To stand out, one must differentiate. You might have a great product but not a perfect one. The cherry on top is down to 5 key things, and the department store Harrods has this on lock. In the marketing context, these 5 key things are known as the 5 senses.
I have worked for Harrods three times during my studies, and each time was a blessing. But the last time I worked at Harrods, I was also doing my masters and paying my tuition fees at the same time. Till this day, I have never achieved what I achieved then, it was so stressful yet super rewarding when I graduated. God is great!
During my studies I decided to base my Dissertation thesis on Harrods, with the question, “How does Harrods use Experiential Branding to enhance Consumer experience?” to conclude:
Harrods = BLISS:
B – British … heritage meets cutting edge
L – Luxury … is the new premium, it’s not always expensive
I – Innovation … is always at the forefront of retail trends
S – Sensational … the greatest store on earth
S – Service … to make every customer feel special
Your attitude is worth more than your talent, I learned that the hard way. During my late teens I struggled to take orders from others, this was primarily due to my brother having his own business. He had a car wash and I would work there during the weekend plus the school holidays. When he was not around, I was boss. Managing 7 staff at the young age of 19 only ignited my ego.
When I was 21, my brother sold the car wash and that meant I had to work like an ordinary citizen. Let’s just say the first two retail jobs did not go well, but to be fair, they were temporary roles during the sale period. Then came Harrods, the brand that changed my life. When I first walked into the store, it was like a fairytale, working there however was even better. I was given the chance to work temporarily during the sale period, with great affection towards my brother, my manager I think only hired me as my elder had worked there 2 years prior. I learned so much from Harrods, but if I had to sum up all my experience into one word, I would choose “Etiquette” as I had to smile, talk, act according to the Harrods protocol.
The second time I worked during the sale period once again, and the the third time I was chosen out of maybe 100 people and kept on as weekend staff. During that time, I had enrolled for my masters and Harrods proved to be the backbone in allowing me to pay my tuition fees whilst studying. That particular year was my most challenging, but I came out with flying colours. I truly accomplished everything that I had always wanted, and that’s to make my mum and dad proud. But of course, challenges never end, so then came the all but critical job search adventure.
I am now happily working in marketing/design but it was all done through avoiding one thing, that’s ego. People, stay far away from your ego, and ego is not just boasting or showing off, it’s far more dangerous. Be humble, be polite, and work hard, plus search the word Etiquette if you need to know what made me the man I am today.
They say good things come to those who wait, I say “Good things come to those who Work.” Yes, we should hope and dream, but we must not sit and wait. If you have a dream, an ambition, a business plan – that’s just step 1 my friend. You see, everything creative starts with an idea, then come all the critical steps in achieving them.
Success is not a straight line, along the way there will be sacrifices. There will be many hurdles you must jump, but the finish line can only be reached if you carry on running – so don’t give up. Even if you have to work a boring 9 to 5, by all means do so. It would be great to have a mentor, but if you cannot find one, read books – autobiographies specifically.
Carry on the good fight by continuously reminding yourself of where you want to be, be positive, and paint happiness. Paint happiness is a term I’ve coined, it simply means creating a picture in your everyday life, with each person you encounter daily being a unique colour. By using people as positive colours, you create this aura of optimism and thus your day will blossom.
To conclude, I leave you with a short story from a man who managed the Spice Girls, David Beckham, Lewis Hamilton, Andy Murray and many more. I was working in Harrods and this man casually dressed walked up to me and asked where the Paul Smith section was? I replied and said, “are you Simon Fuller” amazed he said, “how did you know.” I told him that I had seen only one picture on the internet and had read his autobiography. Anyway he purchased the shoes, and eager to get advice, I asked – What’s the key to success. He said, “don’t talk about, don’t even think about it – just do it!”
Art also exists in typography and searching for fonts that pair well together is a quest, but once found it is a magnet to the eye. The infusion of serifs with sans serifs is crucial, however not all are destined to blossom. It takes experimentation along with taste to establish a connection, and the result – a contribution to art.
I was first introduced to the big brands of today whilst working in Harrods. From Prada to Gucci, each one had their own unique typography. It was apparent that fonts are instrumental to their success, sending its own message of elegance. I wanted to know how they created these ripples of creativity?
After a year of studying fonts through books, blogs, & articles I began to experiment. The result being 7ofParis.com – positioned in two words “Renaissance Couture” with the aim of selling affordable luxury. However, the challenge I found was using fonts for clients. A perfect example being a construction company. It would not have made sense if its slogan was in fashion typography, so we chose the rather simplistic Helvetica.
To conclude, each font must be in sync with the direction of the business as it is critical in creating your brand image. It can engineer your brand to victory, but only if you know your stuff! That is why, I respect graphic designers. They are truly modern day artists.