Assouline is the luxury brand known for using culture as their medium, featuring both iconic books and gifts. Founded in Paris 15 years ago by Prosper and Martine Assouline, the New York based company offers books on fashion, design, art, architecture and lifestyle. The collection expands well past books and includes refined candles, notebooks, stationery sets, Proust Questionnaires, leather bags, and a hand selected collection of rare vintage finds. Assouline’s clients are comprised of the top companies in the fashion and design industries, architects and decorators, patrons of art and collectors, students and young new entrepreneurs.
The team at Columbia Business School and Parsons was given the challenge of determining what the high-end book publisher should do next. The study began by breaking down each facet of the company and conducting extensive background research on four major components: brand development, retail development, product line expansion, and services expansion.
Design Process & Business Solution
Recommendations to Assouline included the following courses of action: furniture design, creating a pop-up shop, starting charities and partnerships, forming a loyalty club, improving the newsletter, and developing smaller, less expensive items to be sold alongside books. The company asked the team to develop two ideas: online presence and a modular pop-up store.
From there, the students expanded upon web strategies, such as improving Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and new enhancements for the Assouline website. The design of the mobile boutique was reliant on the facts that it had to be self-contained, a modest size, and easy to ship. For this reason, a design based on the shape of a box was ideal. In the end, the team believes this is currently the most effective way for Assouline to build its brand awareness and move forward as a company. The concept of the mobile kiosk will increase consumers’ interaction with the brand and therefore assert Assouline’s omnipresence in the luxury world.
Columbia Business School
Parsons School of Design
Jin Sun Park