It’s a Turquoise WorldCreating an in-store experience for a luxury holiday brand

March 2014Shares

Totality was appointed by the Turquoise Holiday company to help create their first London retail experience.

The ten year old company offers tailored luxury holidays to long haul destinations and has built a strong reputation particularly within the honeymoon sector. It has grown a well regarded brand primarily through online and direct marketing activities. In order to develop the business further and help its expansion into family holiday, it chose to open its first retail operation in London. Located in Clapham, the site seeks to draw upon the professional family target market of the surrounding area as well as serve as a base for London-centric enquiries.

Facing strong competition from established brands such as Abercrombie & Kent, Scott Dunn, and Casenove & Lloyd, the new store needed to create as distinct an experience as possible. Totality conducted an audit of the competitive set and assessed the aspects that set Turquoise apart from the competition. Given that the same holiday location can often be booked via a number of holiday operators, creating a product point of difference can be difficult. The opportunity lies in expressing how the service and style can vary.

The brand audit revealed certain values that belonged to Turquoise more than anyone else. Firstly, 'Passion' - the degree of involvement and feeling that Turquoise employees have about the places where people can travel to and the experience that those people have once they are there. Turquoise has a disproportionately high number of people who holiday via them, writing and thanking them for such a great trip. The second value was 'Fresh' - a modern, unstuffy, enthusiastic approach manifested by the way employees relate to customers and the way the company presents itself visually.

The store needed to take these qualities into account and interpret them into the environment and the customer experience. In addition, the solution had to balance creating a positive experience for those customers who come in to the store, with the need for employees also to be able to process enquiries and bookings being made online or over the phone. On the one hand is needed to feel like a welcoming showroom, but also needed to operate as a fully functioning office.

Totality's first recommendation dealt with the moment before anyone actually entered the store. The exterior needed to make clear to those passing exactly what the company offered without resorting to a busy window full of holiday destinations and offers. Equally it also needed to filter out those people who weren't in the target market from entering the store in the first place. Totality recommended a simple description of the offer to go on the exterior awning: "Luxury bespoke holidays" to act as a clear signpost to what was on offer.

Inside the store the back area was given over to the office functions, with the front area being designed primarily to create a welcoming and involving experience for those making enquiries. Because the offering is tailor-made to each individual's needs, a relaxed informal environment was needed for clients and Turquoise staff to discuss and plan a suitable trip. Sofa and easy chairs were available for an initial chat and perusal, with a large table recommended to act as somewhere where people could sit around and plan and share ideas. A wide plan chest and drawers were installed in which maps and other reference material could be reached for and spread over the table to engage the client in helping them choose their ideal experience.

The store also features a large scale 'destination wall' - a branded map of the world with hand-written messages on it. These messages will change constantly with new suggestions and ideas linked to certain parts of the world, and will be complemented by comments or postcards received from those who have travelled with Turquoise sharing their experience and perspectives. The wall is designed to express the passion and involvement that the brand has in the places and the experiences it helps people enjoy.

The store became fully operational at the start of 2014, and is already proving to be making a significant positive contribution to the the business and the profile of the brand.

Turquoise Holidays recently won 'Best Tour Operator' in the Conde Naste Readers Traveller Award's (RTA's) 2015