BARNES AND NOBLE

THE ASK: REVIVE A DYING RETAIL BRAND.  


BITE SIZE.

THE BUSINESS PROBLEM
Barnes and Noble is part of a dying category. Brands in the brick- and-mortar bookstore industry have yet to figure out their role in a digital world. It was clear that Barnes and Noble was lost and didn’t have a clear purpose.

THE BIGGER PROBLEM
During our research we stumbled upon an even bigger issue. We are in the midst of an imagination crisis. People are opting for passive activities that require little thought or imagination, including less time spent reading.

THE OPPORTUNITY
Your imagination is just like any other muscle in your body. It must constantly be worked and nurtured.

THE BRAND PURPOSE
Barnes and Noble nurtures an endless imagination.

THE INSIGHT
Books are just a medium. Stories are the substance.

THE STRATEGY
Spark imagination through stories.

THE CREATIVE CONCEPT
Barnes and Noble is where all types of stories come to life. 


THE CREATIVE

NEW VISUAL IDENTITY

We wanted to give Barnes and Noble an adaptable logo that allows the brand to highlight any given story. 


BRAND MANIFESTO

It’s easy to stay inside our boxes.

Our boxes are our daily routines, our jobs, our habits of thinking. They are comfortable and familiar. They present no threats to our sense of normalcy. On the outside lies uncharted territory.

Our imagination muscle has the ability to lift us out of our boxes. But the longer we stay inside, the weaker our imagination muscle becomes. Soon enough, we become too weak to leave. Seeing over the walls of our confines becomes too difficult. And connecting with others becomes nearly impossible.
Before we lose our humanity, we must venture into the unknown. But we need something to lure us there. 

Storytelling is our temptation. Stories call to us when we are isolated from the world. They drive us to imagine realities other than our own -- to be empathetic with people with whom we have nothing in common. Stories replenish our humanity by strengthening our imagination muscle enough to leave our boxes behind.

And when we do, we find limitless new perspectives. We make new connections, enjoy creativity, and never get bored.

We can see the whole world. And the whole world can see us, too. 

Barnes & Noble
Where Stories Live
 
 

PRINT

Click to enlarge.

OUT OF HOME

We wanted to catch people at times they weren’t being inspired to be creative or imaginative.

 
 
 
 

DIGITAL
UPDATED APP

The current Barnes and Noble app had little value to consumers outside of browsing and purchasing books. We wanted to update the digital experience by introducing more uses for the app, such as checking your membership details or up-coming events.

 
 

EMPLOYEE UPDATE

 

Employees should be a part of the storytelling. By displaying personal stories on their shirts, they can be. 


RETAIL REDESIGN

If you have ever been to a Barnes and Noble store, you know the space is extremely overwhelming, crowded, and boring. But, Barnes and Noble's physical locations offer up a huge opportunity that most of our digital competitors can't– a tangible experience. We wanted to make sure we took advantage of the huge stores in our redesign. 

The redesign focused on creating a welcoming space full of greenery and experiences to inspire your imagination. 


HUNGRY FOR MORE?

THE SITUATION
It seemed like Barnes & Noble had been on its final chapter for years. Slumping sales, closing stores, and a big swing and a miss with the Nook have hurt the bookstore chain.

In the process of researching the business problems troubling Barnes and Noble, we came across another issue: less and less people are reading.

This meant we had to find a new purpose for Barnes and Noble.  

THE IMAGINATION CRISIS
The decline in reading is part of a shift in how people are living their lives. People are opting for passive activities that require little thought or imagination. Kids prefer video games to reading. Before going to bed, adults choose to scroll through their phones rather than picking up a book. Society as a whole is becoming less conducive to imagination and creative thinking. Creativity and imagination are suffering. This has big consequences; consequences that reach far beyond a decline in book sales.

WHY IS THIS A BIG DEAL?
Lack of imagination has consequences at all ages.

THE OPPORTUNITY
“Imagination is like a muscle, the more you nurture it, the larger it becomes.” 

Everyone is creative and imaginative in their own way. Just like any other muscle in your body, you need to constantly work on your imagination to build it. You need to nurture it. 

THE PURPOSE
Barnes and Noble can prove it is more than a bookstore by taking a stance against the imagination crisis. 

Barnes and Noble nurtures endless imagination.

THE INSIGHT
While reading is just one way to build and boost imagination, we quickly realized that it isn’t just about the book. Books are just a medium. Stories are the substance.

THE STRATEGY
Spark imagination through stories.

THE CREATIVE CONCEPT
These stories come to life in many forms. You read them, write them, hear them, tell them– in books, music, pictures, photographs, and conversations. They take you to worlds you’ve never known, introduce you to people you’ve never met. They open our mind to new possibilities. Barnes and Noble can live beyond books by bringing stories to life.

Barnes and Noble is where all types of stories come to life. 


The Team: Naomi Bradley-Jean (XD), Casey Philips (AD), Ted Greyson (AD), Carly Harrison (ST), Satchee Malhotra (ST),Thea Ryan (CW).