Klingmann Architects and Brand Consultants challenges the approach behind flagship stores. The firm’s plans for flagship stores of the future are recession friendly and reduce overhead costs. The firm understands the psyche of modern consumers, and aims to create an interactive experience for the customer.
At their most ideal, they (flagship stores) promote both an engaging experience of the brand essence and the product… While flagship stores focus on a clear demonstration of brand identity they lack customized, personalized, and trained service that treat clients as individuals. - Anna Klingmann, founder
Integrating a virtual interface and digital media are part of Klingmann’s visions for flagship stores. The way she describes flagship stores are similar to art galleries. For example, “… the… Flyer is an ever changing product romance and presentation space, which is curated for the newest product.” Modern consumers require constant stimulation. Having an intimate store that changes constantly will give repeat customers a reason to return. The idea of a large flagship store is losing its appeal. They are costly to run and maintain and exclusivity is lost. Also, there is an overload of information for the consumer, weakening the brand.
In an effort to challenge the status quo of flagship stores, KL!NGMANN proactively designed AUDI Flyer. AUDI Flyer’s mission is to distribute the charisma and exclusivity of the AUDI brand to an international audience without incurring tremendous costs. AUDI Flyers are envisioned as a global network of flexible brand spaces in inner city areas, which are closely programmed according to AUDI marketing efforts. As opposed to conventional showrooms or large flagship stores, AUDI Flyers are designed as small-sized boutique environments in prominent locations that expose the brand to high consumer traffic and encourage incidental visits.
The AUDI Flyer’s targeted size is approximately 3000 – 5000 square feet, which is sufficient to provide an ever-changing brand experience in an intimate setting without incurring the high costs associated with conventional flagship stores. By renting (versus buying) a standard-size store, cost is lowered while consumer traffic and exclusivity is increased.
In order to create a brand environment, in which consumers feel understood and appreciated in an atmosphere that is responsive to their emotional needs and desires, hardware (architecture), software (changing exhibitions), and humanware (personal service) are considered as equally important components.
Thus, while most flagship stores focus on brand visibility at the expense of product and profit, AUDI flyer focuses on the relationship of the product to the customer and therefore increases sales.
Programmatically, three distinct zones characterize AUDI Flyer: AUDI Product Interface (3D façade with latest AUDI model), AUDI Fascination (exhibition space for AUDI vehicles, AUDI Motor sport, AUDI innovations, and AUDI technology), and AUDI Customer Encouragement (individual customer assistance and services). The AUDI Product Interface is conceived as a three-dimensional marketing device that provides consumers with the opportunity to become acquainted with the latest AUDI model on a one-to-one basis.
A curved façade exhibits and simultaneously protects the display of a single automobile that is exposed to the public on the street, creating curiosity, immediate contact, and instant productbased fascination. People can walk around the showpiece without physical barriers and with no obligation to enter into the store. The display is flexible and changes on a weekly basis and, thus, encourages frequent return visits.
Personal assistants of the AUDI staff mingle with the customers and inspire trust by supporting and responding to their interests and personal needs.
Promoting interaction and dialogue, they guide visitors through the product demonstrations or to one of the “Encouragement Terminals,” where their dream cars can be configured in realtime.
Project description: Courtesy of Klingmann Architects.