A Roundup of our projects throughout March

It has been a busy month for the ‘Box of Frogs’ team with quite a few projects going to handover. We thought we would collate some of the standout pictures to give you a feel of what the team have produced throughout the month.

 

Working with our FatFace client we completed two refurbishment projects, located within their Padstow and Dartmouth stores. The results were stunning with some stand out furniture pieces incorporated into the design that complement the overall aesthetic.

Padstow

Padstow

Dartmouth

We have also been working on some exciting ‘new store’ projects for the brand, both in the UK and the US. Some of these stores don’t officially open until the very end of March but we will be sure to share completed pictures with you over on our socials when they open. We can however, share this stunning St Neots store which opened in mid-March. We were thrilled to develop the design of this store. It featured stripped back walls that exposed the brick and beams. This created a stunning aesthetic that showcased the fantastic FatFace offering.

St Neots

St Neots

 

March saw us handover some exciting new stores to our Costa client which had us all over the UK. They say the best things come in small packages! We believed this to be true in the case of our Southend Victoria Station Costa project. This store opened at the beginning of March and I am sure you will agree it sums up the phrase ‘small but perfectly formed’!

Southend

Southend

A fantastic new drive thru store was also completed in the perfect location of Cheshire oaks, Home to the UK’s largest designer outlet shopping complex.Cheshire Oaks

Cheshire oaks

Just this week we completed handover for this beautiful Costa in the historical town of Carlisle. This store is ideally located outside the railway station whilst also being nestled between two hotels. Plenty of passing footfall and the ideal pit stop after a long journey!

Carlisle

Carlisle

What a busy and fantastic month at Team Frog, we cannot wait to see what April brings. To see more of our latest projects please follow us on our socials, all links below.

Millennial consumers and how they use retail

The millennial generation have an enormous impact on the retail sphere. As a result, retailers will have to continue developing strategies that entice millennials into their bricks and mortar stores by creating an all-encompassing experience.

The millennial generation have grown up with mobile technology and as a result they expect to utilise it in every aspect of life. They turn to their hand-held devices to meet all their needs. Millennials are plugged into their devices and generating word-of-mouth recommendations to their peers at the click of a button. Social media has turned millennials into valuable brand advocates making them extremely useful marketing tools.

Social media is used in real time. This means photos are posted showcasing the person’s whereabouts and the purchases they have made. This is fantastic advertising for brands. Millennials don’t turn to social media just to share their experience but to be engaged with as well. Retailers are capitalizing on this emerging trend and appealing to a broader audience.

Millennials are forcing brand marketing strategies to become much more participative in ways such as casually engaging them on Facebook or Twitter. In fact, the entire marketing equation for Millennials has evolved to include participation.

Continued advancements in technology and mobile communication are forever changing how millennials interact with brands. These relationships can be nurtured by retailers to create brand loyalty.

Given the convenience of online shopping, why do millennials still shop in bricks and mortar stores? Well the answer may be simpler than we think. This is particularly true for more personal items such as clothing. Many millennials see shopping as a leisure activity. They like to physically see and touch the products before committing to a purchase.

Millennials seek excellent customer service from stores, they are looking for brands who understand what they like as individuals. Brands that can provide tailored services and be bold enough to make recommendations that meet individual’s specific needs are likely to do well among millennials.

Retailers are expected to provide convenient, user-friendly systems that continue to streamline the in-store shopping experience. For example, improving the payment experience through self-checkout and advanced digital payment allowing consumers to effectively turn their mobile device into a hand-held wallet.

Many retailers have embraced these recent technology applications and continue to find ways to adapt to the millennial shopper. Bricks-and-mortar stores are improving the shopping experience by making products interactive and refreshing store aesthetics. Many restaurants and coffee shops are also having to adapt their operations to meet the demands of the millennial customer. For example, Costa have built on the drive-thru concept that allows for quick, convenient access to their products.

 

We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or over on our socials. All links below.

