Global shopper marketing tour: down under edition

Influence Marketing's Derek Joynt and Martin Rydlo check out some innovative store designs in Australia.

Strategy invited Influence Marketing partners Martin Rydlo and Derek Joynt to scour the globe for the coolest shopper marketing executions, retail stunts, innovative partnerships and big trends in the retail and shopper marketing industry. This month, they peered down to Australia to check out a couple ace (Aussie slang for “very good”) retail promotions.

Crumpler surrounds itself with itself

Crumpler is a niche retailer that sells handbags with its flagship store located in Melbourne.

For its first-ever shopping centre location it engaged award-winning Australian architecture and design firm Russell & George.

At the core of its design was the realization that when people come in for a new purse, they tend to bring their current bags, empty out the contents and test if a new one will hold everything.

To address this habit, it created a central island to give shoppers a place to test the bags. That meant a lot of space was needed to allow people to unpack their old bags and see how their “stuff” fared in the new bags. The designers tried to keep in mind every small detail, such as a “subtle lip” that rolls upwards, preventing emptied contents, from loose coins to camera lenses, from rolling onto the floor.

The other major insight was the store materials could enhance the brand, not just act as decorations or nice displays.

The store is literally built out of bags, creating a unique look and promoting the toughness of the product. Rubber linings, buckles and clips, powder-coated steel, and the brand’s iconic red seatbelt satchel straps are used throughout the store. The seatbelt “webbing” in the window is the real centerpiece as it laces together the storefront with the inside. Its functionality is not lost, as it incorporates hooks that hang Crumpler’s famous bags.

Tokyo Bike embraces pop-up esthetic

Tokyo Bike sells simple bicycles designed for city riding. At its core, the Toyko Bikes brand is about losing yourself in the city and enjoying the ride, and is a way of switching off and escaping. The bikes are easy to ride and are pared back to the basic elements, with few or no gears.

With a permanent shop already located in Surrey Hills, Sidney, the company wanted to spread the word by trying out another location for a short time.

Pop-up stores not only create buzz but make it easier on the shopper by bringing the products to them, cutting out travel time. This is particularly useful if the shopper is in need of new transportation. So the bike co tried its hand at a six-week pop-up shop in a neighbourhood its core shoppers live.

It chose a “raw” building to act as a backdrop for the sleek bicycles to create a classic minimalist look. To augment the environment, cardboard boxes act as fixtures, the decorations and the signage. Simple black and white text on the cardboard wall behind the service desk explains what the brand is about, while brightly-coloured accessories were laid out on platforms. To give a sense of where these bikes originated, a series of short videos are projected towards the back of the store.

The pared down shopping experience allows the staff to meet and greet the customers unimpeded and the neutral backdrop also made sure the bright colours of the bikes really stand out.

Martin Rydlo, former director of marketing at Campbell’s handling its shopper marketing portfolio, and Derek Joynt, former director of marketing at Walmart, are partners at Influence Marketing Group in Toronto.