A Great Store Design – Oakland

The “Oomph” Factor

Having an awesome product line, superb customer service skills and a great location is just part of the battle of having a successful business. Owning a brick-and-mortar myself, I made the grave mistake of not putting much investment into building the interior/exterior of my first cafe in 2019. As a result, my customer retention took a major hit as months progressed. Yes, the drinks were good. And yes, the service was beyond the moon, however, the vibe was non-existent. The cafe was just shabby and did not have much “oomph” to it.

Throughout the years in operations, I began to study my competitors and other retail locations and came to terms that interior and exterior “vibes” were definitely important variables to consider. Unfortunately, I do not have an inch of design genes in me. And if you’re like me, I suggest you look into a third-party vendor who specializes in this industry. Instead of whamming my head into the wall trying to get my store all hip and sexy, I reached out to Kevin Lu of Redefine Brand who, in a matter of days, was able to turn the store at 349 7th st. in Oakland from a bland-and-dated piece of slab to something that’ll make you do a double-take.

Kevin Lu & Redefine Brand

redefine logo
Redefine Brand started in the wee years of 2014 and immediately took off. Just kidding, like any other business owner, Kevin, worked his ass off to get it off the ground. As the years progressed, Redefine Brand built a reputation in the community of providing out-of-the-box graphic designs, prints, and window installation services throughout the Bay Area. Kevin and his team will hold your hand all the way to the final installation. On top of that, they are quick and a great pleasure to work with. Don’t just take my word for it. Redefine Brand’s impact is visible as you walk through the streets of Oakland & San Francisco’s Chinatown. More than 40% of the banners and vinyl’s were designed/installed by Kevin and his team of ninjas. Just take a look at some examples of his work:

If you’re interested in seeing more of Kevin and Redefine Brand’s work, check out their Facebook page.

More Than Just a Pretty Face

As said above, customer retention is one of the more critical factors of having a sexy and hip store, however, there’s another added benefit: passive marketing. Great interior and exterior design will cost you a pretty dime, however, that investment is well worth it. With platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, and various other social media technologies being such dominant tools that enable us to share our daily lives with family and friends, having an eye-catching store design goes a long way.  A picture of your product with the sexily designed store as a backdrop will pay its dividends in the long run.

If you’re interested in a few more tips to increase traffic, check out this page here.

Ask For Help

Starting a business is not easy, especially if it’s the first business. I bootstrapped my first business with limited resources and was super deliberate on where to place my investments. But did you know that the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce has an ongoing grant to reimburse small businesses up to $500 for vinyl installation within their locale. Check out their page and reach out to see if your business qualifies.


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