Sense matrix

This matrix is a useful tool to use in the design process of a store interior or in the development of ideas for a new store concept.

It’s a design tool

This tool was created to bring support in the design process of physical stores. Before starting on this process, it is important to have a clear understanding of the brand values the project will be designed for, and more specifically those values the retailer wants to openly communicate. The type of product sold (e.g. fashion, lifestyle, electrical, etc.) and the building the store will be located in also need to be well defined. Indeed, the site can have a significant impact on the store experience. If an old building with lots of character is selected, and this character is emphasized in the design, it can add value to the store experience. On the other hand, if the building is considered as a box to be stripped out completely, the architectural experience will be less important and thus not be translated into sensory perceptions. The product sold can also play a role in the experience or have a sensorial translation. For instance, products such as soap and perfume diffuse a natural scent of their own, but one may also choose to artificially trigger the sense of smell. In the matrix, once the top horizontal axis has been completed with the brand's key values, these can be translated into proposed sensorial stimuli, also taking the building site and products into consideration.

5 senses to check






How to use them?

The first step is to decide which brand values will be translated into sensorial stimuli in the store concept. To create a rich experience, each of the senses should be stimulated at least once (through an expression of a brand value), with the exception of taste. It may be that a stimulus is a translation of several brand values, and vice versa: a brand value can be translated into several sensorial stimuli. Be careful not to over-stimulate however! It isn’t necessary for the stimuli to dominate the space. A scent, for instance, can be spread at a very low level, or may even be limited to a scented candle, depending on the context.