The World's First New Balance Experience Store Brought To Life Through A Sensory Approach - Equal Strategy
on: August 24, 2009, 10:48 am
Danny Chaplin / Equal Strategy
Asia's leading 'environmental branding consultancy' Equal
Strategy has helped New Balance to project a total sensory experience
with a retro '50's and '60's look and feel in its Worlds first New
Balance Experience Store in Beijing's historic Qianmen Avenue.
The store, New Balance's first ever Experience Store™, showcases the company's
century-long heritage over two floors amidst framed archival photographs, vintage
New Balance advertisements and brand paraphernalia dating as far back as 1910.
A DNA ribbon which extends from the first floor entrance all the way to the second
floor takes the consumer through a chronological journey documenting the brand’s
rich past, present and future. The detail in the overall store design is further
complimented by audio, visual and olfactory experiences throughout the store
including the unique smell of natural woody notes, with a touch of leather,
reminiscent of a shoe store’s scent from the mid-20th century.
What does New Balance sound and smell like? To create the right atmosphere for the
brand product highlights, Equal Strategy's sensory marketing guru Simon Faure-Field
deployed a woody scent coupled with 1950's style "be bop" music. Customers can“bop while they shop” to the supplied sounds of Bill Haley and the Comets, Little
Richard, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers and Jerry Lee Lewis.
In addition, Equal Strategy’s programmed in-store messaging directs customers to
check out the store’s second floor merchandise and repeatedly highlights New
Balance’s unique Performance DNA concept. Scientific research has found that 40% of
shoppers who listen to in-store audio messages are influenced in their purchasing
Says Faure-Field, "This sort of sensory branding has fast become the brave new
world of retail. It's no longer simply enough to present or provide your products
or services in a strongly branded visual context; the brand needs to connect and
engage with all five senses of the customer in order to create resonance and
establish long-term loyalty".
Faure-Field should know. He's been installing cutting edge music and scent
projection systems in retail and hospitality environments across Asia and the
Pacific Rim for the past decade or so. Brands such as Pan Pacific, Starwood,
Raffles, Mercedes Benz and Changi Airport have all called on his expertise in
helping brands to form an emotional connection with their customer base based on
principles of what are essentially behavioural-based pleasure/pain
According to Equal Strategy, Scientific studies found the sense of smell is the only
sense directly connected to the brain' centre for memory and emotions. More than
80% of customer decisions are influenced by what we smell! Scientific olfactory
studies conducted in the United States found that training shoes which had been
lightly scented with a barely-perceptible fragrance sold more pairs and for a higher
premium than unscented trainers.
"I'm often asked if what I do is ethical and my response is to ask whether
creating a pleasing, memorable experience which customers are keen to repeat on a
regular basis is an ethical endeavour and the answer to that is 'of course it's
ethical, and also desirable' in a retail context'. Shoppers find the environments
which we create for them both pleasurable and engaging and this translates to good
business practice when customers go on to repeat their business with that brand over
time,” says Faure-Field.
Faure-Field added that the New Balance Experience Store in Beijing posed its own set
of problems and challenges. "How to reach out on a sensory level to customers to
whom these ideas of ‘sensory’ brand presentation are completely and utterly new?
Well, we were naturally helped by the fact that Beijing's consumers are
increasingly sophisticated in their brand awareness and patterns of consumption -
they no longer simply go for price or value alone but are open to the concept of a
retail 'experience' as we understand it in the West.”
"And this particular New Balance store was all about conveying the brand's history
and heritage over a century of business, so the human senses have been stimulated to
project this kind of 'time capsule' look and feel to some of the store's areas.
Customer and management response has been hugely encouraging and Equal Strategy
hopes New Balance will see the value in adopting these advanced retail techniques
across all its coming Experience Stores around the World.
Bob Neville Regional Retail Manager for New Balance in Asia Pacific commented "we
are very pleased with the way the music, messaging and specially formulated New
Balance 'aroma' integrate within the built three dimensional aspect of the New
Balance Experience Store. We want to create a brand experience that is totally
reflective of the brand essence and as such this has to go beyond what you see and
encompass all of the human senses. This first Experience Store in Beijing marks the
first of a global role out and will for the first time see, hear and smell the New
Balance brand in an integrated and total experience"
About Equal Strategy
Equal Strategy delivers “music”, “fragrance” and “recorded telephone messages on
hold” to businesses in a scientific way that enhances the overall customer
experience of the brand and causes the customer to stay longer and buy more! Equal
Strategy is the only company in Asia that specialises in deploying “music” and
“fragrance” solutions to business where the two senses are stimulated in synergy
with each other.
Sound and smell deliver stimuli directly to the memory centres of the brain,
influencing behaviour and creating suggestion at both the conscious and unconscious
levels. Decades of behavioural research into the habits of consumers has found that“consumer arousal” can be either stimulated or suppressed through the use of mood
settings like music and fragrance.
For more information:
Contact Details: Media Relations - Danny Chaplin
Tel: (65) 6256 5100
77 High Street, #07-03 High Street Plaza, Singapore 179433