Syn Vodafone : A strategic approach to repurposing physical stores


Syn Vodafone


Brand and Communications · Customer Experience · Research Insights & Trends · Retail Design

The Challenge

Over the last year or so we have been working with the Syn Vodafone team to develop a new strategy and purpose for physical stores. The first question to cover off is why have physical locations at all? In a digital age, with increasingly sophisticated digital hardware and more and more streamed digital content, this approach may seem counterintuitive.

However, it is clear from our insights research that customers value the physical location more than ever. As the product and service proposition becomes wider, encompassing home and mobile entertainment, gaming, outdoor fitness and leisure, home security as well as mobile telecoms, there is an ever greater need for a physical touch point.

Customers are happy to do their research online, but when it comes to contracts, packages and bundles, they want the reassurance of face-to-face experts. Hardware and handsets are still part of the story (although decreasing in visual volume) and for some, being able to pick up and play with the latest handset is still important.

The solution

This store is the first pilot of a new concept reimagining the physical outlet as a Digital Media Hub. It is intended to be flexible, experiential, and to present easy and inspired Solutions. The pilot is customer and lifestyle-focused, designed to serve a number of different communities.

The experience and the environment have been re-imagined to present a house of brands where customers can explore products from the known provider Vodafone alongside hardware by Apple, Garmin and Samsung. Showcasing for digital streaming packages and unique digital media options from Syn have been incorporated into the experience.

Other features of this concept include:

• Personalised interactions
• Digital product information and pricing
• Mobile staff using tablets
• Instore kiosks to shop the full range
• Showcase of current digital content
• Paperless processes
• Video wall showcasing group brands
• How-to and explanatory video content
• Self serve kiosks for simple tasks
• Studio environment that feels creative and flexible
• Podcast studio
• State-of-the-art presentation theatre area
• Office and desk set-ups to demonstrate best practice
• An environment and content worthy of Instagram

As with all MWW projects we will be monitoring data to measure effectiveness and will share that in due course. In the meantime, the expert team in-store will be gathering insights and feedback from customers. It goes without saying this was a strong team effort.

Project Lead at Syn, Guðrún Gunnarsdóttir sums it up as follows :

“We are delighted with this new format and have had a huge amount of positive feedback so far.
This new experiential location is digitally led – providing a curated showroom for our latest products and services; it will be the model design for future Vodafone locations. It incorporates a range of new tools and facilities to showcase the knowledge and expertise of our service team.”

“It was a huge benefit to partner M Worldwide on this important project. They brought their unique experience, collaborative approach and diagnostic process to develop the strategy, experience and final execution”.