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Motorola Flagship Store – a major breakthrough
Manufacturers specializing in mobile solutions all over the world are taking great interest in establishing not just ordinary stores in cooperation with their partners and retailers (monobrand boutiques, shops in shops etc.), but rather in coming up with exclusive solutions retaining both advertising and retailing functions. Have you ever noticed that from day to day outdoor adverts seem less attention-grabbing to you? Today many pick only information they need out of the general stream, whereas the rest becomes literally ignored noise. So it’s not a coincidence that expenses of handsets manufacturers on paradigm-breaking methods of advertising are increasing every year, as the companies are making attempt after attempt to figure out unordinary ways to consumers’ hearts.
Stores revealing company’s concept and upcoming solutions along with latest products were initially made up by Sony. This manufacturer had been the first one to run risks of coming up with an all-round new way of organizing shops, which eventually turned out to be the right thing to do. At present such stores don’t seem out of this world, yet they are still magnets for attention. It’s always a big pleasure for me to call at Sony Plaza in New York, or in London, to see what the company has in its sleeve for the market (I’m talking not about handsets here, but rather about household electronics).
It might sound strange, but in Russia it was exactly Samsung, that pioneered in this field with its infamous gallery on Tverskaja. Not longer than two weeks ago, on September, 22 the company refreshed the Gallery’s interior and officially announced beginning of handsets retailing with DIXIS being the authorized operator there. Photos of the redecorated gallery can be found here - /mp3/articles/samsung-avl.shtml
In the rest of the world Samsung prefers using the layout similar to that found in the Russian Gallery, for example Warner Center building, which is situated on Columbus Circle, New York – there, on the third floor Samsung holds the exposition all the year round, in 2005 it was the place to welcome Samsung’s roadshow.
When it comes to promotion of handsets, Nokia proves to be market’s most active company – from year to year it comes up with new branded stores, which act as boutiques to some extent as well, since they feature only the Finnish manufacturer’s products. Nokia’s greatest merit is that it is spreading the network of own stores not only over the central region of Russia, in Moscow, or its suburbs, but over other cities too. For example, recently Sochi got an own branded store; the grand opening of the shop in Krasnodar was covered in great detail on our portal.
Volume of so-called “shop-in-shop” layer is even bigger, moreover, last year the company established its first own Flagship Store on Tverskaja. The second store of this kind was recently opened in New York – it differs from the Russian one in the sense of lay-out (it is stretched lengthwise), and leveling, the third floor there houses special Vertu zone (whereas the Russian store has only a single floor; although these two shop are pretty much the same size-wise).
It’ remarkable, that the other day Sony Ericsson announced its intentions to open a number of branded stores all over the world (similar to Flagship Store in many respects). The first store to appear will be the one located on Kensington High Street, London; its unveiling is scheduled for November. More importantly, like other companies, Sony Ericsson will decorate its store with colors and designs of the new brand image. Here are a couple of pictures that might give you an idea of what the company’s refreshed style is going to look like.
Motorola has been a runner-up in world ranking table of cellular phone manufacturers for quite a while, and as a matter of fact Motorola was the first company to develop a cell phone, a clamshell cell phone, and many other things. But prior to this year Motorla was not active in creation of fashion, concept-filled projects. In March we've seen opening of the company’s first boutique in the world, opened in Moscow at Gorbushka market. At that moment there haven't been any specifications for such projects, shop was in development for a few months using the " cut and try" method, it became some kind of a testing polygon for the company. Two quarters since this shop was opened, similar boutique projects were established all over the world. Today such boutique is to be opened even in Bratislava. Such projects also exist on the Chinese market. We wrote a detailed article about opening of first Motorola boutique in Moscow, you can read it and see photos here - /articles/2006/gorbushka.shtml
Starting from October 4 2006, the company shall start a new page in its history and for the first time in Moscow it is introducing the concept of flagship boutique, similar shops will soon start popping up all over the world. Why we are calling this boutique a conceptual one? Everything's simple, it is unique and the only one existing. Even though other projects will use similar solutions, materials and equipment - they will never be able to get similar location/venue as this shop did. Motorola can confidently state that its boutique is located in the very heart of Moscow, on Red Square inside the State Department Store. In case you would like to know more in-depth coordinates – third row, nearest exit to the St Basil's Cathedral.
