Mark’s

The Challenge

Mark’s is a Canadian clothing and footwear retailer specializing in casual and industrial wear. Watt was asked for help in supporting a number of branding efforts designed to reposition Mark’s and strengthen its competitiveness. In particular, Watt was tasked with designing a holiday pop-up retail concept to be executed in high traffic, urban locations across the country. The goal was to strengthen its presence during this high traffic season, convey a new refreshed image, and increase its relevance amongst a younger, more fashion oriented customer.

The Approach

  • Our strategy and retail design teams began with an extensive review of research and customer segmentation to understand the various target personas and their shopping behaviour profiles. Brand positioning work and a variety of business and market insights were considered and incorporated into the strategic brief.
  • Working from a central organizing brand idea – ‘Well Worn’ – our approach was to design a solution that was immediately recognizable as the Mark’s brand, while simultaneously presenting it as something entirely unexpected.
  • The new pop-up concept shops are intended to evolve the consumer’s preconceptions about the brand, with the objective of presenting a refreshed brand image and a product proposition of being increasingly on-trend.

Design elements were developed to act as a visual mnemonic that would both anchor the concept and facilitate its immediate recognition as the Mark’s brand.

The iconographic ‘orange square’ – a significant element from the brand’s visual identity – was re-interpreted to convey the brand’s new positioning. This element took the form of over-scaled, 3-dimensional cubes that visually connect a series of suspended, beam-like structures delineating a meandering path for the customer to subconsciously follow.

This overhead path also acts as an extension of the brand’s new strategic direction, where it aligns with the ‘path of Well Worn’. The brand colour is limited to a translucent stain on selected faces of the cubes to retain the material’s natural qualities.

Props and assorted display elements reinforce the simple, rugged, authentic work aesthetic of the re-brand. Display areas are accented with portable work lights and recycled industrial materials. Tables highlighting featured products are assembled with industrial-minded materials to allow maximum flexibility. As an homage to the workers’ lives being lionized, each location features images that reflect the predominant industries or activities in the region.

The Outcome

All elements were developed with an eye to their future re-use. Large-scale graphic printed partitions were developed as modular, portable elements, and internally illuminated brand signs and over-scaled timber cubes were designed to be easily dismountable and site-adjustable for re-use.

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