Cyber Monday ware predicted to be up 16% on the equivalent day last year, and Visa is predicting that £450million will be spent online by British consumers on Monday with 7.7million transactions through its cards alone!

    So which brands have understood the Omni-channel Shopper this Christmas and who is using Online to make Shopping at Christmas easier / quicker / better?  

    Urban Outfitters

     With the target customer aged between 18-35, Urban Outfitters use their website to promote their silly yet cool brand identity.

     Urban Outfitters Xmas Online

    For Christmas they have gone all out – with competitions to with £500 to spend on a #dreamxmas, 20% discount online and promotional £1 delivery costs – the store is making it very hard to resist their online deals! 

     Urban Outfitters Xmas Online

    The site uses bold letting and pictures to direct its customers to different areas of the site and filtered, drop down menus, just in case you want to see all the options in one place. Categories such as ‘Gifts for Him’ and ‘Gifts for Her’ , make clear gender distinctions for present buyers, and areas such as ‘Stocking Fillers’ provide an area for gifts under a tenner. Filtering inside these categories then allows the customer to order the results alphabetically or by price.

    Urban Outfitters Xmas Online

     The site looks great but the large quantity of categories can get quite overwhelming and it is easy to get ‘lost’ – forgetting what you have already looked at and maybe missing what you need by going into the wrong category. Fewer categories but more filtering could be a more user-friendly solution.

     ASOS

    It’s the end of November already, but surprisingly there is barely any reference to Christmas on the ASOS home page, until scrolling down to the bottom section where you will find a ‘Gift Guide’ option with gender determined filters.  It’s worth noting that we have received numerous Christmas e-mails from ASOS encouraging us to check out gifts, party dresses, black dresses, the gift guide, etc… so perhaps this is a different approach?

     Upon clicking on the general link, you are taken to a playful and easy to use page of brilliant gift ideas. One has to wonder whether ASOS is missing a trick here as without a determined scroll down, many potential customers could assume there were no helpful Christmas hints available!

    ASOS Online Xmas Shopping

    The site has bold and clear category selections – ME!. BFF, Cheap n’ Cheerful, Beauty Booty, The Boys – With large first page images that can be clicked to give full item information and then a link to the full selection of ideas. As well as a helpful banner than has a Christmas countdown and last order date info. Now this is Christmas shopping made easy!

    If the general categories don’t help, there’s more help at hand with a ‘Not sure what to buy’ quiz, which customers can take to help them determine what items would suit the needs of the recipient. This is a great interactive app and everyone loves taking a personality quiz, however it is slightly disappointing that the quiz only caters to women… tut, tut ASOS!

     ASOS Online Xmas Shopping

    ASOS also goes one step further by adding a ‘Wish List’ option where shoppers can now store away all their desired items and then send them on to a generous loved one as a mega hint!

    For a more unusual gift there are also links to ASOS Marketplace Christmas picks, where you can find a more unique and quirky gift ideas or if you fancy being a bit silly there’s an array of Christmas jumpers on offer.

    Easy to use and easy to navigate, ASOS’ Christmas shopping pages are a massive hit. However we all have that one person who is a bit tricky to buy for and for that you have the always a hit Christmas gift voucher option! Everyone’s a winner!

     Amazon

     Amazon have a difficult task in creating an enjoyable and easy to use Christmas shopping option, mainly because of the diverse array of categories and products stocked as well as a diverse Shopper.

     Splitting the ‘Christmas is coming’ section into categories other than gender really helps customers to think about a variety of options available and helps to break down the vast quantity and variety of stock available. These categories are labelled with a photo example of the products they contain and then a small list that also indicates what you will find by following the link.

     Amazon Xmas Shopping Online

    Aside from the usual gifts that you would expect from a provider like Amazon they also offer a gift card service and a more personal gift experience option. The latter allows the buyer to use from a variety of local ‘experiences’ that they can then gift to a loved on. These experiences vary from personalised chocolate to a day out golfing, giving the recipient a gift they wont easily forget!

    Of course Christmas isn’t all about giving, it’s about getting! The standard Amazon feature ‘wish list’ can come in particularly handy at this time of year to drop helpful suggestions to those around you. 

     Amazon Xmas Shopping Online

    There is a somewhat clinical appearance to the site, and it definitely lacks the ‘fun’ element that some of the other sites deliver.

     There isn’t much distraction away from the task of shopping, which clearly works for Amazon, but it is starting to look quite dated and lacking in engagement and detail compared to many other ecommerce sites.