Upcycling and how designers can use it within retail spaces

Upcycling

Upcycling is one of the most popular interior design trends of the decade. Upcycling brings with it opportunities for show-stopping innovation, unlimited personalisation and utterly unique combinations of old and new styles. Upcycled furniture creates intriguing interiors that are individual. It’s an opportunity for retailers to express their individuality.

 upcycle

What is upcycling?

Upcycling is the process of making new from old: creating beautiful new designs by renovating, repurposing or redesigning unwanted items or materials.

Upcycling is all about personality, preserving rather than destroying the original character of reused objects and infusing them with the quirks of the upcycler’s imagination. Upcycled items and materials are totally unique. Every piece has a story to tell and they exude individuality which can only be limited by the upcycler’s ingenuity.

upcycle

Retailers that are embracing upcycling

Designers including ourselves are upcycling materials to both update in-store aesthetics and create a new design concept entirely. Our work with FatFace has shown that this aesthetic can create an edgy design that appeals to their customer base. It is important that the design concept you create for the retailer represents their personality and ethos.

FatFace describe their ethos on their website by saying ““absolutely everything we do is designed to be loved by all our customers for life outside the 9 to 5”. “This sentiment influences every part of our business from product development and marketing right through to our store designs.” http://www.fatfacecorporate.com/about-us/vision-and-values.aspx

 

upcycle

Embracing the use of metal, neutral tones, reclaimed wood and vintage furniture creates an earthy feel as you strip everything back to its original purpose. This style can create a space that showcases the buildings natural beauty, in some cases it reveals parts of its history that was once hidden within a building. All combined help to encompass the message FatFace look to transcend to their customer.

upcycle

Our work with upcycling

An example would be our work on the FatFace St Pancras store. This was a listed building and therefore we retained the beautifully exposed brick arches. This preserved the natural beauty of the building whilst simultaneously complimenting the personality of the brand.

We also worked on their Helmsley store which was initially a derelict pub. We drew inspiration from the natural features and fabric of the building, retaining and exposing stone walls, wooden floors and fireplaces. We also had two 16th century heavily carved Jacobean doors which we incorporated into the design and became stunning wall features.

upcycle

Executed correctly upcycling can create a beautiful space that is unique and eclectic. If you have been inspired by the upcycling trend please comment below or share your pictures with us over on our socials. All links below.

 

The essential role of branding in the retail customer journey

Branding is so much more than a logo. Retailers and brands need to communicate these messages across all platforms consistently to build relationships with customers. The role of branding in the retail customer journey is also extremely important, as designers this is a core consideration within every project we undertake.

 

Considering the importance of the brand can be the difference between creating support with customers or them wishing not to return. More often than not, it is the difference between securing a sale or sending shoppers to a competitor.

 

Nike and Apple are just two examples that demonstrate iconic branding. While they are very different companies in terms of their offering, they have strong branding in common. Through every consumer interaction whether it is online, in print, or in store – they deliver a seamless and recognisable brand experience. The use of their logo is instantly affiliated with the company. This level of branding helps build relationships with their customer base.

Design is extremely important when it comes to translating the company brand into retail spaces. First impressions stay with consumers and therefore, it is imperative to immediately translate the brand clearly and this should remain consistent throughout the store. Great design can directly impact the customer journey. If a store is designed well then customers will navigate organically around the space. This means they will see all the products on offer and should find what they are looking for with ease. For example, when we design for Costa, we always develop the space to maximise customer flow. Upon entry the customer will be met with multi-deck units where an eye catching product offer & display encourages the customer to make their product selection. From here, customers move straight onto the front counter to place their order. At this point they will be met with a selection of products from the impulse buy section before completing their purchases. If the customer journey is produced successfully it will allow companies to deliver immersive and memorable experiences that customers will remember. In doing so you build relationships with your customer and they are more likely to return.

Companies are looking to build brand stories in order to rely their message consistently across their bricks and mortar stores and their online platforms. As customers distribute their time across in-store experiences and online through their smartphones or computer screens, they should see companies showcasing continuity of brand that customers recognise and relate too.

