Our favourite experiences this month include Fourpost’s multi-vendor mall experience, The Strategist’s holiday pop up, Somnus’ sleeping capsule café in Seoul, ‘the most interesting store in the world’ in New York and Parsley Health’s calming clinic.
Fourpost offers online retailers and local startups the chance to interact with customers in person. More than just a multi-store pop-up location, the company provides brands with space, build-out, and staff. Their Mall of America space is 10,500 sqft and hosts around 30 brands at a time.
What we love
It’s a learning experience. For shoppers, Fourpost is a place where they can discover new brands and services. For brands, it’s a chance to experiment with physical retail and find their footing. Brands can rent a space on a short-term lease that already comes equipped with fixtures and Wi-Fi. Community managers and merchandising support are also on hand to help and vendors can make use of shop analytics and business check-ins.
They give customers a reason to keep coming back. At a time when US mall foot traffic is declining, Fourpost understands the importance of giving customers new and great experiences. They aim to hold a range of events regularly, from art classes to pop-ups to parties. The changing lineup of brands also means there’s often something new to discover.
The Strategist, New York Magazine’s commerce arm dedicated to discovering and reviewing the best things to buy, opened a pop-up over the holiday season in New York featuring selected products and fun events.
What we love
The carefully curated content. The selection of stock at I Found It was influenced entirely by online product reviews. Each product came highly recommended, making it a great place for shoppers to discover new products for themselves or to gift to others.
The written content. Being a media platform devoted entirely to shopping, the Strategist showed its strength when it came to creating interesting content through product descriptions. Articles placed by the items interested and educated customers and detailed why they might want said item in their life.
“Fast healing” is a growing industry in South Korea where much of the population works long hours. Quick relaxation fixes come in the form of massage chairs, yoga sessions, and increasingly common nap cafes. Somnus, a sleeping capsule manufacturer, has opened a coffee shop where customers can rent one of their oxygen pods for a nap.
What we love
The technology. There are multiple spaces in South Korea dedicated to napping but Somnus’ futuristic pods bring new meaning to the phrase power nap. Once the pods are activated, the lights dim and oxygen is pumped into the capsule to aid sleep.
It’s novel and practical. Somnus’ cafés are great for both those who want to try sleeping in a capsule and for people who just want a nap. Capsule hotels have long attracted guests in search of a new experience but for many, it requires travelling to a different city. At Somnus, customers can rent a pod for up to three hours at a low price, making the experience easily affordable.
The design. Taking a nap is made even more exciting by the fact that Somnus’ pods look like something out of a sci-fi movie. Stepping inside the capsule room feels like walking into the future.
Billing itself as “the most interesting store in the world”, this new concept store in New York caused a buzz when it opened over the holiday season. Its floors are dedicated to wellness, home, and design, and filled with specially selected brands from each category.
What we love
The emphasis on experience. Creating great experiences is clearly a must if you’re aiming to be the most interesting store in the world. Rather than just a point of transaction, many of the stalls allow customers to try out their products. A trip to Showfields could include creating your own flower arrangement or testing out a blanket whilst having a guided meditation session. The space also houses dining options and art displays as well as events and workshops.
It’s a place of discovery. Showfields founder and CEO Tal Zvi Nathanel wanted to bring the element of serendipity to the store, so brands are selected accordingly. Several have previously had no physical retail presence while others are completely new to the U.S.
It seamlessly blends physical and digital. Touchscreens throughout Showfields allow customers to browse more products from each brand, order online or sign up for subscriptions.
This clinic in New York by primary care startup Parsley Health takes a very different approach to doctor’s offices.
What we love
The biophilic design. Parsley Health’s clinic was created with biophilic design principles in mind, an approach that incorporates natural elements to create a more relaxing environment. Plants adorn the waiting room and wood is heavily present throughout the interiors. Biophilic design has been scientifically proven to improve wellbeing, so a clinic is a perfect place to put it into practice.
The use of colour. In addition to the natural elements, Parsley Health’s colour scheme also deserves a mention. Instead of clinical, stark white walls, various pastels make an appearance in the waiting room and consultation rooms. Its result is a warm and welcoming environment, rather than the typical bleak and unnerving atmosphere found in most doctors’ offices.
By facing up to some hard industry truths and focussing on uncovering and communicating authentic USPs to audiences, we believe beauty brands will be able to connect in deeper, more meaningful ways.
Inspired by our #CreativityWins campaign, this month's roundup of experiences we love includes masked bar staff at Mr Fogg's, 30-second soap from Lush, a creative queuing initiative from Asda and a new format store from Sézan...