Consumerism culture

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1. Introduction

Shopping is timeless and is part of our everyday life. It is a necessity and shopping can bring joy and pleasure. Although the economic crisis is increasing, people from all over the world will always go shopping. It is a basic/common and fun thing to do and it brings enjoyment and entertainment.

Consumerism is used to describe the tendency of people identifying strongly with products or services they consume, especially those with commercial brand names and perceived status symbolism appeal, e.g. a luxury vehicle, designer clothing such as Gucci, Chanel and Louis Vuitton, or expensive jewelry. A culture that is permeated by consumerism can be referred to as a consumer culture or a market culture.

When designing commercial space it is necessary to consider not just the type of activities that will be carried out, but also the different locations, functions and environment that they will require. All commercial premises, however, need a basic infrastructure that creates an efficient working environment and provides facilities that ensure excellent customer service.

2. Analysis

2.1. Consumerism and Design

All products that are commercially successful would have had the consumer in mind at one point or another. Designs have added value when it can be traded and has potential to make an impact on the consumer market even if it already has apparent artistic merit and may not necessarily require to be bought and sold as would a commodity. An enviable and attractive project in this sense attracts investments because of their commercial potential, and in due course attains marketability, and fundamental value or quality. Capital and creativity and good design alone cannot promise commercial success. Design is the new currency for commodities of the next generation and must be tailored to meet the ever-changing cultural and demographic pattern of consumers. Social behavior affects the long-term investments that design companies will make. Ultimately this implies that branding companies will soon look at demography studies as an important element in the development strategy of their products.

2.2 THE STORE AS A HOME FOR THE BRAND

Nowadays, all aspects of life are branded. Brands function literally as labels representing the attitude or lifestyle that an individual has chosen. Therefore brands stores need to offer much more than product for sale. They have to sell an identity, which the customer can literally make his own by buying a particular product. This identity is taken home not only in the form of purchase items but also as amenities that come with the product. People who are strongly connected to a brands talk about the brand store as if it were their second home.

Stores fall into one of two categories, such as multi brand and a single brand, where the store sells only one brand. Single brand stores sells only a particular brands and therefore has no other competition. The brand has complete control over the entire situation. Products are displayed in a sea of space, and visual merchandising is powerful. The biggest danger faced by single brand store is the predictable product supply, which requires a careful effort to avoid the perils of boredom. Change is not easy to illustrate, especially when the turnover rate is low.

[Ill. 1- Tod's Building] [Ill. 2- Tod's Facade]

As we can see from Illustrations 1 and 2 of Tod's building and Tod's façade, this boutique is an Italian shoe and bag brand Tod's. Tod's building has been design by Toyo ito and this building is organized by seven floor, which is the lower floors are boutique space, while the central and upper floors house administrative, multifunction area and commercial offices; the top two floors are used for conferences and events and as a roof garden. Keen to give Tod's an identity that would make it stand out from the crowd of places devoted to conspicuous consumption, the Tokyo architect Toyo Ito with the specific brief to employ high quality materials and colors that would reflect Tod's notion of ‘naturalness'. The leather-good brand well known for its impeccably handcrafted shoes and bag as well as its great attention to the natural quality of leathers.

The nature metaphor that has been applied to the store was drawn from Omotesando's long row of zelkova trees. According to toyo ito, ‘the tree is an autonomous, natural object and therefore its shape has an inherent structural rationality. In a sense, producing a reasonable flow of structural loads with a pattern of superimposed tree silhouettes is a result of a perfectly rational through process'.

Toyo ito's fondness for the outer skin that wraps a building is once again well represented. His pao(wrap) philosophy underpins much of his work. (up)this case study is so weird---- and dun't know how to link with the next paragaph(down)

What people stand for and what they believe in used to be an issue which were largely defined by the culture in which they were raised: family, local environment, education and religion influenced the way they see themselves. The local culture provides them with the symbolic tools to create a sense of identity. In the current global environment, people no longer limit themselves to traditional choices offered by local culture. The world has opened up. The Internet and all its possibilities form a whole new digital world, while the ease of travel makes physical distance appear shorter. For an Indonesian, talking to a Singaporean friend through an online chatting such as: Skype, MSN and etc, or visiting a relative who lives in the Singapore is easier and more convenient in the current day and age. Globalization is giving people the possibility to see the world out there, and it result in broadening many interests among people (consumers). They have become more open to different cultures and are able to relate to various lifestyles. It also resulted in a growth of cross-cultural contact and in the realization of a global market. Experiences are no longer determined completely by local elements: the world is the playing field. Roots will continue to define people, but the exposure to new experiences will provide them with different perspectives. As part of this process, traditional lifestyles start to lose authority and choices enter the picture.