     However, Amazon more than compensates for this missing element with its practical and efficient shopping guidelines. Multiple delivery options and item tracking allows you to rest assured that your items will get to you on time! Overall leaving the impression that your Christmas shopping is well managed and in safe hands!

    Amazon Xmas Shopping Online

     

     John Lewis

     Christmas at John Lewis online is exactly what you would expect from John Lewis! It is family orientated and wholesome; there is a great and high quality array of traditional gift ideas, as well as some quirky and fun stocking fillers.

     John Lewis online Christmas

    Overall, the site is simple and easy to navigate, with present ideas categorised into 6 key sections – Him, Her, Little Ones, The Night Before Christmas, Keen Cooks, and Cosy Nights. Filters include brand, price, rating and delivery options, which are all incredibly helpful when determining choice options.

     A ‘Personalised’ section has appeared this year, where you can add a name to a selection of items such as stockings, advent calendars, alcohol, and crockery to name but a few! Personalising a product adds a touch of love, warmth and a human familiarity that can be lacking from purchasing gifts online and is a nice extension fro John Lewis.

     John Lewis online Christmas

     John Lewis has a gift wish list as standard to their site, which can be collated and then sent out to those in need of a hint or two. However, the site has not changed this area of the site to appropriate it for Christmas, which seems like a missed trick!

    The site ticks all the boxes for family Christmas shopping Online and conveniently multiple delivery options such as next day/ express, Click and Collect and CollectPlus (meaning you can pick up the item from a local convenience store or petrol station). Really great for helping people manage their time effectively during this busy time of the year!

      Graham and Green

     Graham and Green offer unique and charming gift ideas categorised into sections based on price, gender, accessories and homewares.

     

     Graham & Green

     

    The site is very simply laid out, with such a variety of unusual gift ideas on offer that you would not find on the high street that it somehow brings a little bit of soul to the sometimes tiresome chore of Christmas shopping.

     Graham and Green Online Christmas

    When we visited, we noticed a 20% special offer discount for Online buyers providing extra temptation to sway a ‘maybe’ Shopper to a ‘yes’ Shopper.

  • Festive Christmas Windows

    Posted November 22, 2013 By in Vivid Blog With | No Comments Festive Christmas Windows

    We took a trot around London, peering into all the shops we can’t really afford like excited children, as well as the high street favourites, to see who has captured the essence of Chrismas.

    Who was inspiring? Who make it easy to find the perfect present? 

    Here’s our favourites, chosen for ‘Christmas magic appeal’ and effective Shopper marketing:

    John Lewis 

    John Lewis tops our Festive Windows list this year with their amazing, innovative, animal themed sculptures.

    By constructing a menagerie of beasts made from a diverse array of homeware items, John Lewis pays homage to their much celebrated Christmas advert, whilst also serving a fun acknowledgement to the array of products available for purchase in store.

    Great innovative thinking has produced a magical and clever display like no other on the high street! 

    John Lewis Christmas Windows 

    John Lewis Christmas Windows

    John Lewis Christmas Windows   John Lewis Christmas Windows  

    The Hare! 

    John Lewis Christmas Window

    The Bear! 

    Penhaligons 

    Although the window in the Penhaligons South Molton Street store is smaller than most of the other stores featured in this list, they really make the most of the space available creating a Christmas scene full of magic and opulence.

    Gold is key, with a bare branched tree, fairy lights, snow and caged lanterns all featuring the colour. The dim lighting makes the scene extremely intimate and the caged perfume bottles only add to this feeling of magic and exclusivity.

    Penhaligons Christmas Window

     

    Miss Selfridge

    Their target market of young adults is in need of festive outfit inspiration and Miss Selfridge can more than deliver.

    With a display featuring dark and light fairy mannequins and an array of possible outfit choices, the store leverages the excitement surrounding upcoming Christmas Parties and Work dos, by promoting their party dresses in the windows. 

    Miss Selfridge Christmas WindowMiss Selfridge Christmas WindowsMiss Selfridge Christmas WindowsMiss Selfridge Christmas Window

     

    Harrods

    The steam train Christmas Window display can’t help but spark excitement about the upcoming party season – it’s lavish and over the top and most of the items on display are well beyond the average shoppers budget (one dress featured would set you back £80,000) but that’s what makes it so special!

