Friday, 12 February 2010

Tiffany, London



During a frenzied exchange of images between myself and my colleague across the pond, Ronald Knoth from the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising (LIM) in NYC this week, I found that Ronald had kindly shared with me the image below from his collection of Tiffany store windows. I regularly view the windows of this Brand wherever I travel as the quality of the installation is Visual Merchandising at its very best. However, what this does highlight is, that as the world gets smaller and smaller and as we all know we can share information faster and faster that perhaps this notion of global branding is so very dated. It was understandable (although for me at least, quite unforgivable) from around the 1980-90's as a way of rationalising visual presentation across large corporations globally, i.e it was cheap. This made me wonder. Is this still really necessary a few decades on? I feel it is going to be an uphill struggle to lever big brands out of this mode of working, even if the pleasure of shopping, exploring, or being excited about what one store may look like in another country (and part of the reason for travelling at least for me, as this is a cultural element too) has been systematically destroyed. What I am finding, although it is still relatively a seed of a notion in the greater scheme of things, that there are some forward thinking global brands such as Diesal, Anthropologie et al taking the bull by the horns and leading the way in utilising localised visual expertise to implement the 'vision'. This, inevitably will bring us back to enabling us as the customer to enjoy a much more exciting visual experience on the high street (and dare I say shopping mall). Maybe there is hope after all. But, don't hold your breath, this all happens so incredibly and very, very painfully slowly. So, come on retailers.......we know how pioneers are celebrated and your bravery will give you the kudos that no amount of marketing can ever buy. (even better, ditch the marketeers and put the visual team back in the saddle)

Tiffany, New York (Courtesy and Copyright Ronald Knoth)



Tiffany London


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