Creating Customer Experience – We’re in it together
April 29, 2013
Customer experience is a term that is often misinterpreted as service design, user interface, staff engagement or retail experience. Unhelpfully we all try to muscle our favourite definition into it, but customer experience is bigger, as it encompasses these together with all other design disciplines. One of the most enjoyable aspects of working in the airline industry is you get to design everything from uniforms to aircraft seats, from sausages to online check-in apps as together they create the offer. Though consumers wear different hats – as spectators, shoppers or passengers – ultimately, businesses aim to create engaging customer experience, which drive the consumer choice.
When creating a customer experience you need to think strategically across all aspects of the journey. Creating a vision that can inspire and engage every type of creative, and importantly supports the brand and business strategy. Defining your customer experience, allows you to the look at how all the products and services work together, and choose where to innovate, to differentiate, or deliver best practise.
Excitingly it crosses most industry sectors equally applying to restaurants, credit cards or spaceship adventures. Design agencies often specialise in specific parts of the journey, and that focus can deliver inspiring work. But remember every piece of design will sit beside others, as customer experience is like creating theatre, where there is a stage, props, a play and actors. Unless a company has a product team or a creative director in place, it is often only the customer who sees the whole joined up offer.
The challenge for us as creatives is to collaborate across the many boundaries the customer passes, whatever our particular discipline and role in the project. Key to this is ensuring that each piece of work interfaces effectively with the rest to create an engaging experience. Happily, the world is not so simple any more and customers don’t expect everything to match. Instead, we want the layers of design and experience to complement each other. Creating one big picture that the customer understands and holistically represents the brand. As the brand is the promise and it is the customer experience that delivers the promise.
Dee Cooper is a creative consultant who specialises in customer experience, working across business sectors to help brands develop their offer.
‘First published in Tabletalk, the quarterly magazine edited by Lynda Relph-Knight and designed by NB.’
Harriet Kelsall’s new Jewellery Centre in Hertfordshire
November 14, 2012
The Lumsden design team have been commissioned to create a new concept in UK jewellery retail, with over 600sqm dedicated to the best in bespoke jewellery design, for award-winning Harriet Kelsall , the UK’s leading bespoke jewellery design company.
The brief was to convert a barn, situated on a farm in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside, and to transform it into a unique Jewellery Centre set over two floors. The building incorporates dedicated design consultation areas, a goldsmiths’ viewing area, a coffee shop, flexible workshop area and a jewellery themed garden.
Our design premise for the concept was that Harriet’s entire business is about story telling. The stories told to her by clients are the core inspiration for her jewellery designs. We responded to that with the design of an immersive environment which tells the story of how her business works, highlighting every aspect from the sketch books used by the designers through to allowing customers to view the goldsmith’s who craft the jewellery.
By opening up the space in the entrance area to the barn the opportunity to incorporate a coffee shop, a unique staircase design and compelling visual merchandise displays has totally enhanced the customer’s experience. The remodelling of the interior has increased the visibility of the space, whilst bringing to life the spirirt and the architecture of this wonderful old building. The use of natural materials and pastel colours enhances the ambience of the environment as well as reflecting the ethos of the Harriet Kelsall brand.
Our latest project for Harriet Kelsall
October 30, 2012
The Lumsden Design Team have been working on their second Harriet Kelsall project, following the launch of Harriet’s new look Cambridge Store two years ago.
The new brief is to re-model the interior of their headquarters in a converted barn, situated on a farm in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside. The challenge was to transform the space into a unique Jewellery Centre set over two floors complete with dedicated design consultation areas, a goldsmiths’ viewing area, coffee shop, flexible workshop area as well as a jewellery themed garden.
The new design will be launched to the press on November 9, but here is a preview of some of our design concepts as well as some work-in-progress shots of the soon to be completed shopfit.
Tim Walker – Story Teller
October 26, 2012
Tim Walker’s latest exhibition opened last weekend at Somerset House. His fantasy world is showcased here with his latest photographs alongside amazing oversized props and set pieces. We especially like the flying saucer shoot!! Get their early if you want to avoid queues across the courtyard! More info below:
Tim Burton has returned to his roots with a new feature length adaption of his early stop motion animation Frankenweenie. The reinvention of the cult classic opened this year’s BFI Film Festival and is one of his best films for years.
As part of the festival the BFI hosted an excellent 4 day pop up exhibition showcasing original sketches, puppets and sets – all amazingly detailed and beautifully made!
Rain Room installation at The Barbican
October 8, 2012
We visited the Rain Room installation by rAndom International on it’s opening night at The Barbican.
Definitely worth a visit!
By Steph Singer, photographs by Simon Wilsher
A Trip to Berlin
October 3, 2012
We were in Berlin celebrating a birthday !
Any excuse to get the camera out …
The Memory Void
Jewish Museum; Daniel Libeskind / DZ Bank; Frank O Gehry
East Side Gallery
“Great Sky” at the Berlin Victory Column
Reichstag Dome; Norman Foster
DDI features our Harry Potter Store
October 3, 2012
We are delighted that our designs for the Harry Potter Store, Warner Bros. Studio Tour, London have been featured in DDI, America’s definitive retail design magazine.
Technology in Retail
September 27, 2012
This article in Time Out illustrates the newly designed McQ store in Mayfair, London which has embraced technology in a way which engages customers with style as well as pizazz.
Retail Focus – Lumsden works its magic for the Harry Potter Shop
May 10, 2012
Retail Focus have written about our store design for Warner Bros. Studio Tour at Leavesden Studios. Check out the article here.
