Ricola installed a pop-up store in Paris in March 2023. Its visit allows us to approach some interesting aspects of branding, observable in particular through the visual elements put forward in the sales outlet. But it’s also an opportunity to discuss marketing strategy since Ricola is diversifying. Follow me to the Swiss mountains to meet these friendly herbal candies ?.
What can you find in the Ricola pop-up store?
As you might expect, the Ricola pop-up store is dedicated to the famous Swiss candies. An important focus is made on the plants used in the recipes to mark the uniqueness of these candies. You will find these plants directly on the front and inside the store.
The full range of Ricola candies is presented at the store entrance, and I was surprised. I had never carried out the extent of the range and the diversity of the tastes. You will notice (see photo below) that the arrangement of the small boxes is in keeping with the infallible technique of highlighting by color.
The candies are also available in bulk (I couldn’t resist and bought a handful) and are sold by weight. Here again, the presentation is relatively simple to carry out since the mass effect plays its role. The colors are bright and energizing, and the visitor has difficulty resisting the purchase. I observed the people who came in; they all came out with something.
In the second room of the pop-up store, there is another range of products. Ricola has diversified into herbal teas (long live the plants … Swiss?) and proposes them by weight or directly packaged.
Branding elements of the Ricola pop-up store
This article would only be complete if I mentioned the branding elements in the pop-up store. The stimulation of the senses is part of creating the customer experience. And in the case of the Ricola pop-up, there are things to say.
It all starts before you enter the pop-up store. The colors are important. They have been thought about. The dark green refers to nature, of course, but to a close nature, with deciduous forests and conifers. And then there is the yellow bicycle, which evokes the other identity of the brand (it is the yellow of the most famous Ricola package, the one of the original recipe).
The other branding element that is part of the brand’s DNA is the plants. They are Ricola’s point of differentiation (we could talk about USP). You’ll find them in the luggage of this bicycle that invites us to escape and that a facetious marketer has carelessly placed on the front. But the plants are also present directly in contact with the brand at the level of the windows to remind us of their inseparable character and add a little “wild” touch to the whole.
The interior of the pop-up store continues this visual stimulation of the senses. The brand’s colors give rhythm to the interior without the atmosphere being too heavy. So, the customer experience is mostly visual, and that’s a little regretful. With so many branding elements, the pop-up store could have proposed a customer experience that mobilizes other senses (olfactory, auditory). Ricola’s mountain universe lends itself to this without necessarily falling into the excesses of “Nature et Découvertes”, where little birds constantly sing behind the sound of flowing water. It is not necessary to fall into cumbersome stereotypes, either.
Why does a brand of candy open a pop-up store?
There is an official reason and the unofficial reason.
The official reason is the rebranding of the Ricola brand by Lewis Moberly. This rebranding was launched in September 2022 and therefore had to be communicated (see the marketing mix).
The Ricola candy packaging was rebranded in September 2022.
And then there’s the unofficial reason. There is a need to connect directly with customers and weaken the power of middlemen (distributors). This will increase the value of the brand.
The brand’s value can only be positively impacted because, in the age of data marketing, it is more important than ever to establish a direct link with your customers (see my other post on inbound marketing in the age of ChatGPT). In the current model, consumer products are distributed. Therefore, brands never have direct access to customers and can only interact with them indirectly. It isn’t easy to implement loyalty strategies under these conditions. This is why alternative models are emerging (notably DNVBs) that bypass traditional distribution models.
Tags: branding, FMCG, retail