Two marketing-related seminars, John Bricker's What is this Thing Called "Brand"? and Jonathon Triver's marketWise Canada, were featured at the afternoon educational session. Bricker, a designer who directs Gensler's Retail and Branding Studio, characterized the specialty floor covering store as a bricks-and-mortar manifestation of a brand -- one that is not always utilized to its maximum effect. Through the uses of case studies, he discussed how branding can be exploited as part of retail store design and explained how a well-branded environment is invaluable in the effort to position a company for success.
Bricker explained how savvy retailers use branding to create three "zones" that lead the consumer through the retail experience. The first zone, attraction, entices consumers into the store. The second, transformation, brings their perceptions into line with the ambience and specialized motifs utilized throughout the store. And the third zone, extension, leaves them with the desire to return to the store and even recommend it to their friends.