Retail Real Estate Experts talk about their life and career on Bayfield Training Blog.
Chairman, SCG International
SANDRA: You have been working with different businesses for over two decades now, providing branding and design consulting to them. How has retail industry branding and design changed over the years?
CLIVE: While basic offers and store designs have not changed that dramatically, the sector is going through a major disruptive change due to the internet and digital technology. This has had a profound effect in enabling the consumer to choose how to shop and drive the agenda for retailers and developers.
SANDRA: In your opinion, what is successful branding of shopping centres?
CLIVE: Successful destination branding requires investors, developers and management to realise branding is not simply a marketing function but a management principle that drives every function. The aim is to achieve a cohesive brand experience that will be positively perceived by target audiences and users.
SANDRA: What main challenges of successful branding do shopping centres usually experience?
CLIVE: Meeting the different agendas, needs and expectations of the wide range of audiences and vested interests: changing the mindsets of traditional property professionals to move out of their comfort zones and become real retail partners of their tenants.
SANDRA: In your recent article, you stress the importance of strategic branding for shopping centres. Do you think Real Estate professionals in Retail industry understand the significance of it?
CLIVE: There still needs a change in attitudes by many in the sector to see branding as far more than a marketing/packaging function for a centre. It potentially starts with changing how architects are typically briefed and engaging everyone involved in delivering directly/indirectly the wide range of services, interactions and touchpoints that a centre needs address to create a successful experience.
SANDRA: You also talk about sustainability branding. Are there any issues you have noticed with the use of the word “sustainability”?
CLIVE: As with ‘branding’ there are misconceptions about ‘sustainability’. For some it is still about green credentials. While these are important aspects, for a modern centre, the fundamental need is to ‘create places where people want to be’ that will remain relevant and adaptable to new uses. This is a tough challenge but centres have long since ceased to be simply shopping venues.
SANDRA: To sum up, what is your favourite brand transformation you have done that you are most proud of?
CLIVE: The significant shopping centre in Moscow called Kaleidoscope – where we can truly say we developed every key aspect which the visitor sees and experiences. That for me is an example of achieving true brand synergy – our trade mark!