    Harrods Christmas Windowharrods christmas windows

     

    Selfridges

    Selfridges have created a winter wonderland that features Christmas wish list items such as giant bottles of perfume, ballet pumps, snow globes and an extremely impressive gingerbread cityscape amongst mountains of fake snow and a flowing river of syrup! The display is playful, and appeals to all the ages with its array of super size presents and fantasy Christmas scenes, allowing passers by to spare a moment for a ‘what will I be getting this year’ thought.

    Selfridges Christmas WindowSelfridges Christmas WindowsSelfridges Christmas Windows

     

    Primark

    With eye catching digital displays and bargain basement prices – Primark’s Christmas windows show passers by that festive fun can be had, even on a budget.

    Primark Christmas WindowsPrimark Christmas WindowsPrimark Christmas Windows

     

    Liberty

    Liberty’s Christmas windows are arresting, interruptive and beautiful. Featuring dramatic zigzag edging and bright white lighting; it’s hard not to stop and gaze at these explosions of presents/products on display.

    Products are grouped together in themes to suggest clear gift ideas to shoppers whilst the stylish mannequins and pretty fairy lights create a fun and stylish, christmas feeling. 

    Libertys Christmas WindowLibertys Christmas Windows

     

    Fenwicks

    The magic of a fairy tale Christmas is key to Fenwicks window displays this year. The forest scene and uber fashionable grown up red riding hood mannequins capture the excitement of the autumn/ winter wardrobe selections whilst also the allure of the festivities.

    Fenwicks Christmas WindowFenwicks Christmas Windows

     

    Victorias Secret

    With masses of tinsel, baubles and fairy lights, the Victorias Secret Christmas window creates a dazzling display for their infamous underwear collections. 

    Underwear is a favourite Christmas gift idea and this display showcases the best bits to passers by whilst still having an undeniable Christmas theme 

    Mark Jacobs

    An enormous hovering  eyeball is not the typical Christmas icon one might expect, but Mark Jacobs unusual and unexpected twist certainly stops you in your tracks in what is otherwise a quite ordinary Christmas Window.

    A store known for its cool and quirky designs, it seems even at Christmas this is a store that breaks away from the norm.

    Mark Jacobs Christmas Window

    William & Son

    Appealing to the inner child, William & Son have created a mystical forest display in front of their shop windows, featuring a unicorn beside an icy pond. Passers by can’t help but be drawn over to this magical scene. 

    William & Son Christmas Window William & Son Christmas Window

     

    Roberto Cavalli

    An enticing display of glitz and glamour is arranged in the windows of Roberta Cavalli.

    Mixing Luxury fashion with sparkly arctic animals, (and for some reason, an Ostrich) gives the scene an interesting feel with a touch of decadent glamour. 

    Roberto Cavalli Christmas WindowRoberto Cavalli Christmas WindowRoberto Cavalli Christmas Window

    Beyond Retro

    This trendy vintage clothing stores Christmas window display masses of creativity to inspire customers to come in and rummage amongst the rails!

    Despite being on a low budget in comparison with most of the stores reviewed, Beyond Retro have gone mad with the Christmas theme and created windows that are slightly barmy, but undeniably fun. Mannequins are dressed in bright coloured garments, accessorised with Christmas tree decorations. The obligatory suggestion of a slightly tipsy miss in the midsts of a pile of presents is hysterical. Great fun! 

    Beyond Retro Christmas WindowBeyond Retro Christmas Window

     

    Harvey Nichols

    Infamous for their theatrical window displays, Harvey Nichols once again produces a Christmas scene with wow factor results. Bright lights and bold colours create a dynamic Christmas wonderland that completely takes over the corner of Knightsbridge and Sloane Square.

    Harvey Nichols Christmas Windows Harvey Nichols Christmas WindowsHarvey Nichols Christmas Windows

  • Happy Halloween from Vivid Brand

    Posted October 31, 2013 By in Vivid Blog With | No Comments Happy Halloween from Vivid Brand
    Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!
  • Nipper returns to HMV

    Posted October 14, 2013 By in Vivid Blog With | No Comments Nipper returns to HMV

    Trotting down Oxford Street in London on Friday night, I was thrilled to happen across the newly refreshed HMV, at an unexpected location near Zara and H&M at the lower end towards Bond Street. 

    HMV

    Following years of dwindling high street sales and the ubiquitous prevalence of music streaming, digital downloading, illegal downloading / sharing and faster consumption of entertainment & gaming, the ailing retailer has been in serious dire straights, with Hilco taking it over in January. Frankly, I had consigned HMV to the ‘sadly out of date in modern retail’  retail shelf in the sky, next to Woolies, so I entered this new store with both surprise, genuine interest to see what was new, and some trepidation.

