Read Time: 5 minutes
By Marcos Terenzio of iGotcha
In an era of infinite online choices, disruptions in shopping behavior, and a post-pandemic reality for brick-and-mortar retail, brand loyalty is dying. As brands begin stepping up their game to win back customer advocacy and attract customers back into retail stores, expectations are rising, and attention spans are virtually non-existent. The rules of the game have changed, and the stakes have never been higher. We live in an age where experience is everything. Buying decisions and consumer loyalty are based on emotional, human connections. Brand experiences must be impactful, memorable, and mesmerizing, establishing meaningful bonds at a personal level. To be successful, brands must shift consumers from passive recipients to experiential partners.
As part of a significant retail store expansion, Canadian Outerwear Brand Moose Knuckles partnered with iGotcha Media to deliver integrated retail brand experiences at some of their premium flagship locations. Moose Knuckles, known for its rebellious attitudes, brazen branding, and high-luxury products, wanted to deliver truly unique digital experiences in their storefront windows that would make a real statement. Our initial focus was two new permanent stores in Vancouver and Calgary designed by O’Neil Langan Architects, an award-winning New York-based agency specializing in retail design. The Vancouver Moose Knuckles store at Cadillac Fairview Pacific Centre is a 2,580-square-foot space that features a layout revolving around a patterned iced glass structure. CF Pacific Centre is the leading shopping center in downtown Vancouver and is anchored by Nordstrom and Holt Renfrew.
Moose Knuckles challenged us to deliver a digital experience that would celebrate the brand, deliver larger-than-life motion-rich content, while ensuring we maintained full visibility into the store from the mall traffic outside. Another requirement was keeping the view from inside the store, looking elegant and unobstructed. It was important that store staff and customers be able to see the outside of the mall and that our installation was minimalistic in structure and did not require much floor space.
As part of our digital experience strategy consultation, we explored many different transparent display technologies to find the right combination. Transparent OLED displays provided the best transparency and most detailed content, but this required one of the sides of the display to have a hard base structure. We explored taking four of these and framing them like a picture window, but this obstructed the view and required an additional structure to be built inside the storefront window. We also looked at some digital mesh technologies which looked promising from outside the store, but the backside of these looked like blinds on a window, and this was not the desired look for this elegant space. Another consideration was finding the right density of LEDs versus negative space to allow clarity, legibility of text elements, and of course transparency. iGotcha Media is a preferred partner of LG, working very closely with their commercial displays group in North America and globally. We often receive previews of new technology prior to its release. The timing was perfect, as LG was getting ready to unveil its new LG 14mm Transparent LED Film that utilizes micro-thin nano wires laminated between silicon-based film. It allows for high transparency while maintaining the ability to see objects behind it. This offers a wide-open view while blending into existing interior design smoothly, with the ability to deliver beautiful rich visuals and color.
From a content creation perspective, we knew establishing the right balance of opacity and transparency to allow the physical environment to show through while still allowing the digital content to be clearly visible would be the most important factor. Type is something that can prove to be very tricky for this medium. With standard screen technology, basic things like viewing distance in relation to font sizes can be challenging. But for transparent displays, this becomes even harder. When you are able to see through your image, “contrast” is not just about light to dark separation. It is also between image versus no image and background versusno background. These can all add to the text being unclear or non-legible if not designed correctly. We kept our font sizes larger and also a bit heavier in weight than we might have on a regular display. Also, choosing colors that contrast from digital backgrounds, as well as the physical environment, was very important. Given that the number of elements in the scene will be higher than in a normal display, and given the physical elements also visible, we knew the amount of copy should probably be kept to a minimum wherever possible. We recommended focusing more on larger imagery, video content, graphical elements with pop and contrast, and higher contrast on the most important digital elements. To deliver on all communication objectives, we introduced a second 98” 4K UHD portrait display in the opposite storefront window to compliment the 14mm Transparent LED Film. Content is synchronized across the two screens to create an extended canvas, with video and image-rich content on the film and more detailed copy information on the 98” LCD. We strategically positioned the supporting 98” display on the inner sidewall. This keeps the right side of the storefront clear and allows the screen to attract mall customers as they pass by this high traffic hallway of the mall, in which most of the foot traffic faces this display.
My team established a solid digital experience strategy. We collaborated with Moose Knuckles to identify the digital experience goals and objectives and create a content strategy that would lay the foundation for content, attract customers in-store, and immerse them in the brand. We achieved all of the objectives set forth. This storefront window experience provides complete transparency into the store with stunning content that comes to life on a unique canvas creating an engaging experience. The rich content blends beautiful photography, fashion video, and custom motion graphics animation that my team created specifically for this medium. Our 98” screen content provides the additional support communications to complement our feature window. The content is managed through our proprietary cloud-based content management platform iGotcha Signage that allows us to intuitively schedule and update digital signage content remotely. Our expert support team assisted in our integration process by offering informative training, network monitoring, and remote troubleshooting. Our system guarantees a 99% uptime and provides 24/7 network supervision. We helped design the experience, created the content, deployed it to store, and installed this unique Moose Knuckles Integrated Brand Experience to the great satisfaction of the client and mall patrons. We are currently working with Moose Knuckles on additional locations and experiences that will continue to help them attract, engage, and build brand advocacy with its customers.
To view the full case study visit: Moose Knuckles Case Study
To view a video of this installation visit: Moose Knuckles Video