Archives for category: Branding


Proclamation: Products of poor quality with no soul seem to be an incorporated part of our lives. The stores around the globe seem to have lost their integrity, and are presenting the audience and their customers with poorly produced products with no story or soul. In fact, most stores are carrying, if not the same product range, then at least the same brands. It seems like a big a gap is emerging between consumers and retailers. Consumers demand high quality in a diverse range of products. However, stores here and there only present their customers to a “safe” selection of products, made in quite poor quality.


The solution seems indeed within reach. Storytelling. High quality products quite often have a great story attached to them. For instance, the products could be undergoing a unique way of manufacturing process, or the products could have been the results of funny and quirky ideas. Customers do want to hear that story.


In a recently published survey about tourism in Copenhagen, it was quite clear that the commercial expectations to Copenhagen were not met. Tourists want more than just the little mermaid. They want original products, made in Copenhagen or at least in Denmark – they don’t want products branded Danish, made in China.


Sadly, the survey also made it clear that products made in Copenhagen were quite hard to find, especially since we do have a wide range of fantastically skilled craftsmen and small enterprises. All these craftsmen and small enterprise are all enthusiasts that do offer storytelling, impressive quality and much needed diversity within their product range. These are what I would state define as the “local heroes”, who are protecting our retaining our traditions of local production. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to show the world what Copenhagen is made of? I personally believe that this will change the way we consume and experience the cities we’re visiting.  Local production is in other words a direct influence on the diversity of a given city. This is why we want to protect our local heroes! Join me and our humble organisation in the fight about indifference and sad quality, and experience for yourself how much more you will get if you just know where to go… look no further just, visit here are some of the local heroes from the greater city of Copenhagen.



As part of my passion for shopper psychology and my constant super-search for the perfect store, I have over the years learned that value created through WOWability, or if you in an other way manage to cross shopper expectation with something unanticipated, you have managed to create positive tension to attract traffic.

But business can’t exist from only attraction, WOWability or positive tension without a positive revenue stream. We need to convert traffic! Get people to buy regularly and take the basket size to the next level. Get consumer interested in visiting more often, stay longer, we need people to talk to people about the store, to become one with the store. We need our traffic to carry an evolving message about the entire extra that we offer.

Therefore we need to offer something special – in terms of product, knowledge, service, presentation, interaction, relation and much more – all because retail is detail!

Let’s take a short look at some of the key words.

Product – if we don’t offer the expected – we can’t get them to buy something else! We simply give them a reason to walk away empty handed, and by the way somewhat disappointed!

Knowledge, Service, Presentation and Interaction – here lie a distinct possibility to do far better than what a website can offer, hereby really stand out store wise – offering consumer appreciated competitive advantage compared to overall competition.

The “much more” – well you, as a retailer know something about this already. But because of the workload in the day to day operations you frequently tent to forget, your responsibility in development! Taking into consideration that this part has to be revisited daily or weekly – most stores simply fail to comply – and after a couple of years perform poorly at best.

Admitting to the fact that price is always an issue, even for the best in class that I briefly will present. None of the below mentioned have surrendered to just being discount bookstore – because they don’t have to!

All below asked themselves – Am I special? Can I offer anything that the next in line can’t? Do traffic experience the difference that I’m trying to make, or is that just something I think is obvious?

How often, do you ask yourself these questions?

These stores – all except one, make larger changes regularly (at least 3-4 times a year). They proudly present a simple strategy – that talk about focussing on taking business to the next level. Strategy is then based on tools such as conversion rate, basket size, basket content and track and trace results. They all managed to have very positive revenue streams – even in troubled times!

Photo wise I have been focussing on presentation. Remember that these stores earn good money – based on the belief that by building special, you ARE!

If you want further information on the individual bookstore strategy and shopper behaviour take aways – don’t hesitate to revert to me!

MY personal Awards 2009 Retailwise

•Best in class (fnac 2009)

•Distinctiveness (Shakespeare & Co)

Shakespeare & Company
37 rue de la Bûcherie
75005 Paris

•Business (Academic Bookstore )

The Academic Bookstore (Akateeminen Kirjakauppa) in the center of Helsinki is built by the famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto

•Wow factor (Lello)

Rua das Carmelitas 144, Porto 4050 – Portugal

•Traffic (Borders)

•Conversion of traffic (192 bookstore)

•Time spend (Lello)

•Third world (Calcutta roadstop)

•Interaction (Le Bal des Ardents )

•Basket size (Noels & Barnes)

No photo!

•Design (Le Bal des Ardents )

•Oldest (San Francisco bookstore)

With presentation come conduct and service – conduct and service fitted to presentation. The above mentioned has not in any way left any detail untouched.

But what about business figures – and other important figures! I’ll let the average figures talk for them self!

Trafic conversion rate (+29%)

Trafic (+49%)

Revenue (+19%)

Basket size (+47%)

Stockturn (+21%)

There are many stories/stores like this spread around the world – but for each good story there is a 1000 or more stories sadly pointing in the opposite direction – they simply don’t get it! They still think that the old way is the right way – you can tell, that they never read BlueOcean strategy!

Remember also – most of these bookstores have all the cheap extras, fancy coffee shops and alike they do great in terms of traditional core business.

This research has been conducted over the last 2 years

My pictures have not always been the best, so some has been borrowed from friends and likeminded, that like myself share a common interest for shopper psychology, in-store presentation and offer.

But believe me when I say – that the photos are nothing in compares to the original stores.

For Retailwise

Brian Engblad

Why is it, that so many companies tend to focus and copy competition, rather than create and establish own unique product portfolio and company uniqueness… since when did distinctiveness grow out of fashion?