    HMV

    Surprise, because to my knowledge, nothing has really changed in the world of entertainment consumption – except perhaps that purchasing physical entertainment seems even MORE out dated than it did a year ago. I still struggle to comprehend who spends £10.99 on a physical CD, when you can download it straight to your mobile/digital library, or buy  it considerably cheaper Online (at a well known pure play retailer). Or you could choose to stream an unlimited number of tracks & albums by multiple artists for £9.99 per month. 

    And this is still at the root of the issues at HMV. The whole concept of physical entertainment retail seems wildly out of touch with the reality of actual consumption of media and entertainment. I admit that I was honestly hoping to walk into HMV and to see major changes in the way they sell and market entertainment. I hoped for digital zones, listening areas, huge video walls you could interact with, streaming zones and getting back to the roots of HMV being THE entertainment hub to meet and chat about music with your friends. Interestingly, there were even retro photos showing consumers listening to records on old turntables- so why is there not a modern version of this now – digital areas sponsored by a headphone manufacturer where you can come and listen to music, grab a coffee with friends (another reason to frequently visit) and download music with free wifi in HMV?

    There were some key changes however. Nipper and nostalgia was prevalent around the stores, from the external neon fascia, to gorgeous black and white images up the escalator.

    HMV

    For the golden oldies out there, it’s lovely to be connected to the heritage and it would be nice to see this related to a new way of music retail.

    HMV

    There was more entertainment merchandise, books and photoframes and mugs and some dedicated licensed areas promoting key properties such as Dr Who at the front of store. This was all merchandised well and was appealing. There was also an area on the ground floor dedicated to head phones and speakers. All of these would make great Christmas presents.

    HMV

    But overall, my feeling was that nothing significant had really changed. The vast majority of the store was still filled with over priced music and there was not one digital download zone, or anywhere to listen to new music.  I’m not sure how, or why anything will be different this time around and I still have no reason to re-visit this store.

    It really is a shame, as HMV has the opportunity to transform their stores and the way the engage and sell to their consumers, but must fundamentally change the way they sell, or I fear they will be in the same place again by Summer.

  • A 20 something’s view of Retail on Oxford Street

    Posted October 11, 2013 By in Vivid Blog With | No Comments A 20 something’s view of Retail on Oxford Street

    By Rachel Ferguson

    As a target customer for high street shopping, I was given the ultimate work task – go shopping! Hurrah!

    I was released on to London’s most famous high street, Oxford Street, in early October just as the Autumn ranges were landing and set about reviewing what I thought about the way retailers were marketing and selling their products/brand to me and my peer group.

    I visited four stores in three key categories of retail that target my age group;

    Fashion: Topshop

    Sports: Nike Town and JD Sports

    Telecoms: 3 Mobile.

    I looked at their windows and what it was they were doing to lure me in, then once in the store I reviewed their in-store marketing and digital communications, the presentation of key ranges and the way they were selling their products to me.

    But was it good, bad, dull or brilliant? Was I impressed enough to buy something, or did it all l pass me by?

     

    Sports: Nike Town

    Nike Town deliver a brand focused message that delivers the facts in a hard hitting way that creates an impact on any customer that walks through their door.

    With a tone of voice that is informative and technical and in-store marketing that includes motivational quotes, like ‘Run Like You’ve Never Ran Before’, and, ‘You Have A Body, You Are An Athlete’; Nike inspires and motivates the customer to invest in a product that can enhance their physical ability.

     

    Walking around Nike Town is a visual feast, from the massive video screens that flash bright images of the products available in store, to the disc shaped plaques dotted around the walls with dated facts inscribed upon them, giving the brand a sense of heritage. Mannequins are placed mid-sprint on a running track, or slam dunking a basketball, there is a chandelier made from trainers and skipping ropes and clear informative sign posting to direct you where you need to be.

    Nike Town, Vivid Brand

    My only problem with my experience at Nike Town was a sense of not belonging; Sure, I wanted to be the person they told me I could be if I invested in their products and I was inspired, but as it stands I’m not exactly at my physical peak. This, along with the fact I’m female (the minority of customers in the store that day and most likely always) made me feel just a tad out of place. Perhaps Nike need to think up some ways to embrace their female and not-quite-there-physically customers, this could involve a navigation app to help eliminate any confusion about which product you might be after, or perhaps an area for ‘new to sports’.

