As an important anchor point of urban space and the most qualitative urban landmark, brick-and-mortar bookstores have become the cultural symbols and knowledge production sites for urban image construction. However, under the overlapping influence of the new media featuring mobile internet and the new pneumonia epidemic, physical bookstores are facing unprecedented competition and difficulties. As a public space and cultural carrier that embodies the spirit of place, physical bookstores have gone through a phase of policy and traffic bonuses, such as upgrading the "face" of the physical space, introducing the "bookstore+" model, and live-streaming goods, and have become a compound of the local creation, local recognition, and local reconstruction in either ancient or novel ways. The bookstore has become a composite space for local creation, local recognition, and local reconstruction, and has been able to use diversified and varied modes of cross-border operation to feed its costs.
Previous research on physical bookstores has focused on spatial characterization, brand recognition construction, book marketing strategies, and other display representations, while neglecting the interconnectedness and inter-embedding of the physical bookstore space scene itself with media, culture, technology, and consumption dimensions. Therefore, how to promote the attractiveness and adsorption power of the multi-dimensional scenes in concept, design, operation, and consumption through differentiated shaping and extension of the space in a misaligned competition has become a focus of attention for urban image enhancement and transformation, and upgrading of cultural and creative industries.
The connotation and extension of attractive scenes
"Attractiveness" is one of the scarce attention resources in today's modern society with rapid technological iteration. As a physical bookstore with commercial, cultural, and media attributes, the question of how to realize the organic interplay of these three attributes and jointly enable the knowledge service, functional positioning, scene layout and spatial reconstruction of bookstores has become a pressing issue for academia and the industry to consider.
1. The concept of "attractive scenes" emerges
The physical entity, interactive practice, and cultural spirit together constitute the essence of the cultural space of a physical bookstore. As a composite space that aggregates different functions, how to enhance the attractiveness of physical bookstores based on the pre-defined knowledge interaction function is the direction of development for the future scenario-based marketing optimization of the industry and the upgrading of consumption in the cultural industry. The term "attractive scenes" originally originated from the analysis of the concept of "attractive movies" in early American Hollywood film theory. Tom Gannon, the originator of the theory, believed that viewers should not use movies as a mere narrative, but as a collection that presents a series of landscapes. In other words, attraction appeals directly to the viewer's attention, arousing his or her visual curiosity and providing aesthetic pleasure through an exciting sensory experience. Thus, the fundamental purpose of producing "attraction" is to shock the audience and to experience a change in perception.
The above concept is extended to the attraction scene, which mainly refers to the comprehensive use of information, physical objects, images, text, sound, and other scene elements to enhance the user's visual experience and sense of form, and ultimately achieve high user stickiness and gradually become a spatial cultural gathering point. At present, the cultural elements of different times and regions tend to merge, and the physical space and virtual space are gradually blurring their boundaries and taking on the characteristics of "decentralization" in the process of mobile Internet inter-embedding. The scope of attractive scenes includes both physical and virtual spaces. Among them, the characteristics of freedom, openness, and participation give users differentiated social interaction and emotional connection, and become the environmental foundation and prerequisite for the construction of the attraction scene.
2. The physical bookstore as an "attraction scene
The brick-and-mortar bookstore has become an integrated platform for the reproduction and dissemination of knowledge within the city. With the booming development of media technology, the physical scene of physical bookstores has gradually formed an embodied relationship with users under the new media connection of screen reading and intelligence, making their bodies a "location medium". The spatial fusion and virtual-real connection have reconstructed the consumption scenes of physical bookstores, creating a sense of local attachment for users/readers, and thus further enhancing the recognition and user stickiness of bookstores. As a new scene created by the superposition of communication media and urban geographic space, physical bookstores are no longer spatial coordinates on a map, but a neighborhood integration scene embedded with the cultural attributes of the city. Bookstores can create a new urban cultural landscape through their scene attraction, like a fun-filled "playground" where every passerby can become a potential user/reader of the bookstore and feel "invited" by different scene symbols.
As an attraction scene, the high penetration of technology helps physical bookstores to continuously integrate new spaces as their scene elements, and the new bookstore scene will activate the activity of the reader community and change people's behavior so that readers'/users' experience will be continuously satisfied. It can be said that through the sensory experience, social experience, and emotional experience brought by the attraction scene, physical bookstores are creatively producing new "scene expectations" based on the logic of the new scene marketing vehicle, empowering precise attraction, and at the same time providing useful lessons for the real economy industry to open up the online and offline omnichannel marketing chain and realize the scene attraction. The transformation and upgrading of marketing provide a useful reference.
Structural remodeling and scenario attraction challenges
With the new pneumonia epidemic gradually under control, physical bookstores have achieved a partial "rebound" through live marketing and other means. However, in the post-epidemic era, brick-and-mortar bookstores are facing the challenges of the structural reshaping of their operating models and changing scenarios of attractiveness due to the normalization of physical distance and the overlapping influence of various factors such as policy, technology, culture, and natural environment.