Creativity – How to maintain your creativity as a designer

As designer’s creativity is needed on a daily basis in order for us to develop concepts and ideas. Maintaining this level of creativity on a daily basis is an on-going challenge, particularly in busy and pressurised periods. Therefore, adopting an approach that allows time to nurture your creativity is crucial. This can be immersive and spill over into your everyday life. This may sound overwhelming but if you are a creative person then it is usually a very instinctive feeling. For example, when travelling you can become very observant of details, architecture, interiors and trends. You can constantly inadvertently be looking for inspiration whether it be in the workplace or wondering around a museum or gallery. Allowing yourself time to engage with your creativity is essential. Another great source of inspiration in attending design expos and events where there is a plethora of like-minded creative people. Various companies and individuals are showcasing trends and sharing ideas and views.

creativity

It is important not to be afraid of trying something new. The ability to experiment with new materials, processes and ideas can result in endless positive outcomes. It is important to remember that there is no limit to creativity. If we keep that in mind, we can continue to produce innovative and unique designs.

creativity

Keep an open mind when you are working. Allowing yourself to be open to suggestions and constructive criticism leaves room for development within your work that you may not have initially identified. Collaboration is a positive thing, allow colleagues to make suggestions to your designs. They are not trying to offend you however, they share your passion and obviously see something positive in your work. So, always try to maintain an open-mind.

creativity

 

Collate an ideas bank. The key to keeping yourself within the cosmos of creativity is to make it part of your routine. You may come up with great ideas at the most unexpected times. Whether you are in the supermarket or on a night out or even when driving your car. By collating an ideas bank, even if you experience a creative block, you will have something to fall back on. It may even allow you to renew your focus and reignite your creativity.

 

Carry a camera with you and look for interesting things in your everyday scenery. Even use the camera on your phone, just make sure if something draws your attention you capture the moment. You never know when you may be able to draw on that inspiration. You may even wish to collate the images on an inspiration board so you can easily refer back to them.creativity

 

The secret to being creatively successful in your work is to be passionate about what you do. Enjoy it and continually challenge yourself. Creativity is a muscle and it is important to exercise it regularly. If you have fun while working, then through time you will notice your output is much better!

Does Design Matter in a Retail Space

Today we are posing the question: Does design matter in a retail space? In a word, yes! When design is considered as an integral part of the brand it signifies an investment in the future. It allows you to build a relationship with your customers by giving them something to relate too.

Effective design can create aesthetically impactful spaces and allow you to communicate a message to your customers. It further provides an opportunity to create a brand experience that builds loyalty with your customer base. Design is at the core when it comes to retailers wishing to speak to their customer base and highlight their point of view.

retail spaceWhen designing a retail space, the objective is naturally highlighting the products in the best way to generate sales. For example, a shoe store such as Office requires a multitude of large shelving units that can display the shoes in an easy to browse style. Whilst a clothes store such as FatFace needs a more open free flowing space that will fully showcase their latest collections. That space must be designed in a way that creates the perfect environment for the consumer to experience and purchase the products. Ambiance is key to making customers and colleagues feel comfortable as well as excited by products.

All retail spaces need to create their own identity, a unique aesthetic that entices customers into the store. The frontage is your advertisement, the window display is your opportunity to sell what’s inside, all working together to attract consumers in store. And once in the store, you must have a space that works for the products you are selling. Collectively this will heighten the shopping experience.

retail spaceUsing a design consultancy will ensure that important attributes such as lighting, circulation plan, fixtures and shop fittings are all tackled in the best way possible. Thus ensuring your brand identity is clearly represented throughout the store whilst making the best use of the space in terms of functionality and shopping experience. Design consultancy’s will also have strong working relationships with select contractors and suppliers. This will result in helping realise your designs ambition on budget and to the highest standards.

The Future of Retail Customer Experience

2016 could be described as a challenging and uncertain year for the retail industry with the political sphere’s unexpected changes around the world. However, that was last year and it is always good to look ahead with a positive perspective. With this in mind, we thought we would discuss what we can expect to see in 2017 in the retail stores and how that will impact the customer experience.

I think we can all agree there has been a significant rise in consumers buying online in recent years. The convenience of being able to sit in your own home and browse the retailer’s products then have them at your door the next day, clearly has an undeniable appeal.

