About the interaction between light, space and people at RIBAG
BY MIA HOFMANN
(Published in The Produktkulturmagazin issue 1 2018)
Light is culture. Light supports architecture and sharpens perception. With the appropriate lighting solutions, Swiss lighting specialist RIBAG is creating moods in which people feel comfortable, work more efficiently and can relax in peace. The new brand presence with an online shop is not only appealing for its design, but also and particularly for its sophisticated functionality.
Darkness. A white line becomes a surface, becomes space. Shadows that move. A man. At first dark, and then brighter, in the light. Visitors to the new RIBAG Licht AG website are welcomed by a video. This allows the new motto developed by Stämpfli AG to be felt directly: “RIBAG inspires people and cultivates spaces.” The brand claim condenses this philosophy into a single word: “Cultivated.” Because light is culture and gives people the means to shape reality according to their tastes. This is precisely why light, space and the human being are the three central elements of the new design concept that Stämpfli Communications developed for the family-owned RIBAG company.
The project grew over the course of the collaboration. In the beginning there was an invitation to tender in which 20 providers were welcomed to submit their proposals with regard to product information management (PIM). To do this, they had to answer a catalogue of requirements and submit a rough offer. In a next step, four providers were invited to make a presentation. Stämpfli was awarded the order for the PIM system and online shop. “We sealed our mutual trust with a handshake”, says Elmar Eichmann, consultant for publication systems at Stämpfli. “It was nice to be able to start out with such a pleasant collaboration with a customer.”
It began with two kick-off days including a technical workshop for PIM. Initially, the plan was to have the design created by another provider, but RIBAG Licht AG now decided to award this order to Stämpfli as well. This made it possible to have everything under a single roof, where things could be coordinated with one another. Thanks to the inspiration that was ongoing throughout the process, the customer came up with more and more requests and new ideas. The original order, which had been conceived as a pure PIM solution, evolved into a comprehensive online marketing project. And it all happened in a very short period of time. Within seven months of technical implementation, the release of the website, including the shop and the underlying PIM system, had been implemented in a wholly new look.
Simple, functional, and with timeless design – that is how RIBAG light solutions have presented themselves for more than 20 years. The company from the Safenwil in the Swiss canton of Aargau is known for its appealing lighting concepts in connection with discerning architecture. This knowledge formed the point of departure for the new brand presentation and was taken up by Stämpfli Communications in the form of scaled-back visuals and an intuitive operating concept. The site’s interaction design was specifically tailored to customer needs: At the top left, there is always a menu bar with the individual products that can be dropped down at any time; on the right – as is standard today – is the menu in which information about the company can be found. The website is thus very functional, and yet at the same time it covers the image dimension perfectly, as it also presents the company’s core messages and inspiring content.
But the new RIBAG world is appealing not only for its design, but also and particularly for its sophisticated functionality. At the heart of the vitalised brand is the extended web presence with integrated online shop solution. The mediaSolution3 PIM system is ready to assist with product data maintenance. PIM systems make it possible to manage all product disclosures centrally, in a time and cost-effective way, and to prepare these automatically via single-source publishing. The software can be set up in modular form and tailored to each customer. In order to ensure this complex interaction, three service areas – Stämpfli Communications, Stämpfli Internet and Stämpfli Publication Systems – joined forces. Because each of these three service areas is absolutely state-of-the-art in its own field, this specialisation brought the customer nothing but benefits. Because all three work together under one roof at Stämpfli AG, this ensures many synergies and a smooth transfer of expertise.
What is new about the RIBAG website is that B2B customers can now order all products directly. This is made possible by the online shop Magento. It is responsive, and so it is attractively displayed on all terminals – from the smartphone to the tablet to the desktop computer. Products can be selected directly by image, and variants and accessories can also be viewed in all colour shades and with the necessary technical data. These are consistently structured, clearly presented and can also be folded in if desired.
Genuine added value is provided thanks to the link between the online shop and the mediaSolution3 product information management system. The store is directly provisioned with data from the PIM and thus automatically updated when customised. The PIM system functions as central management for all data. This can also be used to create automatically generated print publications such as product-information flyers. This way, data can be tailored to the desired layout at no additional cost and made attractively accessible in different ways. For instance, this makes it impossible for a catalogue to no longer to correspond with the price list or website, as the data is stored centrally in a single location. RIBAG Licht AG decided to change its approach and transact most business online, improving the degree of automation and reducing vulnerability to error.
Thanks to the PIM system, the entire marketing operation of the renowned family-owned business is more efficient, with time-to-market reduced. RIBAG is thus perfectly equipped to work smoothly with its dealers across all the touchpoints. On the one hand, professionals quickly and easily reach detailed information about the products; on the other, the website offers a source of inspiration for architects and end customers alike. The new presentation by the Stämpfli company is timeless. Plain and clear at first glance, it comes equipped with all the desired features. This corresponds to the customer’s requirements. As Andreas Richner, CEO at RIBAG Licht AG, put it: “A good idea does not follow a short trend, and is always carefully thought through to its conclusion.” This is also the exact principle that applies to RIBAG’s products: with simple, functional lights in a timeless design.
The interplay of the three elements of light, space and human beings runs through all levels of the presentation, from the imagery to the product and service worlds. “A new design or a fresh claim are only the basis”, explains Katja Dürig, Creative Director at Stämpfli Communications. “Along with this, it also has to succeed in making brand vitalisation part of the user’s direct experience.” For this reason, RIBAG and Stämpfli sought cooperation with professionals in the cultural sector. The welcome video is a work by Zurich-based media artist and interaction designer Simòn Aurel Schwarz, who has made an art of atmospheric light play. An environmental scientist by training, he completed his second degree at the Zurich University of the Arts. In the video for RIBAG, he sets the light accents exclusively with the AROA lamp, in this way staging spaces that previously did not exist. The music was also created especially for this project: It is designed by Argovia Philharmonic, the most prestigious orchestra in the Swiss canton of Aargau. Additional collaborations with artists are planned in the future.
Stämpfli AG ranks among the leading providers of PIM (mediaSolution3), online shop solutions (Magento) and comprehensive communication services in Switzerland, Austria and Germany.
RIBAG Licht AG
Picture credit © Stämpfli Kommunikation, Thai Christen