    My scores:

    Window communication: 4/10

    In-store range display:  8.5/10

    Product information: 6/10

    Store experience: 9/10

    Digital engagement: 7.5/10

    Was I inspired to buy? : 9/10

    Total: 44/60

    Sports: JD Sports

    JD Sports provides a completely different in-store experience to Nike Town, with no one brand to direct its marketing towards, the store tries its best to encompass them all. This of course is quite a challenge; JD Sports need to highlight a multitude of brands and does this with lots of individual brand signage. As a customer I found the store quite easy to navigate, I could see clearly the areas for each brand and each type of product but the experience felt quite functional rather than inspiring as it had in Nike Town. 

    JD Sports, Vivid Brand

    There was less creativity in the layout of the products but there was an element of fun in the use of digital, especially the LED motion display that ran around the store, displaying the names of the brands that were available. It provided a clear reminder that for multiple branded products, JD Sports was the store to be in. 

    JD Sports, Vivid Brand

    Some of the motivational marketing mirrored that of Nike Town, such as a large backdrop that read – ‘Best of the Best’ and large posters of athletic models. I was not as seduced by JD Sports as Nike Town, but I felt that I was generally more at ease in-store. There were clear options available and for anyone who did still feel overwhelmed there were friendly signs that offered a free delivery to store if you wanted to shop online.

    My scores:

    Window communication: 6/10

    In-store range display: 6/10

    Product information: 4/10

    Store experience: 5/10

    Digital engagement: 3/10

    Was I inspired to buy? : 8/10

    Total: 32/60

    Fashion: Topshop

    Topshop have one of the best locations on Oxford Street, but the enormous four-storey space could easily intimidate customers into making a swift exit rather than run the risk of getting lost amongst the rails. It gets around this by utilising as much creative signage as possible, in a way that gives clear and easy to see directions whilst staying true to their young, hip and light hearted image. Light bulbs arranged into arrows and neon tubes are used to signpost various areas and if this isn’t enough there is a free personal shopping service to makes things even easier.

    Top Shop, Vivid Brand

    Topshop uses a variety of media including digital and mobile  – particularly at the till point, which is a great way of preventing customers from getting bored whilst they wait. There were barcodes to scan, competitions to enter and websites to check out, including the option to book in online with a personal shopper – meaning that anyone who takes up this opportunity will have clear motivation to return.  

    Top Shop, Vivid Brand  

    Top Shop, Vivid Brand

    They do however seem to be missing a trick by not using clear in store promotion to their new autumn drops, or their connection to fashion on the catwalk – it would be great if we saw more ‘straight off the catwalk’ or ‘as seen on Alexa Chung/ Cara Delevigne/ other hot celeb name’, especially given that it had just been London Fashion Week a week previous to my visit.  Sure, as a shopper I want to feel in control of my own ‘look’ but I would definitely appreciate a bit of a back story to products such as more information about the design team involved in the boutique section, or perhaps the material used or the inspiration behind the design – was the shift dress I browsed influenced by the increasing trend for retro inspired clothing? Or the print on a top maybe inspired by one currently being used by a high fashion designer? This kind of information could swap a maybe to a definite purchase because I would feel like suddenly I had a reason to buy rather than just the desire to add even more weight to my drooping clothes rail.

    I couldn’t help but notice a large proportion of the Topshop customer base walked around whilst playing on their mobile phone. This could be leveraged by having more barcodes dotted around the store, which customers could then scan to download content such as ‘get the look,’ see catwalk videos, or even tutorials about inspiration behind the trend or garment; it would be particularly nice if there were interviews with the designers! This would be a great motivation for trend hunters and fashion design enthusiasts to get involved with learning more about how certain individual items relate to fashion as a wider subject.  Providing this kind of service would give Topshop more depth and fashion credibility whilst also strengthening the relationship between customer and brand.

    There is a great little competition to win an iPad at the till point by completing an online survey, which you can access by scanning a barcode; this is a fab use of digital marketing and keeps the customer entertained when boredom or impatience could result in changing their mind about the purchases they are about to make.

    Top Shop, Vivid Brand

    This type of interactive marketing would also work really well in the changing rooms; this is a key area so they should really make the most of it. A link to the Topshop Instagram or Facebook pages would be a great way of directing customers to ‘follow’ their online feeds as well as cementing a connection between the two cool brands! An ongoing competion could run where customers could photograph and upload their ‘looks’ to Topshop’s Instagram or Pinterest pages with winner’s chosen on a weekly/ monthly basis. This would be a great way or getting customers to try on lots of different clothes, spreading the Topshop product via the online presence of a variety of clothes fanatics, whilst also inspiring new customers with the looks they create!

