Retail store design for SK Telecom, South Korea’s largest telecommunications provider with more than 27 million subscribers. The company was looking to expand its product portfolio and consultancy business through a new retail presence and tangerine was invited to brand this new experience. A project team was set up bringing together designers from both tangerine London and tangerine Seoul with the aim of identifying the essence of SK Telecom’s brand and giving it expression and form, from the design of the stores themselves to the promotional campaign that would accompany their opening.
SK Telecom was operating in a crowded market and needed to find a distinctive identity that would build on its status as the number one domestic mobile carrier. Customers were looking for more than just additional stores selling IT products: they wanted an experience that would express the values of the brand and the chance to engage with experts who could help them get the most out of their mobile devices. “The question we tried to answer was ‘how can SK Telecom get the message across that they have more to offer than their competitors?’” says tangerine’s former President Don Tae Lee. “The offer needed to be different, it needed to be cool and it needed to be practical.”
The name ‘Imagine’ was selected for the brand, an optimistic and fresh identity and logo for what was designed as a distinctive retail experience rather than simply a shopping opportunity. The look and feel of graphics and colour palette emerged from intensive discussion with company executives, workers and customers. The design of the stores needed to be different from the frantic commercial environment of some of SK Telecom’s competitors, offering a calming and assured atmosphere that would allow customers to take matters at their own pace. The design was contemporary but confident, with expert advisors on hand to offer advice on all aspects of the technology. Two stores were opened in August 2011 and the approach and branding has now been absorbed into SK Telecom’s four “Imagine’ service centres operating across Seoul.