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In-Store Asia 2013: Design is a key differentiator as retail competition gets hot

By VJ Media Bureau | Vjmedia Works | February 22, 2013

As the retail industry expands, companies would have to direct sharper focus on their key differentiators.

Life and business is all about where you pay attention. Stating this in his keynote address on'Creating retail transformation at the intersection of business + psychology' on day two at the In-Store Asia 2013 convention held in Mumbai, celebrated author Chip Conley, Founder of Joie de Vivre, said that long-term success in a service industry will come about through creation of a unique corporate culture and a strong base of enthusiastic employees, development of a loyal customer base and promotion of a profitable and sustainable business.
Conley said he has applied the tenets of Abraham H Maslow's transformative pyramid in building Joie de Vivre boutique hotel business. He took the example of Apple to underline how retail companies can profit by offering customers "something of real value”. He also illustrated the case of Whole Foods to show how business grows when customers are given the opportunity to "truly express themselves”.


As the retail industry expands, companies would have to direct sharper focus on their key differentiators. Keith Ware, Group Development Director, Dalziel and Pow Design Consultants Ltd, spoke about'The value of design in an integrated retail environment' and how design brings about the critical differentiation. Citing the case of Allen Solly, he explained how the company repositioned itself in the apparel industry by creating two personas'Andrew' and'Emma' who exuded the key brand attributed of the company's target groups.
Ware also touched upon the particular styling of Allen Solly stores, and how they reflect the brand attributes and history of the company. Focusing attention on the Indian retail industry, Ware said that time is right for the players to focus on the design element which will serve as a key differentiator as they set out to compete in a more competitive business environment, especially with the industry progressively opening up to FDI.


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