Space NK Branding
Branding. Market Research. Trend Analysis.

Year 2017
Tools and methods: Focus group, In depth interview, Shop-along, Co-creation workshop
Client: Space NK, Metis Field Location: Shanghai
Team: Catherine Becker
Scope: Brand analysis, Trend analysis, Product Strategy, Retail Space Innovation


Space NK was born in UK, as a boutique beauty house, with a pharmaceutical touch to the brand image, famous for its signature concept design space all over the world. Before opening retail stores in more China cities, Space NK Apothecary needs to identify its Chinese “soul” for a long-term strategy which includes all the online platform setup, online marketing, product selection, logo, name, service supply, and with a focus of materializing the brand image to its retail space design.


Fashion and makeup brands targeting 21-35 years old Chinese young females often have to take some time to understand ‘beauty’ in a cultural and social context, as the meanings are always rapidly changing. Keywords such as aesthetics, lifestyle and aspiration can have new implications once every few months. It’s a matter of speed and willingness how brands look to catch up the social value.
The concept of beauty in China has evolved beyond the level of a visual perception, but to empower women to achieve peace on a sensual and more over a spiritual way. These lifestyle trends guide the young generation to look for added value behind a brand story.

Research process

Based on the beauty trend discovered at the preliminary stage, we’ve identified 3 types of competitive distributors in the China market for space NK with their signature product attribution and codes in the market. By mapping out the competitors, we have chosen 3 groups of competitor power users. We shop along with them in the current Space NK retails and their loyal beauty platforms following with a 3-hour in-depth interview.

The aspects we tried to tweak and improve include key attributes that construct a brand perception, including information channels, space design, product selection, packaging design, naming, logo and service design and its associated vision on life. In coherence with DNA of the original brand, which is a lot to do with healing in a natural way, we then come up with a directional brand platform. After running focus groups with both loyal and competitor users, we synthesis all our findings and held co-creations workshops together with users and marketing teams to translate the findings into design options.