A Balancing Act: Mediating Brand and Local Authenticity in Localised Retail Design

Khan, Zakkiya, Konigk, Raymund and du Plessis, Chrisna (2021) A Balancing Act: Mediating Brand and Local Authenticity in Localised Retail Design. Corporate Reputation Review . ISSN 1363-3589

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1057/s41299-021-00133-5

A Balancing Act: Mediating Brand and Local Authenticity in Localised Retail Design
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Retail design authenticity has seen global brands expressing a growing interest in unique as opposed to standardised expressions of store design. To express authenticity, global brands may opt for localised retail store design (retail stores that express the place in which the store is designed) as a form of unique retail design that offers an experience that is rooted in a time and place. Localised retail design differs from conventional modes of retail design in that designers source inspiration from both brand and place (as opposed to brand only). This poses risks to brand recognition as the resultant retail store is not standardised nor aligned exclusively to the reflection of brand identity. This necessitates consideration in the mediation of global brand and local authenticity when localising retail design. This study asks: What are the areas for mediating global brand and local authenticity when localising retail design? Using a constructivist grounded theory approach, we conducted eighteen interviews with retail designers based worldwide. The interviews are augmented with a theoretical sampling of twenty artefacts of localised retail design for four global brands. It was found that global brand and local authenticity can be mediated in three main areas when localising retail design. These are in the authorship, informants, and inhabitation of retail design. In the authorship of the retail store, authenticity can be attained by appointing both brand and local designers who work collaboratively on localised retail design. In sourcing informants to the retail design, designers should derive inspiration from both brand and local essence to enhance authentic representation. In inhabitation, the retail store should communicate the brand to local consumers while platforming experiences on local consumer culture. The contribution of the study is a novel conceptual model founded on these three areas for mediating brand and local authenticity in localised retail. This model has implications for both retail designers and brand managers in the development of localised retail experiences of global brands.

Keywords:Authenticity, Brand Consistency, Localised Retail Design, Retail Design, Global Brands, Brand Identity
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K120 Interior Architecture
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K100 Architecture
W Creative Arts and Design > W250 Interior Design
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Architecture and the Built Environment
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ID Code:55496
Deposited On:24 Jul 2023 16:16

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