1. The Newcastle pneumonia epidemic affects readers' experience of the presence
The unanticipated crisis of the Newcastle pneumonia epidemic has had a huge impact on global economic development, and although China was one of the first countries to step back into production, the current reality of the normalization of epidemic prevention and control continues to hit brick-and-mortar bookstores. The inability of physical bookstores to effectively meet the expectations of readers/users has led to a weakening of their demand for physical bookstore space, while the rise of digital reading businesses in some bookstores has inadvertently increased the distance between readers and bookstores. The attraction scene focuses on the sensory experience of "physical presence" and the interplay of "shopping", "partying" and "punching". The attraction scene focuses on the physical presence of the senses and the interplay of "shopping," "partying," and "punching," and uses event marketing and brand communication as a means of adsorption. How to position the new operation, functional layout, and scene expansion of physical bookstores so that they can gain long-term space availability is an urgent issue for practitioners.
2. The positioning dilemma of scene function
Since the 1980s, the business model of physical bookstores has gradually broken through the narrow perception of the traditional functional attributes of bookstores, with "composite retail", "experiential consumption", and "high-value space "The marketing and promotion models such as "bookstore+" have become the basis for the functional positioning and sustainable development of physical bookstores nowadays. However, contemporary factors such as urban area planning, internal and external investment, and urban industrial location renewal have also brought about structural dilemmas in bookstore brand operations. In particular, the marketing model based on hardware upgrades is easy to imitate, while the experiential marketing model of overlaying composite businesses has not solved the dilemma of meager profits and readership loss. First of all, some physical bookstores emphasize the concept of diversified operation and experiential consumption to follow the pace of urban renewal, from "simply selling books" to the scene shaping of "cultural collection" nowadays, resulting in the gradual elimination of the original attributes of urban reading space, resulting in the weakening of its main function as a knowledge and production space. The main function of the production space tends to be weakened. Especially in first-tier cities, these bookstores lack recognition and branding due to the overall planning of the city or the design style of the leisure district. Secondly, the continued squeeze on digital space consumption has led to a deterioration in the profit margins and survival of physical bookstores. Some of the physical bookstores have attached importance to the concept of platform management and accumulated "seeders" through various online channels, but how to re-examine and reposition the location and functional attributes of physical bookstores, balance the interaction between media, culture, and business with conceptual innovation, and dig deeper from the "Netflix card" to "traffic cash"? However, there are relatively few countermeasures to analyze how to re-examine and reposition the location and functional attributes of physical bookstores, balance the interaction between media, culture, and business with conceptual innovation, and deeply explore the value chain of services aimed at shifting from "Netflix" to "traffic realization".
3. Homogenization of operations and lack of brand competitiveness
For most of the existing brick-and-mortar bookstores, although their business philosophy has been adjusted in response to changes in policy and the market, the convergent thinking of repeated transformation, iterative operation, and "everything in the cloud" has not solved the real dilemma of operation and development. Over-reliance on physical space and the lack of core competitiveness of the internal marketing model is the crux of the problem. For one, along with the integration of multicultural elements in the construction of urban culture, the boundaries of cultural styles are increasingly blurred in the post-modern cultural trend. Many brick-and-mortar bookstores have hired famous designers to make radical changes to their spaces, resulting in the blossoming of the "most beautiful bookstores", but the high degree of convergence in design styles, channels, and resource layouts has led to aesthetic fatigue of readers/visitors, and the weakening of humanistic service quality has directly caused the long-tail effect of bookstore brands. Weakness in the quality of humanistic services directly contributes to the long-tail effect of the bookstore brand. Second, as a cultural industry that relies on the emotional connection between knowledge operators and readers, the convergence of scene construction will make it difficult to achieve accurate, dynamic, and personalized knowledge service content supply. Third, the homogenization of operations directly leads to the disconnection of the marketing chain of physical bookstores' attractive IP mining and extension, which can effectively attract, stimulate and move consumers to join the scene experience and consumption. However, the homogenization of the space has not only failed to create a literary sentiment and scene for consumers, but also exacerbated its business difficulties, limiting the extension of its IP value chain up and downstream.
The "Four Forces" to Enhance the Attractiveness of Bookstores
For the current urban brick-and-mortar bookstores, the traditional online and offline scenario marketing approach is no longer sufficient to meet the needs of readers/users. One of the future directions is to transform, update and leapfrog the marketing concept and business model in a timely and appropriate manner. Specifically, the following four areas can be explored.
1. Cultural IP embedding to enhance the symbiotic power of bookstore scenes
The capacity and characteristics of the physical bookstore scene have the characteristics of sustainable energy enhancement and new scene incubation. In the exploration of bookstore operators' operation models that transform different styles and themes, the implantation of specific IPs can enrich the attractiveness of the bookstore scene and continuously increase user participation and attention, mainly including mode IP, content IP, space IP, theme publication IP, etc. All of these IPs have the function of bridging the gap between physical space and consumer practice, and can therefore be accommodated by bookstores as cultural IPs to strengthen their brand effects. cultural IPs are embedded symbols to shape attractive scenes and enhance brand competitiveness and are also one of the important elements to test the quality of bookstore scenes in terms of theme setting, brand positioning, and channel promotion. With the trend of integrating scenes as the main space layout, the interpretation of cultural IP in physical bookstores should take into account multiple factors such as the content dimension and the mode dimension.
