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Differentiation: A bookstore paints a dictionary’s page on its facade

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Getting future customers’ attention is difficult. Consumers are subject to thousands of auditory, visual and olfactory cues every day. Retailers must be very creative to differentiate themselves. A book store in Brussels has found an interesting way to be different, yet still coherent with its positioning.

Exterior and interior identities aligned with the store’s marketing strategy

The Ptyx bookstore collaborated with Edena and Art-Mural to paint 68sqm of façade with 7 portraits and ca. 2400 letters to compose the text.

The architects of Edena conceived a project based on covering the interior and exterior surfaces with reproduction of dictionary pages, which is perfectly aligned with what the store sells. Portraits of great authors (Roland Barthes, Marcel proust, …) were painted and accompanied by a short biography.

The paint job covers actually every part of the façade as you can see from the pictures below. Interestingly this corporate identity also extends in the store itself. The pictures on Edena’s website show that the ceiling was covered similarly.


Marketing strategy: use your store’s façade to differentiate

Stores’ facades are too seldom used by retailers as an element to create differentiation. Too often retailers think only in terms of products or interior design. Yet, all elements of a store can be used to enhance your marketing strategy, especially the exterior ones. You may remember for instance the post we dedicated to El PicaPorte in Valencia or to APC in Paris. Both used this marketing tactics to catch the attention of potential customers and attract them into the store.

Meaningful differentiation is especially important in today’s world of fierce competition. Bookstores are especially hit. Only two weeks ago the last Libris bookstore in Brussels ceased its acitivities after the management declared the activity could not turn profitable again given the competition of e-retailers.

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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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