In my last column, I wrote that kusukusu is always thinking of branding before designing a store. When you think about branding, first of all, you ask the owner about ideas and philosophy. We then plot the content, summarize the objectives of the business based on this, understand the market, analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the business from a marketing perspective, and narrow down the targets. After that, we propose the completed plan to the owner, and after he approves it, we start designing the interior design, logo design, package and homepage.
The reason why we are so involved in total branding is to talk directly with the owner and gain a deep understanding of our philosophy and thoughts. If you can grasp the owner’s philosophy from the root, you can make proposals with contents that match the owner’s intention. You can not only design a shop, but also make a shop with the owner.
In the “mont blanc stand (Mont Blanc Stand)” we will introduce this time, we designed an action-type environmental cycle by communicating carefully with the owner. We received your request for store design in August 2018.
This is the second store for the owner. When I first heard your story, I had an image of “Machi no Cake Shop” which sells various cakes you make. When I tried the samples for branding, all the cakes were delicious, and I’m sure you’ve been doing it for 10 years! I thought so.
Every cake has a passion and each one has a story. But I suggested, “I want to brand a Mont Blanc specialty store targeting people in the neighborhood.”. I was planning to open the shop in the area where there were already Western confectionary shops, but I thought Mont Blanc alone would be enough attractive as a product to compete with. In addition, there was a technical judgment. Since the store’s exclusive area was large enough to not even have a showcase, we thought we could design a good space if we made it a specialty takeout shop with only one kind of cake and minimized kitchen equipment. The owner immediately agreed to the take-out, and we talked carefully about making it a Mont Blanc specialty restaurant, and he agreed.
Once the policy is established, we will proceed with the design. This is a simple store with a motif of Mont Blanc which is the store’s only product. The walls inside the store are white with Kamakura soil, and 3, 5 and 7 beige colored lines are used to create an image of happiness. Soil is a flexible material that not only can be repaired even if it cracks, but also can be crushed and returned to soil if the interior is changed. This is another idea for environmental recycling.
The action-oriented, environmental-cyclical design implemented in the mont blanc stand is action-oriented. The shop itself specializes in takeout, but customers eat Mont Blanc on the spot and return the cup, and they get a meringue as a present. This system is a combination of my own thoughts and the owner’s ideas. One of the things I hate most about designing is the fact that garbage is scattered from the store as a starting point. We set up only one bench in the store so that customers can eat it on the spot so as not to move garbage as much as possible. But I thought I needed another idea to get my cup back. We asked the owner, “Is there anything I can give as a present when I get the cup back?” and the owner suggested, “How about the meringue in Mont Blanc?”. When I tried it, the customers seemed to be happy saying, “I got meringue!” and I am very happy about this and I think it became a feature of the restaurant along with the delicious Mont Blanc.
By designing customer actions in this way, we can draw attention not only to the attractiveness of our products, but also to the effects of our ideas and actions themselves. In this case in particular, we received the following information: “I got a present.”, which is the surprise and delight of our customers, and the preservation of the cleanliness of the town, which means that garbage is not thrown away in the surrounding area.