First, in terms of the content dimension, the design and adaptation of the urban physical bookstore scene in terms of regional location, landscape architecture, display placement, and selection of thematic publications become a fundamental element to attract readers, increase visibility, expand competitiveness and continue the brand effect. For example, the Beijing All Access Bookstore, which opened at the end of 2020, opened for the first time in Beijing's Shougang Park, which retains memories of the industrial era. The location of the bookstore is inside the three blast furnaces of Shougang Park, which covers an area of about 6,000 square meters, providing visitors with both a strong visual impact and a shocking appreciation effect, as well as a unique opportunity to experience the overlapping scenes of cultural and creative space and industrial space, creating a unique attractive scene in the urban context, i.e. "bookstore + factory The bookstore + factory".
Second, in terms of the specific scene, the attraction scene is reflected in the literary publication, text system, cultural activities, and cultural and creative products. While encapsulating social values and service value function supply, the attraction scenes of bookstores also need to consider literary professional works that can reflect the brand image and function value of bookstores, integrated media publishing products, and intelligent evaluation systems that analyze industry supply and demand. After the above-mentioned All People's Bookstore organically embeds culture into the commercial space, it relies on its cultural IP to boost the sustainable development of the commercial space. In the future, physical bookstores can find a breakthrough in the cultural IP to enhance the attractiveness of the scene and realize the in-depth development of the cultural industry from the original "buyer" to "original + co-branding", thus enhancing the core competitiveness of the bookstores and the audience's expectation of the scene experience, and realizing Third, we will continue to optimize our business model.
Thirdly, we will continue to optimize our business model to form a recognizable physical industry cluster. The model dimension is like the soul of a physical bookstore, and can form the style and identity of a physical bookstore in two ways: first, it can provide a customized and differentiated experience for users while still being able to standardize its internal business segments, similar to a movie montage or the process of putting together building blocks. Although the building blocks are based on standardized customization, each user can use the same building blocks to create different pieces. For example, Beijing Sisyphean Bookstore's "Black Label Store" in the CBD of China World Trade Center and the "Red Label Store" in Hualian's permanent camp with a family-friendly atmosphere are an attempt to transform its business model. The second is to shape the bookstore's business concept to guide consumer demand and feedback; the space IP design of Nanchang Qingyuan Bookstore is designed with mobile pulleys under some of the bookstore's shelves, allowing the size and combination of elements to be adjusted according to the arrangement of seasons, themes and events, thus giving readers a different spatial experience; the Morioka Bookstore in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan, pioneered the "One Book, One Room" concept. The Morioka Bookstore in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan, pioneered the "One Book, One Room" model IP concept. The concept of "recommending only one book per week" by the administrator after analyzing the users' reading data has effectively guided the readers' reading choices and consumption needs, greatly increasing the customer flow of the bookstore space, which covers only 50 square meters, and thus enhancing the bookstore's popularity. While focusing on enhancing the "value" of the scene, the attraction scene can also make use of cultural IPs to realize the complementary and symbiotic relationship between attraction and creativity.
2. New Media Technology Empowerment Drives Bookstore Scene Marketing Power
The online scene created by new media technology makes up for the physical absence of the body in the physical space. Relying on social media to dig deeper into users' expectations of new scenes, can repeat the form of consumers' experience of online and offline spaces.
First, new media platforms such as the mobile Internet have broadened the content of the physical bookstore scene.
The bookstore scene is a mimetic environment shaped by new media technologies, creating different forms of media events, while readers can share their reading and emotional experiences in the "cloud". The main actors of "cloud reading", i.e. bookstores and publishers, build virtual communication scenarios on the Internet platform, enabling readers/users to share what they have read and felt across media and geographies and to experience the immersion and companionship of reading. Such activities can improve the conversion rate of offline stores of physical bookstores, alleviate temporary survival difficulties, and broaden the marketing model of bookstore scenarios. For example, Guangxi Normal University Press called on more than 160 bookstores nationwide to work together to organize a "Light Project" through social media platforms at a time when brick-and-mortar bookstores were facing a survival crisis due to the new pneumonia epidemic. The "Light Project" is an online reading campaign by publishers using media platforms to empower and work with offline bookstores, to unite publishers and bookstores to "light the lamp" for online reading. As the publisher itself has high-quality author resources, the participation of authors can accumulate attention resources for "Burning Lights", while the readership gathered through social media effectively expands the appeal and influence of the scene. In addition, they also offer online learning, reading, and sharing activities led by famous authors, transforming individual reading activities into collective community activities through the Internet. Since then, several brick-and-mortar bookstores, such as Code Man Bookstore and Niche Bookstore, have followed suit, co-hosting online reading events with publishers. Media technology can empower brick-and-mortar bookstores