    My scores:

    Window communication: 9/10

    In-store range display:  9/10

    Product information: 1/10

    Store experience: 7/10

    Digital engagement: 7/10

    Was I inspired to buy? : 10/10

    Total: 43/60

    Telecoms: 3 Mobile

    3 mobile are one of the leading telecom network providers in the UK but upon entering their store I found myself slightly overwhelmed and confused.  The store is such a small space that I found I was unable to move freely and was not always able to get close to the handsets I desired to view, even though this was located on prime retail territory.

    This aside, 3 really do make the most of posters celebrating their great prices and even a ‘favourites’ section that highlighted their top pick phone/contract combos.

    3 Mobile, Vivid Brand Blog

    I particularly like their emphasis on their ‘Pay as you Go’ tariffs, that included a bold printed statement declaring, ‘Lets dare to imagine a different world’ a tad dramatic maybe, but it definitely got my attention and is great news for any potential customers who thought that perhaps contracts were the only option.

    The signage and display are clear and to the point, highlighting the different tariffs available and which ones matched up to which handsets. This is great for someone who doesn’t have time to read through pages of tech jargon and after 15 minutes browsing, I felt like I had a fairly good idea of all the options available before trying to get a more thorough explanation of one of the staff members which signage encourages customers to ‘ask staff for more details’. This encouragement was however counteracted by the enormous queue leading up the help desk which instantly put me off taking my queries any further and made me think that maybe there needs to be a more efficient way of dealing with large crowds of potential new customers. Maybe an online booking system to beat queues, or virtual assistance via a tablet would be more effective.  Or could I have made my purchasing choice on my own – much as I might do if I were online?

    3 Mobile, Vivid Brand Blog

    As an existing 3 customer I am unlikely to leave this network, however I did notice they have no way of knowing this when I enter the store. If they did know this, perhaps they would engage with me differently and try to upgrade me or sell me additional products? I have to admit that apart from being asked to visit 3 specifically, I could not ordinarily have any reason to re-visit until either my contract is up or until I want a new phone. An opportunity for 3 to consider how to engage me in the interim perhaps?

    I also wondered whether I would be inclined to sign up based on the way they market themselves today.  Although the prices are competitive I am put off by the ‘silly’ pug etc jokes that bombard the shop – yes choosing a network is boring but a pug in a hat is not making it any less so, its possibly just making the task even more annoying than it was already.I guess this is subjective though – maybe more people like it than dislike it?

    Most people will stay with the same network provider for a long period of time, if not forever, meaning that you have to catch your customer’s young, or just as their contracts are up for renewal! With this in mind, 3 really should try harder to utilise mobile and digital marketing, maybe online questionnaires that potential/current customers can take to find out which phone/contract is for them?

    3 Mobile, Vivid Brand Blog

    In-store there is very limited digital, bar a few posters that suggest that you go to Twitter and #keeponinternetting to connect you to an online community of funny images/videos that you can share with friends. 3 have cottoned on to the fact that people enjoy sharing viral and especially funny animal links, and the success of their dancing pony video proves that they are beginning to create a name for themselves as the network provider that has a sense of humour.

    Personally this doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe I’m just a jaded customer that cannot see any rewards for my 7 years of loyalty to 3 mobile, but what I really want to see when I walk through that shop door,  are clear signs, information to take away, and most of all a clearly better deal for long standing customers such as myself. I’m sorry 3 ,but the pug/pony gimmicks just aren’t cutting it for me.

    My scores:

    Window communication: 3/10

    In-store range display: 7/10

    Product information: 8/10

    Store experience: 6/10

    Digital engagement: 3/10

    Was I inspired to buy? : 6/10

    Total: 33/60

    Conclusion:

    All four shops had employed different ways of engaging with their customers although each one definitely provoked a different kind of reaction in me as a customer.  

    Overall I felt like the more information provided, the longer I was inclined to stay. I think Topshop scored very low in this area mainly because as a fashion brand, they probably feel like they don’t have to push education at their customers because generally people will go for how it looks rather than what it can do for you. Of course this is true, but adding interest to a product – whether it be a sense of history or ability, means it gains added value in the customers head and thus becomes a more desirable item to own.

