Ministry aims for beautiful Finnish

London consultancy Design Ministry is preparing design concepts for the identity for a chain of standalone beauty stores in Finland, which it is due to present next month.

Retail chain Stockmann is planning to launch around 30 Stockmann Beauty stores, which are scheduled to open this summer across Finland.

It is Design Ministry’s first work in Finland. Managing director Valerie Lloyd presented credentials to several Finnish retailers after actively seeking out receptive European markets with the help of the Department for Trade and Industry.

She commissioned a report from the DTI on emerging markets in Europe and travelled to Finland in September 2001 to meet with prospective clients.

‘We were keen to work in Nordic countries, and Finland has proved a relatively easy market to penetrate as most people speak English perfectly,’ says Lloyd.

The specialist beauty market in Finland is quite different to the UK, says Design Ministry creative director John Cameron.

Scandinavians place a greater emphasis on skincare than in Britain, as they have a much harsher climate, and are less influenced by advertising and ‘wild product claims’, Cameron says.

Finns are less accustomed to beauty retail brands, such as Sephora, but Stockmann is a very well known retailer, he adds.

The consultancy has been briefed to create an identity that will work across different media, including television, packaging and the Internet as well as print. Its work for Stockmann may include own-brand packaging, but nothing has yet been decided, says Cameron.

Design Ministry presented credentials against ‘five or six’ groups, says Lloyd. It already works with clients in Austria, Italy and France among other countries.

Stockmann Beauty will join four existing commercial divisions at Stockmann: department stores, vehicles, mail order and e-commerce division Hobby Hall, and fashion store chain Seppälä.

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