In a world where you can buy just about anything your heart desires online, the quest to stand out and thrive as a brick-and-mortar business is paramount to surviving in today’s competitive landscape.
Whether you're a proud owner of a charming flower shop or an entrepreneur with dreams of opening the next bustling speakeasy bookstore, the secret to gaining and keeping your customers' attention starts with creating a unique and memorable experience—otherwise known as experiential design.
Experiential design is a powerful tool for engaging customers and propelling business growth. As humans, we’re not only shaped by our surroundings but also have the power to shape and influence them directly. By intentionally crafting physical and digital spaces that enable people to interact with your brand, you can create immersive experiences that will keep your customers returning for more.
The key to successful experiential design is understanding what makes your business unique. For example, what is your brand story? What are your core values? What is your purpose, mission, and vision for the future? When you invest in experiential design, you're not just investing in a physical space. You're investing in the future growth of your business.
So, whether you're designing a retail store, a restaurant, or a tattoo shop, there are a few key principles to keep in mind.
Brand storytelling: Use the space to tell your brand story through visual and physical elements, such as your logo, colors, fonts, copy, product displays, interactive stations, and other memorable storytelling opportunities.
Sensory experiences: Create an immersive experience for your customers by using lighting, sound, scent, and texture to create the intended atmosphere and evoke the desired emotions.
Functional design: Design a space that is visually appealing and seamless to navigate by ensuring your customers can easily find what they’re looking for and enjoy a relaxing and frictionless experience.
Let’s take Ursa Minor Brewing, for example. As a local craft brewery in Duluth, Minnesota, competing with countless other breweries, they understand the value of creating a rich and memorable experience. So much so, they made it their mission to bring people and dogs together over craft beer and woodfire pizzas by offering a unique year-round destination—complete with a pet-friendly patio space, live music, pop-ups with community partners, and multi-day events like Oktoberfest.
While Ursa Minor Brewing’s customers can easily order or pick up their favorite beer at local liquor stores, many still flock to the brewery because of the welcoming, entertaining, and shareable experience they’ve come to know and love.
To learn more about how experiential design can positively impact your brick-and-mortar establishment, check out the five key benefits below.
5 Key Benefits of Experiential Design
Gain a competitive advantage — offering an immersive experience can help you gain a competitive edge and stand out in the minds and hearts of your customers. When people associate your brand with a welcoming and engaging environment, it encourages repeat visits.
Build a sense of community — creating a space where people can collectively gather to participate in unique events and activities directly impacts your business and nurtures a more profound sense of community and well-being for everyone involved.
Increase customer loyalty — a frictionless and engaging experience can stimulate the five senses and create a strong connection with your customers. Once you have the attention and trust of your customers, building loyalty and brand affinity comes naturally.
Enrich word-of-mouth marketing — happy customers with exceptional experiences are often more eager to leave reviews and become brand advocates who willingly share stories with friends, family, and coworkers—impacting your brand reputation along the way.
Drive sales — according to Forbes, brands that provide a superior customer experience generate 5.7 times more revenue than their competitors. When paired with quality products or services, it’s no wonder customers are likely to give their buying power.
In summary, experiential design has the power to transform your business, create loyal customers, and positively impact your bottom line. At Brick and Mortar, we specialize in experiential design that creates exceptional customer experiences. Of course, the experiences that add value vary from space to space. That’s why we work closely with you to understand your unique brand story, value proposition, core values, target audience, and overarching business goals in order to design a space that truly reflects what matters most to you and your customers.
To start the conversation about how experiential design can help you achieve your business goals, contact us today!