    As a customer I want to feel involved in the product and the brand, the stores therefore need to create a community that immerses the customer not just in a single sale but also as a returning fan of the brand. This can definitely be helped by lots more in-store marketing to add interest to all of the products on display. Using QR codes that customers can scan as they walk around, allows the customer to engage themselves in the brand’s online community, whilst being surrounded by the physical embodiment of the brand itself. The benefit of being part of the online community is of course that once the customer leaves the physical store they can carry on being an active member of the online app from the comfort of their own home. This could involve daily updates sent to their phone, following the brand on Instagram in order to find out ‘whats new’ or ‘whats hot’.

    Social media platforms  provides a great way for customers to discuss the brand with other customers (this worked/this doesn’t work/ this looks great etc) and in effect, provide a great way for the stores to find out what is working and what is not – free market research!

     

  • Fast food

    Posted October 3, 2013 By in Vivid Blog With | No Comments Fast food

    Yo Sushi are taking fast food to a whole new level with their flying fish concept. Not quite flying out of the water, but flying out the Kitchen thanks to some nifty remote controlled gadetry. Waitressing suddenly looks like much more fun than I recall!

    Check out the Video:

    Or maybe you fancy Pizza?

    The most innovative use of digital interactivity has to go to Inamo in Soho or St James St, in London.

    inamo-london-review

    Here you use interactive tables to select your food and drinks, call your waiter, change the table cloth or play games (if your date is not going so well). You can also discover  nearby hot spots to try out after your meal. Not only is this restaurant great fun and a true experience, it also serves amazing Asian fusian food and the black cod is to die for.

  • Vivid Brand wins two POPAI awards

    Posted By in Vivid Blog With | No Comments Vivid Brand wins two POPAI awards

    Vivid Brand entered the POPAI 2013 awards for the first time this year and were thrilled to walk away with two glittering POPAI awards at the glamorous ceremony held at the Hilton, Park Lane, London.

    The POPAI awards celebrate the best of British and Irish point of purchase , identifying and honouring the best in class and recognising those who strive for excellence, spearhead innovation and showcase ingenuity.  

     The awards consist of 19 categories and are judged by a panel of experts from some of the UK’s biggest retailers and brands in the industry.

     Vivid Brand won awards for the Philips Small Domestic Appliances project in China and also for the SAB Miller Interspar shop, developed for the Czech Republic.  

     Andy & Popai_Award

    Andy Scott, CEO at Vivid Brand said: “We had a great night mingling with our contemporaries at the POPAI awards and were so pleased to be recognised amongst 63 competing agencies and manufacturers for the creative POP solutions we developed for SAB Miller and Philips. Both were excellent, category shop in shop solutions that involved brand communication, segmentation, store signage, creative shopper marketing communication, and clever use of materials at fixture to ensure brand standout in store. The Philips project also utilised digital panels and displays to evoke a high tech feel.”

     Martin Kingdom, Director General of Popai UK & Ireland congratulated the winners, saying” ..taking home a coveted POPAI Awards is a huge achievement and you should feel very proud.”

     The full gallery of winners can be seen on the POPAI website.

    Bronze award, POPAI, Vivid Brand Awards Bronze award, POPAI, Vivid Brand Awards

  • Vivid Brand’s Cool Brands

    Posted October 2, 2013 By in Vivid Blog With | No Comments Vivid Brand’s Cool Brands

    So Coolbrands have launched their top 20 UK Cool brands and it got us debating in the office. So here are Vivid Brand’s selected Cool brands from the peeps in the office:

    Rachel W’s top 3 Cool brands: 

    1) Cutler & Gross:

    Cutler & Gross make stunning and super cool optical and sunglasses designs, have a simple, and stylish website and created fab stylised photography to showcase their products. The staff are also very helpful and stylish in store, without making you feel you are not cool enough for school (like some places in E. London we could mention).  They offer a bespoke service so you can create your very own frames in a private area, showcasing their library of retro frames back to the sixties, which is worth a look in itself. 

    Cutler & Gross, Cool Brands, Vivid Brand

    http://www.cutlerandgross.com

    cutler-and-gross-sunglasses_ Cool Brands

    bailey_caine_Cutler & Gross Michael Caine shot by David Bailey in Cutler & Gross glasses

    2)  Mad Men

    TV shows have become extremely savvy in crafting brand identities and Mad Men has excelled. The creative direction is superb, from the show logo, identity and graphics, to the clothing, photography and styling. It’s always consistently brilliant. Sterling Cooper has even released his own advertising book filled with his pithy quotes.

