How do you re-charge a retail experience and target a new avant-garde generation of young Chinese consumers?

Services: Market, Business & Category Immersion | Consumer Insight | Concept Development | Brand Identity | Retail Experience | Innovation Strategy | Customer Experience | Retail Design

‘Unparalleled Service’ as a retail experience



D.Phone is a Chinese retailer of mobile phones and accessories owned by Dixintong.

Founded in 1993, it has currently over 1300 stores, more than 800 directly owned and others franchise businesses, in 25 provinces and municipalities in China.

After the creation of a D.Phone UP+ stores which focussed mainly on innovative tech products Clear M&C Saatchi were asked to develop a retail experience that delivered a new way of shopping  for Chinese consumers, to be rolled out to the majority of the 1300 stores focussed on selling phones and contracts.



Through a series of stakeholder interviews we uncovered what lay at the heart of the D.Phone brand:

‘Unparalleled Service’

This completely changed the approach to designing the new retail experience. We focussed on showcasing the customer experience – not the products or contracts.

Our aim was to build store environments that put people first by building sociable spaces for families and friendship groups.

Creating a sociable space, augmented with useful, seamless tech



For this new social retail experience to work, we needed to  use technology in the right way to free up the opportunity to have important face to face conversations.

Clever use of mobile queuing technology allowed shoppers to book in a conversation with a retail partner while browsing – and reduced frustrating waits for staff members to become available.

As work progressed, it became clear that the design system and brand identity needed to live up to the promise of the experience.

Clear created a simplified logo that works across tier 1-5  cities in both Mandarin and English and which also more importantly worked across both physical and digital channels.

The visual identity system created a new way to communicate D.Phone’s unique service proposition using a new colour and series of animations.



We broke convention and leapfrogged many existing retail approaches to create a best in class customer experience. Working in collaboration with Alipay, Huawei and other AI and robotic manufacturers we created a completely groundbreaking kind of store for D.Phone.

Two pilot stores opened in 2018. Shanghai and Beijing are live test stores for both D.Phone, the consumers and the technology partners that have been involved to learn from, adapt and have gone on to launch throughout China in 2019-2020.