Some are calling it the “un-store.” and the premise is simple: customers want to experience a brand, not buy it and companies are paying attention.
No more typical consumer-store relationships where stores hawk their wares in the traditional way, using endless aisles and routine marketing displays.
So what does an ‘unstore’ look like? Although the principles of the unstore can apply to any business that directly interacts with customers, we will take a quick excursion into the tech world to see a recent example.
In fact, this is “outside the box” marketing at its best.
That’s right, Samsung is offering shoppers a “venue.” The word “store” no longer fits.
As Forbes recently reported, the new space is called Samsung 837, and inside you will have the opportunity to do a number of interactive things:
The premise for what shoppers are now demanding is simple.
We have become so accustomed to using online stores to do our browsing, product selection, and purchasing. Many of us no longer want to do the tedious routine of wandering through aisles in a physical store, hunting down the right product and hoping it’s in stock.
Although the act of shopping can be quite therapeutic for some, for many the whole process has grown stale.
Companies are seeing this, and they’re reacting by creating spaces like Samsung 837.
Zach Overton, the Vice President and General Manager of Samsung 837 said this to Forbes about their goal with 837:
“Creating a flagship without retail might sound like a crazy idea, but consumers today are seeking interactions (experiences) rather than transactions. We wanted to create a two-way conversation with our customers and visitors—a personal dialogue.”
Of course, the basic principle behind the “unstore,” while sporting many innovations, is not new. The classic marketing book “Lovemarks” by Kevin Roberts, the CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, saw the unstore coming long before it arrived. It dedicated entire books (and a website) to the idea that brands need to create experiences that make people fall in love. Not only in love with the products but with the overall experiences they have with the brand.
According to Roberts, there are three pillars of positive experiences to consider before a customer falls in love with your brand:
It comes down to a simple truth: it is about meaningful personalization and experience. If you can give your customers those two things, you’re on your way to becoming an unstore.
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