Shopping Culture

An overview of our magazine articles that deal with digital and analog retail touchpoints and commerce.

Understanding and Leveraging Customer Decision-Making

Behavioral Economics – How Your Customers Make Decisions

The relationship between man and business is complex. In the business world, rational decision-making and compelling argumentation are valued and the goal is to make numbers bigger and bigger. But there is more to human beings than the rational side. How can companies and brands benefit from consumer irrationality?


Retail 2018: The Tensions Between Online & Offline

Google opens its first "Experience Store", Amazon enters the brick-and mortar bookstore and grocery business while German discount supermarket chains Aldi and Lidl successfully ignore digitalization. Is this the backlash of the analog? Or are online and offline rather two sides of the same coin? Our new Trendletter Retail shows how retailers combine the best of both worlds.

Sign of the Times

Reading for Busy People

Quick reads are a surging market. Even tradition-steeped publisher Reclam sees this as a sturdy trend. Its series of 100-page books covers subjects ranging from superheroes and Twin Peaks to John F. Kennedy, Jane Austen, Ötzi the Iceman and human rights. Is this series a marker of how reading habits have changed?

Social Media Analysis

Romantic Hikers on Instagram

Advertising always reflects the zeitgeist, but photos and videos posted to social media yield much more direct insight into societal shifts—something classic advertising firms have picked up on. Simon Bieling is exploring this for us in a series of articles, starting with a look at the latest developments in outdoor outfitting.

Sign of the Times

Beauty for Hipsters

How do you identify a grooming product for men? Until recently, it had to be big, heavy and angular like the stereotypical man himself. Top that with multiple functions, for men have more important things to do than hanging out in the bathroom. But then, the hipster entered the stage. His codes of masculinity are inconsistent, his style often androgynous.

Visual Culture

Paper Is Dead. Long Live Paper

In spite of the prophecies predicting the demise of paper, Kindle and the internet have not killed the material. Our image gallery presents new and original takes on paper in fashion, architecture, perfume – and the paper industry itself.


5 Questions for … Filmmaker Cyril Dion

In our interview series ”5 Questions for…“ we feature visionaries, thought leaders and creative minds from all over the world. Today French director Cyril Dion shares his hopes for a better tomorrow, despite uncertain times.

A Scent for Farmers – Interview with Perfume Expert Dr. Bodo Kubartz on Multisensory Design

Chemical producer BASF surprised German farmers with a rather unusual Christmas present: Its “exclusive fragrance for men Eau de BASF“ advertises a manure stabilizer. Perfume expert Dr. Bodo Kubartz explains the marketing campaign and gives us some insights into multisensory design.

Androgyny: Is “Inbetween“ the New Mainstream?

The once rigid concept of man/woman is steadily dissolving and making room for a colorful variety of gender identities: In pop culture, fashion and beauty unisex is replaced by androgyny.

Unwrapped: We Hate to Love Plastic Packaging – But There Are Alternatives

Many consumers disagree with unnecessary plastic packaging. Supermarkets that offer unpackaged foods are on the rise in Europe. But good shopping resolutions soon start to waver when they don’t fit the daily routine. And then there are the producers, suppliers and salespeople for whom goods that are well-packaged are terribly convenient. It might be time to think outside the box, as they say...

Ford peers into the future of mobility … and the world

US carmaker Ford has published the fourth issue edition of its trend study entitled Looking Further with Ford. The ten trends discussed indicate where the journey may be heading for mobility and society at large in 2016.

Why More and More Online Shops Open Brick and Mortar Stores

It hasn't been very long that retail experts projected the demise of stationary retail because of the seemingly unstoppable success of online shops. Surprisingly, these very online shops have now begun opening analogue shops and flagship stores themselves. Our author Autor Viktor Szukitsch has the details.

Relationship Culture

Committed: A Cultural Relationship Study by STURM und DRANG

Does digitalization change how we relate to each other? How do we bond with others when opportunities to meet new people increase constantly, when life gets ever more transient? And how can brands create close relationships with and positive social experiences for their customers? STURM und DRANG convened international experts and multiple generations of consumers to discuss relationships.

The More in ‘Less is More’ – On the Culture of ‘Free From’ Products

It is hardly surprising that cosmetic manufacturers have given up on alcohol, parabens and aluminum as ingredients for their products. However, they are also increasingly promoting them as “free from perfume” – the very feature which used to be the quintessential means of differentiation. Where does the sudden sobriety come from? Our author Dr. Bodo Kubartz explains.

