Aesop as a upper tier skincare brand in Australia, established in Melbourne in 1987 with a mission to create a range of superlative products for the skin, hair and body, using both plant-based and laboratory-made ingredients of the highest quality and proven efficacy (BusinessWire 2012). The company’s products are available online and at more than sixty signature stores internationally across capital cities throughout Europe, Asia and Australia, as well as Aesop counters in some of the world’s finest department stores(Padoa 2011). Today, they are growing global with the product offering supported by unique and compelling signature stores and retail environments. Through their particular channel , Aesop remains the value of their brand and customer loyalty .
It is true that most of traditional bricks-and-mortar retail stores have face serious challenges that increasing numbers consumers do their shopping online, however , the physical retail stores still remain as an important channel for customers, consumers still value in store experience, they need physical contacts and customer service before purchase (Ghatak & Sachet 2011) . Aesop make a success in their retail because of their ability to create great in-store experiences , unlike other boring and uninspiring retail execution in many retail brands , Aesop focus on creating a unique atmosphere and stores in different locations are inspired by the local culture and environment, when customers walking into an Aesop store is a sensory experience (Padoa 2011).
image source: http://www.aesop.com
While creating emotional connections with consumers is difficult to master, it’s the fact that Aesop is able to deliver a great retail experience to consumers by arousing consumers physical senses in both product and retail environment. The incredible designs in retail spaces and the consult sales model that acknowledge their products based on requirements of different customers ,even the familiarity of the hand wash basins in all stores which provide Aesop an opportunity to built a differentiated experience for consumers. The retail place becomes a gallery that offers consumers something new to see while knowing the experience will still be Aesop. The unique in-store experiences give consumers reasons to hang out and enjoy the pleasure of shopping( Haldemann 2015).
image source: www.broadsheet.com.au
image source: www.broadsheet.com.au
From a brand strategy perspective, every signature store of Aesop , especially the design and service, this unique retail channel is a big step towards developing experience identities, rather than a brand defined by a logo, colour palette, all of a sudden experience trademark is being defined on their presence physical channels, while imbuing the brand values throughout (Veen 2014). Also, Aesop provide their products by establishing the Aesop counters in retail intermediaries as some of the finest department stores such as David Jones and Myer, this makes much more easier for customers to access their products .
In addition, Aesop products also available online, customers can scan on the laptop or on the phone while in-store to watch a short film about their way of designing localised retail spaces and intimate customer experiences (Hayes 2014).Online channel offers convenience and sometimes even smart shopping .For example, consumers can understand all the products through online product category , and digital tags. And products and service through online distribution channel is more accessible to customers(Iacobucci 2014). Also, Aesop connect consumers through its online community like Instagram and twitter, this social connection with consumers which helps reinforce a brand experience in a customer’s mind .
In conclusion, Aesop is growing a powerful global brand via its numbers of distribution channels, especially, the unique and compelling retail channel and retail environments, these competencies as core leverage to expansion into additional markets and seek to build a truly global brand(BusinessWire 2012).
BusinessWire 2012, ‘ Nature Announces Strategic Investment in Aesop’, 20 December 2012, retrieved 16 May 2016,<http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20121220005419/en/Natura-Announces-Strategic-Investment-Aesop>.
Ghatak, P & Sachet, G 2011, ‘The move to re-own the retail space: in mature markets where the focus is on retention new products require more consumer education, so the retail channel becomes a showcase and a place to up-sell’, Telecom Asia, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 30-33.
Haldemann, A 2015,’ The beauty of Aesop: A story of Un-Branding’, Huffpost Business, 7 April 2015, retrieved 16 May 2016,<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-alexander-haldemann/the-beauty-of-aesop-a-sto_b_6598486.html>.
Hayes, A 2014,’ The truth about shopping: The changing face of retail’, Mumbrella, 4 September 2014, retrieved 16 May 2016,< https://mumbrella.com.au/truth-shopping-249378>.
Iacobucci, D 2014, Marketing Management (MM4), South-Western, Cengage Learning, Mason.
Padoa, C 2011,’ Aesop: Australia’s First Luxury Brand’, Execution& Strategy,25 April 2011, retrieved 16 May 2016,<http://www.executionandstrategy.com/2011/04/aesop-australias-first-luxury-brand.html>.
Veen,C 2014, ‘ Hyper localisation design straregy’, Inside Retail , 3 June 2014, retrieved 16 May 2016,<https://www.insideretail.com.au/blog/2014/06/03/hyper-localisation-design-strategy/>.
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