PLACES Consulting

Selected news on innovative places on our blog


Spatial Brands are in the middle of a marketing revolution and thus need a specific expertise

At the origin the simple fulfillment of a need (eat, sleep, educate...), places have started with the branding of their service quality (5* hotels, gastro restaurants, museums, libraries...). They know move to a new step in their evolution, becoming Spatial Brands, offering more than just a service quality : an experience that people look for : you don’t go to the Contemporary Art Museum, but you visit the MOMA; you don’t chose an hotel, you enjoy a W stay.

This revolution leads to a much needed change of brand proposition.

  • With internet, experimenting and buying are now two different elements.
    • Consumers test product in stores but buy them cheaper on-line; customers recognize experiential brands from service brands through their websites and buy them in a different way. This evolution leads to one of the major shift in countries GNP : e-commerce is getting bigger than retailing.
  • Places must now change to experience and becoming spatial brands.
    • From a service place with a good interior design, they need to become an experiential place, in which you can buy.

This evolution leads also to a radical change in Business Model.

  • Operational conditions are not favorable anymore.
    • Prices remain stable when other costs are booming (qualified talents, sourcing, taxes...). This is a heavy hole in places results, struggling then to invest in the future.
  • Places are more and more distributed.
    • Now ruling sales in Hospitality and Leisure, distributors have started to invest in restaurants, art, … They impose difficult conditions that reorganize the margin building.

To recover means of actions, becoming a Spatial Brand is the key solution : it will provide added value to the place, will allow a premium price and help in balancing power in distribution negotiations.

Yet a Spatial Brand is no washing powder

It is not possible to translate the FMCG brands marketing rules. The experience of the location remains the central brand building point. Therefore, a Spatial Brand marketing strategy is quite different, a complex multi-criteria construction.

To succeed in this business doesn’t mean a nice décor. You need to master three key aspects :

  • Complete understanding of the target (who, what, how much)
  • Staff casting, attitude and sense of service
  • Operations spatial organization
  • These are the top-line key contributors, leading to building in the same time a great and unique experience for the client and a solid revenue for the owner.

This revolution is as important than the one Product Brands have experimented in the sixties. It will decide which brands and locations will still exist in twenty years from now.

You don’t choose an HOTEL you choose the W experience
You don’t choose a RESORT you choose the CLUB MED experience
You don’t buy a computer in a store, you endorse the APPLE STORE approach
You don’t go to the MUSEUM of Modern Art, but to the GUGGENHEIM
You are not in a RESTAURANT you are at NOBU
You don’t go to a LEISURE PARK but you prefer to go to DISNEY