“Today’s Generation of Consumers is Interested in Identity Consumption.”

Consumers want to grow and develop. They choose a brand not because of what it sells, but because of why it offers something. Marketing must therefore both surprise and irritate. In an interview with “Absatzwirtschaft“ magazine, brand-focused consumer psychologist Stefan Baumann talks about customer satisfaction and the need for brand repositioning.

Can big data tell us who we are?

In his new book "Dataclysm", Christian Rudder, co-founder of one of the leading international dating sites OkCupid, suggests a new way of gaining insights about human behavior.

Our Inner Black Box – Adam Alter’s ‘Drunk Tank Pink’

Adam Alter, associate professor of marketing at New York University's Stern School of Business, believes that people's efforts to construct their reality are invariably informed by subconscious cues.

The Poetics of Brands – an Interview

We met with literary scholar Dr. Björn Weyand, whose dissertation “Poetik der Marke” (“Brand Poetics”) was recently published. He gave us some insights into the history of brands and branding, and explained to us why it is that the superficial is often more interesting than “deeper meaning” behind it.

Visual Culture

These Chaps Are Fine and Dandy

Gentleman culture is celebrating a comeback. Handcrafted footwear, bespoke suits and traditional brands are in high demand these days. Barber shops are springing up, even the good old shoeshine is back. But in 2014, dandyism is being reinterpreted in a wide array of styles. A new photo book and a range of men’s style blogs feature dandies as elegant, garish, traditionalistic, tongue-in-cheek, flip

Wowcracy: Everybody’s Fashion Week

Fashion trends emerge and change at an ever-increasing pace. International high street giants display new pieces every week, offering even more selection in their online stores. Indie designers and newcomers have a hard time asserting themselves in this accelerated industry. Enter Wowcracy, a new fashion platform that tries to connect up- and-coming designers, fashionistas and sponsors.

The Clothes Make the Brand – Dimensions of Corporate Fashion

Fashion and brands find common cause in increasing their attractiveness. Ralph Lauren, Versace, Chanel – all the major fashion labels do more than simply design eye-catching fashion collections. These popular brand names translate into foolproof fashion, and give wearers a feeling that should not be underestimated, namely that they are wearing the right brand for their individual lifestyle.

Interview with Prof. Dr. Drügh: Aesthetics of the Supermarket

Sturm und Drang interviewed Prof. Dr. Drügh and we explored supermarkets in the arts. Recently, Drügh has published an essay on the subject in the journal “POP. Kultur und Kritik” with a discussion of pop music, which he says have an ambivalent attitude stance towards supermarkets.

Brave New Retail

Online shopping becomes increasingly popular. Last year, consumers spent €37.3 billion buying goods and services online, representing a 25 percent jump versus 2011, which was already strong year. Many retailers feel they are under attack by online retailers. The latest boogeyman are “showroomers”: shoppers who come into a store to look around only to search for the online and buy the product there

Food Culture

Street Eats Deluxe: The Big Food Truck Story

Food Trucks are a far step from the infamous roach coaches of the past. Food trucks are hip, offer high quality meals for little money and tend to serve much more innovative dishes than brick and mortar restaurants.

Made in Vancouver: Aesthetics of the Wild West

Vancouver street style may be dominated by outdoor jackets, rainboots and yoga pants, but a hot little design scene is thriving. These young designers produce locally, are eco-conscious and inspired by urban and natural landscapes.

The Invention Of The Corporate Currywurst

Germany is talking a lot about food lately. The current debate is centered on several food scandals ranging from horsemeat in frozen products to dangerous molds in animal feed. These scandals have had a positive effect of raising consumer awareness about the food they eat. But winning minds is not the same thing as winning hearts, and one food has a lock on the country’s affections.

Owls, Owls Everywhere

Who in the heck is the PR consultant for owls? Whoever it is, they seem to be doing a bang-up job lately. Owls and other woodland creatures are suddenly en vogue, peering at us from every turn in all areas of consumer culture.

Apple World

With the death of Steve Jobs one year ago on October 5, 2011, the now most valuable exchange-traded company of all time lost its most crucial visionary and strategist. The conditio humana has ever been key to the brand's tremendous success.

‘Fun, Fresh, Fast and Connected’ – Adidas

A serious new competitor is emerging in the hotly contested German market for teenage fashion, as Adidas opens a new flagship store for its Neo brand practically every week in major cities across the country. One thing can be said of the company: it IS fast.