‘Know Thyself’: For Petroleum Brands, The Future of Retail is About Looking Within
When Terpel wanted to reinvent itself a few years back, the Columbian oil and gas company sought to envision the gas station of the future. The design for its next generation of properties included wing-like canopies flying over the pumps, along with service bars, modern furniture and other unexpected flourishes inside its c-stores. In a nod to modern day technologies, Terpel even explored a wide range of options that included gas canopies sporting solar panels, park-like “green” roofs, recycled-asphalt parking lots, and roof structures illuminated by dramatic skylights and energy-sipping LEDs.
Envisioning the future in this way can be a valuable exercise. But the point is not to make predictions that will come true in 10 or 20 years’ time. Rather, it is to make thinking creatively about how today’s trends might shape tomorrow’s gas stations a regular practice. And when it comes to today’s trends, one of the most important is the need to create and develop meaningful brand experiences. While petroleum companies will continue to try to differentiate themselves at the pump—offering the cheapest gasoline and/or the highest-performance additives—the fact remains that gas has become a commodity purchase for most consumers. How, then, do you get people to […]