Beyond the point of purchase: Conveying brand values through experiential retailing. A case study of the Iittala brand

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Product and Spatial Design
Brands are no longer isolated entities that only represent the products they offer; now they are often closely associated to their environmental contexts, cultures, and shared values. This presents a challenge for companies that are experienced in their domestic markets but desire to expanding globally, as the strong cultural connotations they have worked so hard to form may become lost in translation. The brand that this study focuses on is Iittala, a premium Scandinavian home goods brand owned by the company, Fiskars. This thesis aims to explore the methods of storytelling that are effective in brand communication and education for international brands such as Iittala, when expanding globally. To this end, this study looks specifically into the Asia-Pacific, a market of interest, to explore the qualities of Scan- dinavian design and products that appeal to its consumers. Furthermore, this thesis seeks to de- termine ways for brands to better understand its international customers. The research was conducted with a purpose of understanding the perspectives of the key players, including the local store clerks, the target consumers, and management. Literature reviews and ethnographic interviews were employed, as well as in-store observations and shadowing at various Iittala retail locations. The results indicated a need for rapid response to the ever-changing needs of Asia-Pacific consum- ers, and the need for a better understanding of their customers’ shopping behaviours in order to align the brand’s retail strategies. This study will propose a re-designed customer journey that incorporates the MyIittala platform as a tool of data collection, and offer a method of introducing this initiative through the implementation of a pop-up pavilion.
Kareoja, Pentti
Thesis advisor
Rodriguez, Marco
retail, strategy, customer journey, Asia-Pacific, Iittala, brand, storytelling