The purpose of this paper is to engage in the research gap regarding the missing link between retail innovation and branding by providing a brand-driven process to systematically develop retail format innovation projects. The so-called “Brand-driven Retail Format Innovation” (BRFI) approach provides a structured three-phase model that serves as a conceptual guide for the development of any type of retail format.
Longitudinal collaborative action research over a time span of 20 years plus extended case study research to develop the current BRFI approach.
BRFI is a circular three-phase framework, which integrates branding, and retail format innovation. It starts with the definition of the intended retail brand identity, which in phase 2 becomes translated into concrete touchpoint experiences along the main constituents of a retail format, finally during phase 3 materializing into the new retail format. A case study of a major food retailer is prototypically used to illustrate the application of the designed approach and to report achieved results.
Brand-driven retail format development based on translating socio-cultural meanings into touchpoint experiences to materialize format constituents is opening up new research avenues to govern retail format development. At present the approach is based on retail and services case studies in Western Austria.
The three-phase model represents a practical tool for retail managers, who want to renew and to develop their retail format in a structured way. The approach is applicable to all retail industries from small- to large-scale organizations as well as online and offline environments.
This is the first study engaging in the missing link regarding retail innovation and branding by providing a brand-driven process to systematically develop retail format innovation projects. BRFI locks into anthropological research findings where cultural meanings are considered as the main source for the construction of brand identities whereby the new retail format is transformed around brand-derived touchpoint experiences.
Botschen, G. and Wegerer, P.K. (2017), "Brand-driven retail format innovation: a conceptual framework", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 45 No. 7/8, pp. 874-891. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJRDM-10-2016-0181
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