Talking about Retail Lighting, trading is one of the most ancient arts of the world, and those who for vocation belong to the sphere of entertainment know that far too well. The secret is called “seduction”, and it is something that in no way can come from improvisation.
The scene you’ve just watched – from the movie “High Fidelity” which I adore – makes you touch with your eyes the forcefulness of this, proving that to generate an emotion (e-motion, from Latin ex moveo, literally shaking out) is the ability to leap over rationality, or whatever reasonable doubt, and plunge directly into the visceral dimension of the person you want to communicate or sell something, generating consent and, even more important, enthusiasm.
There are many ways to seduce, but it can be achieved authentically or via hypnotic induction, and I won’t certainly be the first or the least to guarantee that the first is the one that really generates a result. In simple words: either you make me fall in love with what you offer or else eventually I unmask your trick and move my attention somewhere different. And here we come to the absolute innovation that will mark from now on a turning point in the world of retail.
In 2018 I have been involved as an expert in two different moments of confront and sharing right about the retail evolution. The fist was the ShopExpo in Milano, together with my colleague LD Lorenzo Bruscaglioni, where it has been discussed light as an extremely efficient marketing tool, and the other one entitled Design&Retail organised by Assodel, within its headquarter located in what has now become the Lambrate Lighting District always in Milano, and in these days part of the Fuorisalone circuit.
During the ShopExpo, thanks to the stimulating confront with Lorenzo, who is actually more focused on architectural lighting in comparison to my pure entertainment lighting background, has been pointed out the importance of binding these two different know-hows to exploit a crucial aspect that Entertainment has drawn up so well: the dynamism and versatility of light and the consequent infinite potentialities to impact the human emotional sphere.
Today there’s not enough adequate awareness of the matter “lighting”, which is the reason why often the professional LD is not involved at the genesis of a project – sometimes not even in the whole process of design – entrusting by default the non-specialised architect or, worse scenario, the electrician/installer or even directly the manufacturer, with the outcomes that are daily under our eyes (or better, they would be if we paid a little more attention).
The possibility to manage professionally the “maquillage” of a retail space with the potentialities of the entertainment lighting – which starts always from an intelligent idea – opens to the perspective of infinite shows for any kind of need or trend. This possibility expresses extraordinarily the three key aspects of trading: to make a specific product the protagonist, prolonging the permanence of the client within the retail space (entertain, from Latin tenere intra, to keep up, maintain, to keep someone in a certain frame of mind), and last but not least the easiness and quickness in transforming a set up with the minimum effort and the maximum of efficacy.
In my intervention at the “Design&Retail” event, I have talked about the correct application of the show lighting concepts in those environments where today it is clear how essential it is to conquer the client’s amazement, by going beyond the simple decoration of the space and treating it instead as a dynamic stage with all the related spectacular implications, which is indeed a fresh and innovative approach.
In this way, the consumer/spectator has given a greater chance to feel protagonist of a show built around him, through a process of sensorial emphasis that only a professional with a sound entertainment background is able to conceive and realise.
Saturating the scene with a balanced cocktail of evocative stimulus: that’s the art of an Entertainment Lighting Designer in action within a show environment, which is comparable to a retail space. Clear, isn’t it?
A smart LD is also pro-active, meaning that his lighting set up is well balanced and allows many combinations by simply managing a lighting console, avoiding in this way to modify every time the positioning of the fixtures.
There are some realities that are already applying to architecture the know-how developed with an entertainment experience.
One example that I’ve had the chance to appreciate during the recent edition of ISE in Amsterdam is the company DTS, that has adapted one of its top range projectors – the compact Nick NRG 801 (LED source, RGBW color mixing, zoom 8° – 50°, 2700K – 8000K, 300x428x217 mm) – transforming it in an elegant, recessed projector with the same exact features, suitable for various kinds of applications, retail included.
SORAA, the very well-known company specialized in full spectrum lighting sources, has also highlighted this topic in a recent publication on its blog, entitled “Bringing Your Store to Light: 10 Dos and Don’t of Retails Lighting” written by Kathy Pryzgoda, Lighting Designer with over 30 years’ experience in lighting Design and a rich background from theatre to television. A very enlightening reading, I warmly recommend it.
Moral of the story: to make possible what I have just told you about it is necessary to have a professional knowledge of light and its technologies, and trust me, after over 15 years of experience I know one never ends learning. Otherwise, if you want to see in action a.s.a.p. this “spectacularisation process” which is a trump card in retail, well… call a professional LD!
And now, did I finally sell you “The Three EPs” by The Beta Band?
*Cover image: Dolce & Gabbana – Aoyama store in Tokio – Designer: Nicolas Gwenael