Alison Skowronski November 22, 2011 INTD 485 Behavioral Aspects in Design Research Paper- Johnny Cupcakes
Cupcake (kup’kak’) A small cake baked in a cup-shaped container.
What first started out as an unintentional nickname, Johnny Cupcakes grew into a successful, multi-million dollar company. The dedicated customers, carefully chosen advertising, and unique interior design concept of the stores greatly contribute to the branding process, resulting in an extremely successful business. “Johnny Earle founded the Johnny Cupcakes clothing line in 2001. The line includes t-shirts, shorts, sweaters, jewelry, undergarments, and pins. After starting the business as a ‘complete joke’ he began to see a passionate following and decided to keep his merchandise out of chain stores and sell it exclusively through his own shops. This was a smartest decision, which led to the success of his company.” (Earle, 1) The feeling of exclusiveness Johnny created, paired with the bold iconic symbols, launched his business through word of mouth. Throughout the years, he has opened four stores found in his hometown of Hull, Massachusetts, Boston, Los Angeles, and London. Each of these stores incorporates the unique design concept chosen to encompass his idea of a ‘t-shirt bakery’ (Earle, 1). The conceptual idea of a ‘t-shirt bakery’ (Earle, 1) relates directly to the interior design of the space and greatly contributes to the advertising as well. With the rise in popularity of the cupcake baking industry, many people are attracted to the name and image of the brand. This marketing concept draws on the symbolic value of a cupcake and what it means to people. Everyone wants a cupcake and in turn, everyone wants a t-shirt from Johnny Cupcakes. “The integral theories are used to analyze this space to describe a group of models used to understand the complexity of the human-environment relationship.” (Kopec, 3) When walking by Johnny Cupcakes on Newbury St. Boston, Massachusetts it is hard to know exactly what is sold inside. Many patrons are familiar with the brand, but some find themselves confused that there aren’t cupcakes being made or even sold. This inquiry acts as an instigator and triggers patrons to come inside. Patrons may have a negative or positive reaction to the ‘cupcake’ iconic symbolism, either way they are talking about the company. The positive and negative exposures have contributed to the popularity of the brand today. “These reactions to the space are situations that cause satisfaction or produce unpleasantness, also known as the goal objects and noxients. In negative cases, this psychology interacts with the personality of the concept, causing the brand to then be seen as the antagonist.” (Kopec, 3) When entering the space you are greeted with a general reception desk equipped with a cashier and at least one associate. In the floor plan shown to the left, you can see there is a fairly open floor plan with display cases around the perimeter. This is giving any visitor the most room to shop and look through the merchandize. In addition to the cashier/reception and the display cases, “the interior features antique refrigerators, baking racks, a 1930's dough mixer, a cast-iron wood-burning oven from the 1890s, and even hidden vanillascented air fresheners.” These unique details that are added to the space produce the realistic idea of a bakery and show how Earle is devoted to creating a one-of-a-kind brand global environment to share with his fans. Small touches, like the hidden vanilla-scented air fresheners, produce odor pollution in each of the stores but result in a positive feeling for the customers as they are browsing. The visual and sensual elements created in the space contribute to the comfortable bakery atmosphere. As you browse around the store you start to develop a sense of how and why the merchandize is displayed. “These supports and constraints are the environmental aspects that facilitate or restrict behaviors.”...
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