The 31 | Phenomenology and branding of retail design


Huyen Nguyen | Anh Duy Dam | Thi Cao

Area: 150sqm

Year: 2019


The economy in recent years in Vietnam has been based on the growth of services. With at least 34% to 35% working in the service area, most businesses have been developing more high-quality services. For example, a bakery providing food product where customers buy products that are similar to other bakeries, their business might fail if:

  1. There are too many bakeries in the same area
  2. The produce is not of high quality or poorer quality
  3. Their produce is not diverse enough to distinguish the products from other bakeries

Therefore it is important to have an edge, and provide something different, something that customers need or that they do not know that they need until they see it or hear about it (power or marketing). Hence, it is possible to surmise that the branding of a store will be important in conveying the significance and value of the goods and therefore might affect customers’ experiences i.e. in the case of the bakery, by the interaction with the proprietor and staff, the colour, the atmosphere, the music, and the smell within the store, etc.

Retail design to be successful, the focus should be on customers’ memorable experience through the implementation of solutions that play on customer’s senses and emotions to distinguish the store and the brand from other brands.

Petermans and Cleenpoel (2020) suggest that   focus on marketing and psychology is unappealing to interior designers and retailers which is why there is little interest in consumer behaviour.

Therefore, they argue this is why there is little interest in customer behaviour in recent designs. This might be a challenge with the retail design research of most businesses and designers.

This project investigates human sensory experience in retail and will ascertain how develop design approach towards the inclusion of sensory experience and whether through a deeper understanding of phenomenology and branding their practice and methodology to improve, transform  and strengthen their interior design practice.