Difference of Motorola's shop from the others can be seen even by the most unsophisticated consumer - the main accent is put on technology and service parts. On one of windows that are coming out to Red Square you will see a projector which is drawing funny video clips, which look especially pretty at night. There are several clips displayed, one of them features Maria Sharapova promoting Motorola's brand.
Usage of non-standard technologies is Motorola's favorite for this shop. Once you enter the store you'll see projection of pebble and water on the floor, and scared fish will swim away from your legs. An entertainment, which tries to demonstrate company's advanced technology.
The shop consists of three levels, and you can access it from all three floors. Third floor is called VIP Lounge, this location is dedicated to special clients, SkyBar is located here as well - you can try different drinks there. It is hard to predict who will be considered as a VIP-client for Motorola, but right now you can fill up questionnaires and get the VIP Lounge card, which will allow you to access 3rd floor in future.
The shop lives up to its title, as you will see all latest products as well as current line-up (there are no budget solutions, but it is hard to imagine finding them in the State Department Store). You can try out handsets right there and find out more about new products and their release dates. A great advantage is presence of all unusual accessories that were launched in production, such as RAZRWire glasses. In future it will be up to these shops to offer the widest assortment of company's accessories.
Over at Motorola they are proud of their past – that’s how come you can see the milestones in its history posted on the walls, furthermore the world’s first handset, a broadcasting station that has made it from 1943 and Motorola-branded radio receivers are placed under the glass there. The past here blends with future in a convenient fashion – these exhibits don’t look out of place on the storefront and get along with the store’s style pretty well.
Service-orientation of the shop as well as desire for acquainting visitors with various directions of technology development have materialized altogether on the second floor. The company calls this approach technoSPA-concept – I will take the liberty and cite the official press-release:
«SPA lifestyle. Today everyone has heard these words, but few do realize its true meaning. According to one of the widely spread beliefs, SPA abbreviation stands for “Sanus Per Aquam”, which means «health through water» (lat.). For any modern man SPA is freshness, serenity and relaxation – in short, these three mysterious letters have become a symbol of stylish and truly beautiful lifestyle ».
By technoSPA-concept they mean uploading of various ringtones to handset (called SPA-programs, some kind of tunes sets). They also claim that depending on season these sets will significantly vary.
On the second floor one can also “tattoo” his (her) phone with an individual image or word – it’s not engraving really, but looks very appealing. Standard stickers are available there as well, but in my opinion, sometimes they don’t boost phone’s appearance at all.
Basically these are those seemingly insignificant features that bring the store to a completely new level of quality and make it somewhat unique. Later on the company is planning on establishing similar shops in other Russian cities and developing the concept of branded stores even further. BetaLink has been chosen for the position of the store’s operator. Over at Motorola they expect turnover of this store to be 4-5 times bigger than that of an ordinary shop in Moscow. But valuing this store from the commercial point of view won’t make much sense, as it is rather a storefront of the company’s retailing, latest Motorola’s fashion project. Solutions found here will keep on popping up in ordinary stores as well, as the time goes by. In some ways, this brand-new store aims to take the place of those ineffective methods of advertising, to allow end-users to see and touch everything with their own hands.
Exclusive editions of production models are more likely to be the most demanded units over other – fortunately, one will find loads of them for all tastes within this store.
Is the store worth calling at? As for me, this question doesn’t need an answer even, in case you are into such things. This shop is of great interest in itself, as it’s one the best Flagship Store concept materializations – similar stores of Nokia look somewhat unsophisticated as against Motorola’s offspring.
For the time being Motorola applies the same advertising concept to both Europe and Russia – you have already seen it on advertising materials and posters. Though, take a look at them one more time.
On the US market, though, one can see the first signs of a new approach to advertising campaign and concept of its development starting to emerge. In the near future interiors of Moto’s stores will be altered in accordance with this concept.
Published - 05 October 2006
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