Following the first two pilot retail stores, Mozambican cellular operator, mcel has reappointed international branding company, HKLM to continue the retail roll-out with the design and shop-fitting of a further 15 outlets.
mcel's retail expansion will see the company represented in urban and rural locations across the country. According to HKLM's Graham Leigh, the store design, layout and functionality will go way beyond traditional interior design.
“It's about selling connectivity. The objective is to attract the customer into the store and then connect them to the brand via a number of different interactions and touch-points. In-store IT elements including flat screen televisions are intended to stream continually updated content to provide customers with added-value information, details of special offers etc. to build the brand and captivate the audience. The stage is then set for the sales consultants to conclude deals.”
Leigh, an architect, passionately believes that the communication potential of retail space is under-utilised. “Shopfronts and environmental applications are important 24-hour billboards and vital branding tools, but this opportunity is still not being widely recognised.”
For the retail roll-out, the physical space of the outlets and in-store experience will combine with other communication channels such as the website and advertising with the aim of delivering a consistent message to reinforce the brand values.
This contract followed HKLM's initial strategic rebrand for mcel which started three years ago. HKLM drew on its experience in emerging markets in developing a new corporate identity for mcel, which included marketing collateral, store design, signage and holistic two and three-dimensional branding. The pilot outlets - a flagship store at the MBS Centre in Maputo and a second at Matola were completed at the end of 2008.
The new stores will be designed to fit the demographics of the various sites, ranging from sophisticated flagship stores to small, basic outlets in outlying areas. Rural traders will also be able to create their own retail brandscapes by using stencils, logos and paint provided by mcel.