Online Shopping

However, there is equally still an important argument to be made about the importance of a bricks and mortar store. There is no replacement for being able touch or try on the clothes, sit on the sofa or play around with the electronic gadget before committing to your purchase.

As we have discussed on the blog over the past few months, many stores have begun embracing technology to heighten their customer experience. By finding innovative and unique ways to incorporate a digital presence within store helps to create the ‘Ultimate customer experience’.

As the digital sphere continues to grow and develop the introduction of digital practice within retail will become ever more prevalent.  Retailers will be able to use these developments in a very practical way to manage and analyse their daily business. Screens will be capable of tracking customers and this information could provide retailers with valuable insight into their customer base. They can decipher what their shopping habits are which will allow them to further develop an engaging shopping experience.

Virtual Reality

The rise of virtual reality could provide a plethora of exciting opportunities for retailers. For example, it can provide shoppers with improved visualisation of the products on their person or in their home.  A great example of a brand who have successfully embraced these developments is Superdry. They have introduced virtual dressing rooms in their flagship store in Berlin. http://www.sixteen-nine.net/2016/12/23/superdrys-berlin-flagship-tries-on-gesture-based-virtual-dressing-room/. The suggestion is 2017 will see much more of this in the coming year.

With these developments in mind we considered some of the challenges designers may face. They will be tasked with designing this full in-store experience that allows customers to make the most of the innovations on offer. For example, LED screens and touch screen technology. All of which allows for tactile and engaging brand interactions with customers.

Touch Screen

The outlined innovations seek to address how the retail experience can be personalised to appeal to each individual customer. How retailers can resonate with their individual preferences and feelings which will ultimately drive sales, increase brand loyalty and encourage repeat custom.

Tell us in the comments below, what digital innovations have captured your attention within retail or what you hope to see in the future. You can also share your thoughts or photos over on our socials which are linked below.

Retail spaces with a unique, modern twist

As retail and leisure designers, here at Box of Frogs we do like to see interesting and perhaps non-conventional retail spaces. We thought we would talk about a few examples that have become trends in recent years that have captured our attention.

 

Pop-up stores –

Pop-up stores have become increasingly popular among retailers. The pop-up retail space is a temporary venue. This allows brands to showcase collections or promote specific merchandise. Customers are attracted to the pop-ups to view items that are usually special or unique in some way for example, a product launch. There are various benefits to pop-ups such as marketing, testing products, locations, or markets, and as a low-cost way to start a business. A pop-up store can take an otherwise empty or dark location and turn it into a vibrant space that drives traffic and spurs future activity.Pop-up store retail spaces

 

Phone boxes –

The red phone box was introduced in 1936 by architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott but began being phased out in the 1980’s in favour of open kiosks which were considered safer. In the technological age we live in the requirement of phone boxes has rapidly diminished. Telecom giant BT decided to sell off these iconic red boxes and encouraged communities to turn them into functional spaces. An interesting take on this concept was initiated by two businessmen from Brighton and with that the ‘Red Kiosk Company’ was born.  A retail chain that operates from these very red telephone boxes. The first two self-contained food and beverage kiosks within the shell of these iconic boxes were launched on New Road, near Pavilion Gardens in Brighton in June 2014. On their website, they explain their objective –

“Our aim is to redefine the usage to suit modern day needs and requirements without compromising their external appearance.”

Other uses of these iconic boxes have been libraries, art galleries and interestingly mobile phone repair booths.red phone box retail spaces

 

If there are any unique retail spaces that have captured your attention that you want to share we would love to hear from you in the comments below or over on our socials.

Happy New Year from Box of Frogs!