    Mad-Men_Cool brands_Vivid Brand blog

    Mad-Men_Cool brands_Vivid Brand blog

    3) Brooks England

    I love the British craftsmanship of this bike brand, their stunning photography and attention to detail. The brand is really well crafted and consistent in it’s application of brand values and ethos, from the product through to their imagery and website.

    brooks-england_Cool Brands_Vivid Brand

    brooks-england_Cool Brands_Vivid Brand

    brooks _ Cool Brands

    Christopher’s top 3 cool brands:

    1) Absolut Vodka:
    Love the constant regeneration of an iconic drinks brand. The recent cities packaging was a great way to increase frequency of purchase by creating collectables.
     
    absolut-cities_Cool Brands_Vivid Brand Blog
     
    jamie-hewlett-vodka-absolut_Cool Brands
    The London Absolut Vodka, illustrated by Jamie Hewlett
     
    2) Braun Watches:
    I like the minimalist style.
     
    Braun watches_Cool Brands
     
     
    3) Fab
    Bringing affordable designer products to the home.
     
    Fab_ Cool Brands
     

    Rachel F’s top 3 cool brands:

    1) Bleach London
    It’s Fun & playful. It has cool celebs attached to brand – bands/models etc.. (inspirational/ artistic people) and has a great use of social media/web
     
    Bleach_Cool brands_Vivid Brand Blog
     
    2) Acne Studios
    Slick, minimal & modern and always photographed on  the ‘right’ celebs. Not too obvious branding helps to make it desirable – you can’ t spot it right away unless you know the brand and this creates a feeling of exclusivity. The brand’s products are well made and more expensive than the high street but not so expensive that it is considered to be ‘exclusive’ designer, so people can realistically aspire to own Acne fashions.
     
    acne-Cool brands_vivid brand blog
     
    3) Instagram
     
    Instagram-Cool Brands_ vivid brand blog
     

    Gideon’s top 3 cool brands:

    1) Belstaff
    Classic and vintage clothes made modern and cool.
     
    Belstaff_Cool Brands_ Vivid Brand
     
    2) Triumph
    Iconic and timeless.
     
    Triumph_Cool Brands
     
    3) The Royal Marines
     
    Superb, emotive recruitment campaign that shows what life is really like in the Marines. 
    The Marines used the Quantam of Sollace  James Bond cinema screenings as an opportunity to recruit, by using bluetooth media to broadcast a 45sec video that showcased the qualities that sets the elite marines apart from army recruits. The video then linked to their website for recruitment. 
     
    royal-marines-commandos-recruitment-Vivid Brand
     
    royal-marines-commandos-recruitment-Vivid Brand
     

    Chris’s top 3 Cool brands: 

    1) Rapha Cycle clothing
    They’re beautifully made, effective, have a retro style & great colourways
     
    Rapha_ Cool Brands_Vivid Brand
     
    2) Porshe 911
     The evolution of a brand to the point of perfection – the best, most useable sports car in the world! (in my opinion) 
     
    50-years-of-porsche-911-9_ Cool Brands_ Vivid Brand
     
    3) Lego: 
    Still the best kids toy on the market after 50 years / continually re inventing itself – real brand elasticity!
     
    Lego, Cool Brands, Vivid Brand

    Paul’s top 3 cool brands:

    1)Rizla

    Fun colourful quirky and irreverant.

    Rizla_ Cool Brands

    Rizla_ Cool Brands

    2) Hendricks Gin:

    Genius idea to stick a cucumber in to a nice glass of gin, to create a new serving suggestion that has a better taste experience than any other gin.

    hendricks_gin_Cool Brands_ Vivid brand blog

    hendricks_gin_Cool Brands_ Vivid brand blog

    3) Richard James

    This guy is a Saville Row tailor. His cut is all about the silhouette.

    Richard James, Cool Brands

    Lily’s top 3 cool brands:

    1) Louis Vuitton

    Constant reinvention of their brand using famous artists interpretations of the iconic logo.

    Louis_Vuitton_Cool Brands

    2) The Mini (car) 

    Such a chic brand.

    mini_one_Cool Brands

    3) STYLIST & SHORTLIST magazines:

     They’ve come from nowhere but are a must read every Tuesday. Great snippets of current trends, fashion and lifestyle relevant to London life.

    StylistUK_cool brands

    Check out the Official Cool Brands UK list here:

    Cool Brands 2013

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