Grenadier retail design
How Fresh designed a purpose led retail space to showcase Ineos’ revolutionary Grenadier
So, you’re one of the world’s biggest chemical companies and you decide to use your years of expertise and know-how to design and manufacture a high-end, no-nonsense, unrivalled off-road vehicle.
You give it a great name: The INEOS Grenadier.
So far, so good. Right?
Except when you come to sell this revolutionary vehicle, you realise your new product needs an established brand history, heritage, or iconography to aid product identity. A recognised retail identity and market presence would also be a big help…
You decide to call in a company whose knowledge and expertise cover all the above and whose ethos and culture complement your own.
So, you call on Fresh Design International.
With decades of retail design success and, a wealth of high-end automotive experience including the legendary Lexus and Harley Davison – Fresh was the perfect partner to help INEOS create a retail environment that communicates brand values and expertly showcases the product features to help them sell to essential buyers.
The Grenadier uniquely overlaps utility and lifestyle spaces, and Fresh understood that the design must reflect both.
INEOS knew their potential buyers to be self-reliant, free-spirited as well as tech-savvy, and well-versed in off-roading – more likely to traverse the forest or desert than the Waitrose carpark! So, Fresh took time to understand the customer, their psyche, and, importantly, their motivations for buying a new car.
The design needed to facilitate conversations with buyers about Grenadier’s impressive tech features and visually showcase its unique ability to handle a variety of tough terrains.
Finding the solution
Fresh chose a stripped-back aesthetic for the car to steal the show. Teamed with simple, strong branding, the retail space was designed in natural materials such as wood, metal, and leather to showcase The Grenadier’s key design features.
We identified that our design needed to mirror Ineos’ attitude of ‘removing the superfluous’ This called for a clean design that was tough, lean, capable, and undeniably fit for purpose.
Our design principles
- Built on purpose – does it need to be there? If not, get rid. No room for the superfluous!
- Nothing to hide, a stripped-back aesthetic
- Since Grenadier has no back story, focus on the modern and don’t try to create a missing heritage
Whilst we work with well-established companies with years of brand identity, our expertise also sees us assisting clients to bring a new product to market. We also understand commercially driven spaces and how they influence buying motivation.
Fresh identified a modular approach – meaning the design concept was flexible for adaptation as it was to be rolled out globally. From a single-car pop-up to exciting full-scale dealerships, all without compromising the central concept or changing design messaging.
Even in the simplest single-car pop-up, Fresh’s’ design places the car front and centre. The Grenadier is well-lit from above, inviting intricate inspection. And, because as we know, Grenadier customers are just as interested in the cars undercarriage as they are the (admittedly flawless) paint finish, the design features a mechanic-style inspection trolly, which allows them to check out the drivetrain, chassis and, anything else they fancy whilst they’re down there!
We showcased the car’s ability to navigate waist-deep water by drawing attention to the wadding depth (800mm/31.5 inches) with water depth gauges to reflect this measurement. The workbenches tops are stainless steel, the legs are black to the wading height.
Fresh’s bench and display unit designs draw inspiration from the purpose-led items that may be found in exhibition spaces – practical, strong, and robust. Constructed from heavy-duty timber with lockable wheels, they offer durability and easy repositioning for agents’ convenience.
Steel worktops feature etched engineering drawings of the car’s technical systems. More etchings adorn wooden panels and screens across the space, and large-scale maps of local areas present nearby trails and routes ready for buyers’ exploration. Over time, agents can attach photos and trinkets to create a unique, personalised display.
“The watchword when choosing details and accessories for the display areas was “authenticity” – so, for example, the table lamps are actual Anglepoise lamps, not lookalikes. It’s all about staying true to the core ‘Built on Purpose’ concept.” – Simon Wardle, Managing Director
An inspired design, inspired by design
The Grenadier’s carefully considered design provided a rich source of design inspiration. For example, the vehicle's powerful LED headlamps in an arched shape influenced Fresh’s lighting. Adopting the same arched template to form ‘halo’ lights above the hero vehicle display, we added another playful twist by insisting that the gap in the circle always points North.
“We loved the shape of the headlamps – it works perfectly as display lighting and the gap gives us the opportunity for a bit of fun – every expedition needs a compass… and of course we’re proud Northerners!”- Paul Innes, Creative Director
Grenadier’s leather steering wheel covers were repurposed for stools, benches, and backdrops in display units. These included exhibiting essential partnerships such as the Ineos Grenadiers cycling team and the Halo Trust landmine clearance. Additionally, the steel foldable tailgate camp table found in the cars was a back panel for clothing display units.
The journey to roll out
It was now time for us to test out our design creation. Two initial venues were selected to assess its effectiveness in two very different spaces – these included an open-plan industrial unit and a traditional car showroom.
The design worked very well indeed. Our findings during this process showed that the exact design of accessories such as furniture and flooring were less crucial than their perceived quality, allowing agents to use existing chairs, sofas, and suitable natural floor coverings (like concrete or rubber) if they met quality and material standards.
“The live venue step in the process highlighted a lot of useful stuff for us – not just in terms of what to include but also what to leave out: we’ve deliberately left voids in the design to allow the agents to add their own personality to the overall presentation.”– Simon Wardle, Managing Director
The final stage in Fresh’s design process was expansion. Our job was to convert The Grenadier concept into an entire facility – rolling out the design to fit an entire dealership, complete with a showroom, workshop, sales reception, and exterior spaces.
This result speaks volumes about the strength of the initial ideas. Some minor details changed, but the core concept remains and works brilliantly every time. Our design places The Grenadier as the star of every showroom and gives Ineos’s knowledgeable customers a chance to get up close and personal with the vehicle.
Exterior design features include a ‘playground’ for customers to discover the full extent of the extraordinary off-road capabilities. And, identifying that any potential buyers are purchasing for the purpose of expedition, Fresh included some other unique facilities – an outdoor events space for team gatherings, briefings, and seminars and an interior classroom for teaching expedition essentials for all levels (lesson one: how to load the roof-rack correctly!)
A training area is also available for self-repair workshops to show customers how to fix issues in event of their Grenadier being damaged.
By staying true to the initial concept throughout the design expansion process, we have successfully removed the superfluous. The design prioritises functionality and efficiency, leaving the vehicle centre stage and ensuring everything around serves its purpose and does so in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
“I think the key to this project was that we identified the right approach from the start – and that initial idea was so strong that, unusually, a lot of the ‘pure’ design concepts from the first iterations made it through to the rationalised, pragmatic finalised rollout.” – Simon Wardle, Managing Director
Want to see our design for yourself? Click here to find your nearest showroom.