It’s a New Year and were so excited to be back and see what 2017 has in store! From everyone at Box of Frogs we wish you all a very Happy New Year. Here at BOF HQ we have hit the ground running with our 50th Costa Drive Thru handover opening today in Ashton Moss Under Lyne. It is looking fantastic and we wish the team at Ashton Moss the very best of luck. We are sure you will have a great day with many more to come. Here at Box of Frogs were looking forward to continuing working with our friends at Costa in the coming months.ashton-moss

Before our Christmas break we spoke about our 2016 highlights in a post and discussed the exciting work that we carried out. FatFace played a big role in our projects in 2016 both here in the UK and across the pond in the USA. It was also a big year for FatFace as they opened their doors for the first time in the USA. We are looking forward to continuing this journey with them in 2017 and to see more about their USA stores click here – https://www.facebook.com/fatfaceusa/?fref=ts Newport

Towards the end of last year, we had a lot of fun with local business ‘Odds Farm Park’ on seasonal Halloween and Christmas festivals. Working on projects that incorporate current festivities such as these is a little bit like being a kid in a candy store. We are excited to see what ‘Odds Farm Park’ have in mind in the future and with the success they had with their festivals in 2016 we are sure there are many more exciting events in the coming year.Christmas festival

We have a busy year ahead with some new and exciting projects in the works that we cannot wait to share with you. We also look forward to continuing sharing a variety of design content that we are sure will capture your interest. If you have any questions, we would love to hear from you either in the comments below or over on our socials. All links are below.

 

If you have any retail or leisure design needs, then you can find all our contact information on our website or follow the link. http://boxoffrogsweb.com/contact-us/

A look at Box of Frogs 2016 Highlights!

We have come to the end of 2016 and what a year it has been. Here at ‘Team Frog’, we have been reflecting on our 2016 highlights and we thought we would share some of them with you today on the ‘Frog Blog’. This year was particularly special for the team as it marked our 10-year anniversary, a milestone that we are extremely proud of. We are more excited than ever to progress forward and discover what 2017 has in store.

 

BOF DESIGN BIRTHDAY10th Birthday

As it was Box of Frogs 10th birthday we decided to make a big splash and celebrate in style. We thought it was the perfect opportunity to have a Brand re-launch which saw us introduce our new website but fear not we have maintained our ‘froggy’ personality. We also decided to place a focus on our social media output so we can keep you regularly updated with all the exciting projects that we are working on and give you a little more insight into our team.

 

FatFace

newportOur relationship with FatFace has continued to go from strength to strength as was reflected in the fantastic projects that we worked on with them this year. FatFace decided to share their fantastic Brand across the pond in the USA and we have been fortunate to share in this experience by designing their US stores. It started with their ‘Newport’ store where the concept was a simple light palette, working with the fabric of the building wherever possible and simultaneously maintaining the FatFace personality. We then moved onto work on a further three US projects throughout the year making this a 2016 highlight for sure.

BluewaterBack in the UK we also had a busy year with the FatFace team as we worked on projects such as their flagship Bluewater store. We created a ‘garage’ inspired, double aspect shopfront that incorporated glass and steel. Using the ‘evolution’ palette, which creates a light and clean aesthetic, thus allowing FatFace to showcase their products to the fullest. In conjunction with this we used bespoke fixtures and created a layout that allowed customers to organically navigate their way throughout the store.

 

 

Costa London Bridge

London BridgeIt has also been a busy year with Costa and we very recently finished an exciting project with them at their ‘London Bridge’ site. This was a challenging project for both designer & project manager due to the nature of the site being a new station location. This location had many site-specific requirements however, all the hard work was definitely worth it as the result was fantastic. Were confident this Pronto location will be hugely successful and we look forward to working with Costa in 2017.

 

Odds Farms Park

odds-farm-festivalsWe were very excited to be asked to return to Odds Farm Park this year following on from the successful projects we have developed with them in the past. This year saw us design their seasonal festivals, both Halloween and Christmas which is currently running at the farm. Both are such fun projects to work on and definitely a 2016 highlight.  Everyone at ‘Team Frog’ has been eager to be a helpful elf on this project. We developed the design for elements such as their performance areas, crafting zones, banner artwork and most exciting of all ‘Santa’s grotto’.

 

As Christmas day rapidly approaches it is time to be Merry and take a moment to let our creative battery re-charge. Cheers to a successful 2016 and we hope you enjoyed  looking at our 2016 highlights. We can’t wait to see what 2017 produces for ‘Team Frog’.