Building Brand Experiences, Literally

go site Since its creation in late 2012, our Brand Image Design unit (a.k.a. our architects) has grown into one of Avantgarde’s biggest departments. Heading the Munich-based unit is Marc Ottinger. He has a vast background in architecture and brand design, and has worked in creative director roles for various leading companies such as Liganova, KMS Team, and Schmidhuber. We sat down with Marc to get a lowdown on the role of architecture in creative brand experiences.

First of all, are you a real architect?

I hold an engineering degree in architecture from the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt and hold a masters degree in Conceptual Design from the Architectural Class of Städelschule Frankfurt, and I am a listed member of the Architectural Chamber in Stuttgart. I have all required credentials to erect brand buildings and spaces.

Marc Ottinger, Head of Avantgarde’s Brand Image Design unit

Why is architecture an integral part of brand experiences?

Integrated brand experiences are a successful interplay of various creative disciplines, and combine physical and virtual as well as analog and digital touch points. Whatever a brand’s needs, we can work across channels and disciplines to create the best solution for the brand. Our unit “Brand Image Design” is key in designing spatial brand entities and it completes an integrated brand experience.

What kind of architectural projects do you work on at Avantgarde?

We don’t have a predefined concept of a brand experience. The scope of our architectural projects ranges from the smallest unit, for example a brand display, over bigger projects such as events, exhibitions, roadshows, trade show booths, showrooms and finally to the brand architecture of standalone buildings. Does it mean that you have to build whatever the creative idea dictates?

Its spatial characteristic makes brand architecture quite often an important if not the most important discipline in a project. We collaborate closely with our other creative and digital departments to make sure our creative idea gets presented and executed in the best way possible. To work within and balancing between these sometimes conflicting fields is what defines Avantgarde’s architecture and enriches it in every detail. we offer a truly holistic approach to the brand and its architecture.

source url How many people work in your department? 

Since its creation in September 2012 we have grown to 10 full-time employees.

What would be a standout example of your work at Avantgarde?

For the Olympic Winter Games  2014 Avantgarde built a standalone pavilion in the Olympic Park in Sochi. The brand architecture became the canvas for the creative idea of the world’s first living medal count. We were in charge of all work phases – from concept, draft to execution, construction, lighting and audio-visual technology – and coordinated all local contractors.

Another would be the Porsche Brand Pop Up concept stores we built in New York, London and Shanghai. The idea was to bring the brand and its products closer to its future customers. We developed a modern take on a record store that let visitors experience the brand Porsche in an all-new way. 16 different “records” told the stories of the fascinating sports car brand in an equally fascinating way. Once again we took care of everything from planning to execution with local partners.

We designed and built all event locations for a MINI dealer event in Helsinki, we’ve taken care of Porsche’s presence at the 24h in Le Mans as part of the endurance championship (and will do so again for the third time this year), we’ve built trade show booths, showrooms, festival lounges… The list goes on and on.

What makes being an architect for brand experiences special?

We turn creative ideas into reality. We always tell a captivating certain story through our work. There is no doubt: If you want to have a lasting experience you have to experience it in real life. This is what our work is about: conveying positive emotions through space.

By the way, our Brand Image Design department in Munich is hiring: Click here for a job description (in German) and application link!