trends, retail experiences, design, innovation, insights

The power of insights driven design

Posted 27-01-23
5 minute read

At first the concept of insight driven design seems like a no brainer, if you’re not designing with the driving force of insight, then what are you designing to?

The truth is there are many ‘drivers’ for design, from wider macro factors such as technological advancements, or trends towards sustainability, to more detailed micro factors such as budget or clients’ requirements or interests. 

And of course, what we value individually and as a company, and what our clients value plays into what we design. However, the uniting factor is and always should be meeting the needs and desires of the shopper.

Frombrief all the way to concept and build, our account team, strategists, and designers, draw on their years of experience to cater to the needs/desires of shoppers through true insight. Taking a human-centric end user (shopper) approach to innovative in-store design.

It’s easy to confuse insights and facts, however, so what is insight?Insight is not as simple as “women wear makeup”, it’s about finding a crucial tension within the information to unlock growth, and opportunities to connect to an audience. That said, when an insight is uncovered and understood, there should be an ‘of course’ simplicity to it. Its at this point one knows it rings true.

For us, being insight driven is about using an in depth understanding of 3 of the 5P’s – People, Place and Promotion to deliver objectives. Rather than being reactive and meeting our clients briefs to deliver tactical responses across those elements of the marketing mix, the earlier we get involved with the marketing process, the more fruitful the result has proved to be.

When our clients share detailed Demographic, Geographic and Psychographic knowledge of their audiences, we are able to use the lens of shopper understanding to find the ‘silver bullet’ which enables us to deliver effective and impactful in-store solutions.  Where this isn’t possible and our clients are looking to us to uncover insight, we’re able to apply generic shopper insight, and detailed understanding of their product, business, and market to develop meaningful insights for use. In the following examples you will see instances where we had a more prescriptive and more open brief from our clients.

Garmin MID system

A celebrated and respected brand with a strong following amongst both amateur and pro sports audiences. These are people who already know they want a Garmin watch however they perceive Garmin to be a complex family of products which hinders the purchase process.

Visibility (to attract) and accessibility (to engage) were key in this in-store solution that was created for Swedish Stadium sports stores. Shoppers needed an area where they could browse easily. Somewhere they could interact with the product, learn, and be aided in their purchase choice.


“I want to browse in-store and learn but I don’t want to be bombarded by salespeople or overwhelmed with intricate information.”


A modular display system in which 8 core displays are made from 15 key components. 


Retailers benefitted from increased sales. For example, store with smart screens, plus lift and learn features in Sweden sold more products. POPAI Sports and Fashion Gold Award Winner.

Braun: Pop-up shops 

Braun is a well-known, well-loved brand, popular with audiences who are well aware of the products they offer. However, category wide, foot traffic to traditional department store has dropped in recent years and shoppers are turning to online or electronics specialists.

Subsequently when shoppers seek out electronics, they have standardised, full category engagement rather than a specific brand experience which can be complicated and overwhelming.

We were tasked with finding ways to attract shoppers to physical retail locations instead of ordering online. Blending physical, digital and shopper behaviour to give a compelling reason and reward to visit physical stores.


“I like Braun products, I’m fairly well-informed about the range, everything I need is available online and often at better prices and I see no real need to go into a store to buy.”


To reconnect to audiences. Using relevant integrated technology, create real experiences that connect to a wide set of audiences. Give shoppers a reason for visiting a store, through a tangible benefit:

  • Cash Back (X% discounted purchase price or rebate)
  • Warranty Extension (+X years on top of base manufacturer warranty)
  • Satisfaction Guarantee (100 days satisfied or money back)

Shoppers are encouraged to share their email and personal details for these reward or experiences only available in-store.

Modular systems scalable and adaptable to any footprint. Using relevant technology to appeal to the wide demographic was key. This included welcome and large format attract screens, QR for engagement through Mobile phones, freestanding interactive kiosks, magic mirror technology, play-tables and in-aisle lift and learn; all used to provide personal messages, easy in-store navigation, easy product range browsing, education, comparison and guidance. These solutions were designed to create visibility for shoppers, to inspire storytelling, and prompting social media sharing and conversation.  

Placing brand experience pop-ups in high-traffic mall and shopping centre locations, drives footfall and captivates new shoppers.


Pop-up shops outperformed shop in shop installations in nearby department stores with greater sales. Subsequently the pop-up solution won the POPAI Pop-up Shops Silver Award.

Craig & Rose

We were tasked with creating an immersive in-store experience that introduces urban Glasgow artisan shoppers to Craig & Roses’ latest product ranges, bringing the boldness, individuality, and progressiveness of the brand to life!

Craig & Rose needed to separate themselves from other retailers in the area, and to ensure clarity about their prestigious offering. This was an opportunity to break out from existing store formats to create a more unique, bold, and creative space.


“I love shopping locally in Glasgow but none of the high street shops I see satisfy my artistic side with design appeal.”


Appealing to the local Glasgow artisan audience with a dynamic kinetic sculpture, using latest paint colour range, combined with an inspiration table to create a focal point in-store. This all draws foot traffic inside from the street for one-on-one consultations and engagement. A cosy aesthetic achieved with a dark colour palette, inspired by local architecture, highlighted the high-end design appeal of this brand within a new unique bold format.  


A space that draws consumers into a unique brand and product experience that gives a satisfying reason to visit the store. Elements of this bold solution are being filtered into mainstream store test and trial formats.

In summary, insights incorporate multiple lenses but must be singular, concise, and clear.

Hard sales data, business goals, client KPI’s, quantitative research all factor into insight creation & solutions provided, nevertheless it’s the softer quantitative audience research, to understand the why and to uncover that crucial tension, that unlocks growth. Digging deep to understand the end user or shopper and putting their desires at the centre of the solution better is crucial to creating effective in-store solutions.

If you are interested to know more about any of our case studies, or to speak to one of our team members. Get in touch via our contacts page. We’d love to hear from you.