Smells Like Success!

I had the good fortune to take a trip to Wisconsin last week for my niece's wedding...
 and after the hullaballoo of the nuptials, the mother of the bride REALLY needed a break!
So, my Mom and I bundled my sister into the rental car and headed north
to Door County, located on a peninsula in Lake Michigan.

It was a truly relaxing and fun trip, at just the right time for all three of us.
We saw some gorgeous landscapes - even some fall leaves! - and did some very 'tourist-y' things.
One day, we took a ferry to Washington Island at the northernmost end of Door County, 
then hopped on the little red 'Cherry Train' tram for an island tour.

And THAT is how we came to arrive at a place that made my JAW DROP....

 Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm is the creation of a team of visionaries - Martine, Edgar, and Helene.
Martine's dream of re-creating the beauty of her French homeland here on the island was the guide,
and she has NAILED it, folks....

Click 'Read More' to see some great examples of brand-centric design and merchandising!
Martine's background in couture at Neiman Marcus shines 
through the branding and labeling of products made and sold on-site
and through the incredible experience of walking through 
the magnificently merchandised gift shop:



 This shop is a complete success in 'Creating a Brand Environment 101' -

from the color scheme of varied shades of lavender, white, and black,
[which repeats on labels and products, marketing materials, furnishings and accessories]
to the way products are grouped into zones for easy shopping,
[food & kitchen products, bath & body elixirs, home decor, art & gifts]
to a spacious and accessible layout & arrangement of fixtures
with a clear view to all areas of the shop,
[most fixtures are white, some are black or wire - all let the PRODUCTS shine]
and the final details of imaginative theme and scent use
that transport you to another place and time...
IT.IS.PERFECT.

It is light, bright, sunny, and warm - feeling for all the world like a spring/summer day inside,
even if it's a cloudy, blustery, cool autumn day outside those doors. (and it was!)

The shop includes a small cafe seating area and service counter, 
where hot & cold beverages, ice cream, and warm pastries are offered...
the smell, combined with the lavender fragrance that permeates the space and the air outside,
wraps around you and delivers you to a place of familiar comfort
(even if you've never been to France, you feel like you are 'coming home')

And even though our tram stop there was a mere 15 minutes, 
(I spent MOST of that snapping photos and talking to a lovely employee,
who kindly shared this information with me about the impact this business has on the island),
I couldn't leave without buying something, too.
Those cherry almond scones with lavender glaze lasted all of five minutes.

And oh, you've got to see the DETAILS!


Well-planned and curated vignettes and displays each tell a story
utilizing products with lavender and France as the uniting theme...
artwork, aprons, tea accountrements, bath and body elixirs, home decor objet's, 
tasty treats like wines, vinegars, chocolates, candies,
a plethora of offerings that will enhance home and hearth.

The signature brand palette brings their lavender color into EVERY display - 
sometimes more saturated, at other times more pale

by using a dark purple glass lamp in one, a weathered metal purple cart in another,
while a worn wood purple chair and a pair of purple and beige linen stripe upholstered chairs
nestle into other vignettes.

Even so, the beauty of this place doesn't over-ride the functionality:

The cash wrap area is clean, clear, and makes space for just a few Point of Purchase items
on the counter and nearby:

It's easy for customers to find, and there is a spacious area for the line to form.
There is a crisp, clean, fresh style about the shop that they are true to in everything
and it works perfectly to express their brand. 

As a matter of fact, I wouldn't change a single thing about this place.
Seriously. And I NEVER say that!
I can always find a few things in a retail establishment that could be better,
more in line with the brand, more effective for staff and accessible for customers.
Not here. It's been done SO WELL that I can't find anything to change!

oh, wait..... maybe there's ONE thing:
I'd add their logo above the artwork behind the cash wrap -
see my version in the photo on the right, above.
That's it. That's all I can come up with.
They have thought of everything else, and it works perfectly.

Can you see how well this shop works - and WHY?
How many of these ideas could work in YOUR store?
How can YOU create this kind of clear, concise, unforgettable brand image?

Do you need to create and emphasize your own brand color palette?
Do you see that by creating a spacious environment, your products will stand out?
Is there room for improvement in your visual presentation?


Creating successful retail environments with visual impact is what I do best. 
Shoot me an email here and let's talk about how I can help your business shine!

I offer my hearty congratulations to Martine, Helene, and Edgar and all of their employees -
and since this business is a mere TWO years old,
I can only imagine the growth and success that will come in the future!
Bien Joue'!


Please visit Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm & Shop:
website . facebook . and on Washington Island in Door County, Wisconsin!


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my take on retail visual design:

"The thing is, retail design is driven by psychology. It is by manipulating space, visuals, lighting, sound, smell, and mood that we influence customers to enter, stay, browse, buy, and return. It is an endless exercise in change, endurance, growth, education, and imagination that enables retailers to stay on top of their game and at the forefront of their customer's minds. Yes, what you sell IS important - but even the very best merchandise won't sell at full price if it's presented in torn boxes on dirty shelves in a store that is too crowded to turn around in. Visual impact is a huge part of business, and utilizing the principles that have been proven to work can help you build a better business." ~ DWK