Retail choice: Boodle & Dunthorne

This 200-year-old company understands a thing or two about branding - and it delivers the basics well. In this context, this means insight, service and the delivery of a compelling experience.

While Boodles is undoubtedly in the jewellery retail market, it has recognised where its real value lies. It is actually a special events company, having identified that choosing, giving and receiving jewellery are unique emotional events in people's lives, charged with symbolism and memory.

It has created a genuinely impressive retail experience that goes beyond the store's spot lighting, marble flooring and personalised greeting.

Nor is it down to its leading-edge design or glossy brochures - although it has elements of all these.

The Boodle & Dunthorne experience makes you feel like you own the place, where your special occasion is rightly the centre of attention and where the jewellery acts as a well-chosen accomplice.

From the moment you are buzzed inside this personal world, you are made to feel special and at the heart of things. Glasses of champagne to facilitate the decision-making help.

All this is great branding because it starts with the basics of good retailing and builds meaning and value on top. It's substance then style, which is perhaps a lesson many younger brands could learn.

- Design Large Smith Walford.

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