Bringing a brand to life through retail design is one thing, but what about bringing a brand to life through its own physical space that isn’t a tradition retail setting, where its products can thrive in a simulated real-life environment?

Retail showrooms are something that are typically renowned in industries such as car dealerships and Sofa Manufacturers. But the Showroom we speak of is a different type of showroom, what we are talking about is the concept of a branded experience, where a customer can experience both brand and product in its best possible light, truly touching, feeling, and breathing the brand and product by becoming immersed in the space.

As the retail landscape continues to morph and shift as does the consumer, their increasing appetite for something special continues to grow. Consumers no longer want to see products in a simple display forum, especially if it is a high involvement purchase decision, and they definitely do not want the hard sell. Instead, why not explore the opportunities of providing an all-encompassing branded arena for the products to thrive in and naturally sell themselves.

A Showroom concept can also provide the opportunity to give consumers added value, a service that isn’t traditionally available for them on other sales channels, a service that you may not typically provide. A great tool to aid in securing footfall by having something a little extra that makes their visit worthwhile. Another benefit is that a Showroom concept can come in all shapes and sizes much like we discussed in our recent blog ‘Mobile Retail’, and allows brands to test new markets, different products offerings and collaborations without the large investment retail estate can typically come with.

Consequently, the Showroom retail initiative is now grabbing the attention of brand leaders as they explore alternative ways to excite, inspire and engage the customer. Here are a few brands leading the way in the new merging retail concept.

Amsterdam based bicycle manufacture VanMoof, traditionally trading online has added another retail concept to their small estate, this time in Berlin. The retail environment features the brand’s innovative models in a showroom that resembles the products natural habitat, with bare concrete finishes, oak seaters and planters echoing park furniture. The Showroom also offers a service point along with a test ride centre, allowing people to test the product before committing to the purchase. By adapting this approach VanMoof do not have to sell their products, they let the products sell themselves as their consumers become immersed in the environment. The store becomes an extension of the product’s natural environment, therefore allowing their purchaser to feel 100% comfortable and intuitively motivates purchase.

Neolith a Spanish Sintered Stone manufacturer wanted to create a retail environment that could showcase the wide variety of applications Neolith surfacing promises. What better way to showcase the material other than creating break out area scenarios where the stone would most likely be used, kitchens, dinning areas, bathrooms. More interesting, as Neolith wish to enter retail markets, in this Amsterdam location, they added a specially designed hair salon and beauty parlour. This first hands displays how the products can be utilised in retail environments. There is also a space called the laboratory where visitors can get up close and personal with several product collections that are displayed throughout. We believe this is a great way for customers to truly understand the potential of the material, by placing the product in a simulated real-life environment, allows customers to interact with the product as if they have already purchased. By using the products in unexpected settings such as the beauty parlour and having the showroom double up as an exhibition space, this also provides opportunities for the brand to break into new markets and break the boundaries of their product.

Steven Stone Jewellers specialise in designing and creating bespoke one-of-a-kind jewellery. As part of their bespoke offering, Steven Stone wanted to create a bespoke experience that would inspire and engage their customers. Office Twelve are currently working with Steven Stone on a Showroom concept soon to be launched, its designed to take a customer through a one-to-one consultation customer experience. Elevating Steven Stones customisation offering from beginning to end. The entrance to the space aims to welcome and engage the customer by creating shareable moments, as the journey continues the customer enters an inform and inspire zone where different products can be showcased along with inspirational moments, providing the consultants with a selection of tools to educate the customer about diamonds and jewellery to fit with their needs. Finally, a connect & consult area where privacy and intimacy is heightened as there is a need to make sure the customer feels special, like they are the only person in the room at that moment in time.

One of the main reasons why we love the Showroom concept is that is takes the emphasis of purchase away and instead drives experience, something that is becoming increasingly more important. In some cases, it can take away the full capability of purchase and instead diverts you to a different sales channel to complete the purchase. A great method to allow someone to be fully immersed into a brand and its product offerings. Personalisation is a want from consumers that continues to grow, Showrooms can create an intimate environment between brand and consumer, allowing the experience to be personalised, strengthening the relationship between the two. It can also provide opportunities to online retailers to hit the high street, allowing their customer to physically experience the brand and product, something that can be difficult to achieve online. Hybrid Showrooms, testing new markets, the list goes on, these are just some of the great examples of the endless opportunities that come with the Showroom experience.

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