As we report in our upcoming issue, the COVID-19 crisis has forced customers to take a crash course in how to meet all their consumption needs via digital channels. Now that physical spaces are beginning to welcome patrons again, there’s no doubt that how we use those spaces will look quite different for a while – or maybe even permanently. Today, more than ever, brands are having to define – and redefine – omnichannel strategies. How can they connect with their target market on every level, on- and offline?

It’s clear that these unprecedented times call for the exploration of new territories and possibilities. This is when a forward-facing strategy and design office like Atelier 522 – with offices in Lake Constance and Zürich – can really prove to be a boon. Equipped with a diverse team of interior designers, architects, product designers, graphic designers, communication designers and specialists, business economists, artists and philosophers, Atelier 522 is well versed in engaging an audience on multiple levels – physical and otherwise.

A brand might need a new showroom, for example, or a trade-fair stand. But what about all the other communication and content surrounding those spaces? Atelier 522 taps into its team of experts for the likes of photography, digital sales tools, films and more. The result is a holistic experiential offering, a seamless story told across many channels.

Take, for instance, Atelier 522’s package for the new product line of southern Germany-based material developers and consultants Steuler Fliesengruppe, Ceramic District. The concept was to ‘make the invisible visible’ – the ‘invisible’ in this case being the process of making a tile. The team understood the product as a valuable raw material, bringing to life both its tangible and intangible qualities in the physical and digital spheres.

They turned traditional business cards, stationery and brochures into something more tactile, for instance, something more in line with the intrinsic qualities of the ceramics in question. And by immersing themselves within the factory’s four walls, they were able to make a corporate film that feels anything but corporate while managing everything from the storyboard to the production and on-site staging. A trade-fair stand for EuroShop in Düsseldorf and a pop-up showroom at Passagen Cologne offered opportunities to weave this filmic layer into physical spaces that brought visitors up close and personal with Ceramic District’s products and materials.

The key across all channels? Communication. In order to do so flexibly, Atelier 522 rethought the idea of a sales brochure by giving it a digital presence. The result means that distance becomes redundant: clients working from an office, a home office, or even from the other side of the globe can all experience the same in-depth, behind-the-scenes content without being there in person. Which, in this era of social distancing, is all the more valuable.

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