Retail Week – Harry Potter: The Wizardry Of Retailing
March 26, 2012
At last we can reveal our top secret project which we have been working on for the past 14 months. Take a look at Retail Week’s article about our designs for the Harry Potter shop at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, which opens on 31st March. Click here to find out more.
Experimenting with Digital Printing
February 14, 2012
We’ve been busy experimenting with digital printing. Here’s a taster of some of the designs we’ve used to print onto materials such as stained wood furniture, glass, painted mdf surfaces, canvas banners, conveyor belts, 6 metre high scenic backdrops, and bespoke wall papers… great fun! More to be revealed soon…
Women in Retail – Harriet Kelsall
November 30, 2011
In September Harriet Kelsall was named Woman of the Year at the Everywoman in Retail Awards 2011. The award recognises her vision, innovative approach and success which makes her an outstanding role model for women choosing a career in retail. Harriet started her business from her spare room, and after ten years she now employs nearly 30 staff and achieves an annual turnover of £1.5 million.
This month Retail Focus looks at Woman in Retail, and features Harriet along with some great photos of her shop designed by the Lumsden Team. To read more click here
Gosh! makes the front page of Retail Focus Magazine
November 2, 2011
We were proud to see the new Gosh! covered in this month’s Retail Focus magazine in a great double page spread. Gosh!’s owner Josh Palmano explains the story behind why Gosh! relocated after 25 years to new premises in Soho. To read more click here
Gosh! our newest design is unveiled this weekend!
August 4, 2011
Rendering of Gosh!
Opening this weekend is our latest design for London’s iconic comic book shop Gosh! which uproots for the first time in 25 years for new, bigger premises at No. 1 Berwick Street, Soho.
For the last 25 years Gosh! has been a destination for comic fans from around the world, recognised globally for its pursuit of the very best the medium has to offer. At their new location in the heart of London, Gosh! will expand on their famously eclectic mix to encompass street art, contemporary graphic design and more, making a fitting addition to the creative hub that is Soho.
The design balances industrial elements such as raw galvanised steel and salvaged factory lights, with warmer touches such as Iroko timber reclaimed from school science labs. We also developed a bespoke flexible merchandising system to display the wide range of product. The store will host creator talks, art exhibitions, book signings and events. Street artists will be commissioned to create dramatic large scale artworks on the rear wall.
The store opens this Saturday the 6th of August 2011, and Gosh! will be hosting an exhibition and signing by Dave McKean from 2-4pm.
There may be a chip on my shoulder about this, albeit it a marble one, but I’ll give those of you who might be interested in the topic which I am going to ‘sound off’ about a small test. When you ask someone about what they do for a living and they say “architecture”, what comes into your mind? My guess would be glass office blocks, Norman Foster, intellectual theory, Olympic Stadiums, interesting spectacles, “they build buildings”. Okay try the same scenario when the response is “interior design”. I will bet a year’s subscription to ‘Wallpaper Weekly’ that the answer will be scatter cushions, fabric books, carpet samples, Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen, interesting cardigans and fabulous paint finishes! My point is, why is it that interior design is, at best misunderstood and at worst, perceived mainly to be about cosmetic decoration.
The profession that is usually referred to by the catchall title of interior design covers such a wide spectrum of activity; surely it deserves a great deal of serious consideration. Think of how that spectrum affects so many aspects of our lives. Space planning and design for airports, museums, hospitals, shops, offices, restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels, spas, fitness clubs, and exhibitions. I could go on but I want to maintain your attention so I will complete the list with the following activities to make my point.
Building conversion, architectural conservation and spatial alteration. What’s that got to do with interior design? That’s what architects do you may say. The fact is that intellectual scrutiny concerning the modelling of architectural space is not the sole remit of architects. An exemplary amount of this vitally influential activity is performed by what I will call art school designers.
It was Fred Scott’s excellent book “On Altering Architecture”, which got me thinking about the status of my profession. Scott, Visiting Professor of Interior Architecture at Rhode Island School of Design, has written an exemplary study of how important interventionism and alteration is in buildings. He explores how architecture fulfils a function when newly built, but then he goes on to analyse how buildings have to evolve and change during their lifetime. It is the first book, which I can recall, that analyses in depth, and with forensic historical reference, the role of interior design and the seminal part it plays in society.
What he is talking about is what I do for a living and what matters here is not me, but the surprisingly large number of unrecognised designers who passionately strive for excellence when commissioned to transform architectural space into something special.
A few years back, the CEO of a major financial institution approached me to propose a new brand strategy. When I approached a Top 20 branding agency in the UK to discuss potential collaboration, someone came out with the classic line, “Why would this guy want to talk brand strategy with someone who mainly knows about MDF?”
The evolution of interior design as a legitimate professional activity needs to be considered from a historic perspective. Substantive interior design was always been attributed to, or at least steered, by architects. But as architecture has become loftier in its stance and become more reliant on specialist consultants, interior designers have stepped into the role, which the architectural world has distanced itself from.
John Stefanides, who should be widely recognised as one of the founding fathers of the contemporary world of interior design, said in a recent interview that his job is to surprise and delight his clients. I agree and it galls me that the practice of designing space is universally perceived as icing on the cake. I would also go as far as to say that architects are know how to engineer buildings, designers know how to understand human behaviour.
I’m not bitter, well not that much anyway! My humble plea is not for plaudits; it is for legitimate recognition.