2.3. Customer loyalty

Retailers pay attention to customer relations and the retention of existing customers by means of loyalty programs and saving schemes. For example, we all have loyalty cards in our wallets. Where the main aim is t gain a price reduction, programs like these are not sufficient to develop client loyalty and to build up a mutually satisfactory relationship between retailers and customer. A company cannot buy a consumer's loyalty. Trust and the beginning of a reciprocal relationship ensure that the customer keeps coming back. To achieve this, the retailer must be a good example and deliver added value.

The challenge for retailer is to take advantage of the opportunities by organizing themselves in such a way that they fulfill a bridge function and by become the connecting factor between consumer and producer. The communities, feedback groups and testing panels that offer customers the chance to try out products and exchange experiences are sources of inspirations. The involvement of customer in the develop of services on offers and the realization of a transparent and efficient manufacturing process require completely new integral approach.

The retail industry has the chance to develop into a platform that offers people the possibilities to create together, to share, and to further extend knowledge and experience. In this way, we can achieve supported solutions in areas such as innovation, logistics, resources deployment and time-to-time advantage. And, ultimately, customer will become satisfied ambassadors of their own brand.

2.4 Connecting to a Functional and Emotional brand element

The search for personal identity helps define what is important and what you need to know to gain self-esteem, approval and recognition. People like to feel a sense of belonging, to be part of something bigger then themselves. One way to define oneself is to connect a brand to its culture. Consumers no longer buy products only because of their functional quality but also buying a brand that stand for something.

A brand needs to find a way and to differentiate itself from its competitor. It needs to connect with the consumers and creating emotional elements can do this. The emotional side of the brand and the personality help people connect to the brands. Brands can have personalities as much as the same way people do. It is the brand's personality that defines brands in terms of human characteristics.

2.5 Sizes and Location

The crucial importance is the size and location of the store. There are department stores, boutiques, shopping arcades, stores representing only one brand (single brand store). A flagship store is the most exclusive type of single brand store. The primary focus of a flagship store is not a sell product but to persuade customer to adopt the brand's lifestyle. Consequently, a single brand store or flagship store is a suitable retail environment for commercial charity, for the persuasion and obtaining of customers.

3. Design proposal

The chosen site location for the design is located at no51-53 shop house at Armenian street, which is beside SMU (Singapore Management University), in front of vanguard building, under fort canning park and in the middle of city hall and Dolby Gout MRT area. This site is surrounded by parking area, and most of it behind of the shop houses. Base on the survey about human traffic & car circulation, most of the user of this parking lot is the student from SMU(Singapore Management University),business man, shopper, that going to vanguard building, Stanford House and Stanford Court are also parked their cars behind the shop houses. The problem is after they park their car they will use a small path and it is located at the corner of the site.

Physical phenomenon that people tent to use a shorter route or short cut rather than a longer route to get to a certain place.

After analyses the trends of shopper I come out with a design solution. The program is to propose a flagship store together with a new design, which is to create a new shopping experience. This design will increase the number of shopper. The Shortcut will attach to the old building and creates a contradiction between the exiting old shop house and the new design (short cut). The shortcut will be built within the retail space to link from Armenian street to the car park. The design of the short cut will attract people attention to walk in and coincidently they might be going to the flagship store.

(I haven't arrange this part, should be 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 ) ling jie…, help me to think about the abstract and conclusion.. :'( can't think…. huhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhhuhuuhh

CONSUMERISM

- A PERSPECTIVE OF FLAGSHIPSTORE

- - CREATE A NEW SHOPPING EXPERIENCE

- ( WHICH ONE IS MORE SUIT TO MY ESSAY ??????????

Reference:

- Lloyd Jones, Peter, 1940-Taste today. United Kingdom: BPCC Wheatons Ltd,exter.

- Rem koolhaas, 2005-s,m,l,xl. New York: The monacelli press.

- Curtis, Eleanor, 2007-Fashion retail. New York: Liz sephton.

- Judy chung,Chuihua, leong,Sze Tsung 2002-Guide to shopping, project on the city. New York: Taschen

- Msnuelli,sara.2006-Design for shopping. London: Laurence king

- Messedat, Jons, 2007- Flagship stores. Los angles: Avedition Gmbh

- Manuelli, Sara, 2006- Design for shopping. united Kingdom: Laurence King Publishing Ltd

- Cheng, Kelley, 2005- Style shopping: shops & showrooms, Singapore: Page one Publishing Ltd

Bibliography:

- http://usj.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/35/5-6/981

- www.ianlambertdesign.com

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