BERLIN – In today’s experience economy, brands do not only have to sell a product: they have to sell, that’s right, an experience. Here are five examples of brands that – according to us here at FSG – have created a successful experience in Berlin.
1. Unverpackt, Wiener Strasse 16. In German, ‘unverpackt’ means ‘without a package’, meaning everything in this little supermarket is on sale without plastic, paper or cardboard wrapped around it. Customers come in here with empty glass jars, pieces of newspaper and little cotton bags. They pack their own groceries, from spaghetti to veggies to nuts and chocolate spread.
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2. Lego Store, Tauentzienstrasse 20. The former Berlin Wall built out of Lego, the Brandenburger Tor, and a whole lot of space to build your own Lego creations. The Berlin Lego Store is an experience store at first, and a place to buy Lego second. Do you or your child, too, always lose those annoying little red buds that are being used as a siren when building a fire truck or police car? At Lego Store in Berlin, there is a bucket full of those little red things alone. And a bucket with just Lego heads (m/f), a bucket with only pink bricks, and literally a bucket with any imaginable brick in any imaginable color.
3. Teufel, Bikini Berlin, Budapesterstrasse 38-50. With the cool slogan ‘always on Feier’, the Berlin-born audio brand Teufel focuses on online sales SINCE 1985 (!!!). Teufel, however, decided they needed a flagshipstore in their ‘Heimat’ Berlin, and built an impressive store in the backyard of the Berlin Zoo, Bikini Berlin. This is the former club Linientreu where David Bowie and Iggy Pop used to play back in the days. Now it’s Teufels 800 square meter store, with seperate sound laboratories, cinemas created for testing and a store where you can purchase subwoofers that weight 80 kilo per piece. Or a headset, if that’s suits your budget better.
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Die Power HiFi ist ein vollaktives, modulares Laustsprecher-System bestehend aus zwei Hochleistungs-Subwoofer, einem 200-mm-Mitteltöner und einem Hochtonhorn. Eindrucksvoller, aber klar definierter Sound mit einem Schalldruck bis zu 115 dB, der dein Wohnzimmer in den angesagtesten Club der Stadt verwandelt. Überzeuge dich selbst! #machlaut
4. MCM, Torstrasse 74. German luxury brand MCM opened their first experience store this year in Berlins Torstrasse in a former garage. You have to know they’re there in order to find their store – no logo on the window, just a former garage is what you’ll see. And here’s another surprise: their MCM signature purses and wallets are hard to find, too. The venue ‘Garage 1976’ is full of art. Currently, an installation with car windows, stone and glass is on show. Why? Because MCM (Modern Creation München) wants to connect art with fashion and culture.
5. Käthe Wohlfahrt, Kurfürstendamm 225-226. Germans and Christmas, it’s a magical combination. Although Germans in general don’t put up their Christmas tree before Heiligenabend (the 24th of December, they buy the tree and decorate it on this day), there is an all year round Christmas decorations store in Berlin that sells E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G that has to do with Christmas.
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Unser stattlicher Schäferhund ist nur einer von vielen Hunden aus unserer hochwertigen Glasbaumschmuck-Serie Poesie in Glas®und wir glauben, er möchte spielen! 🎾 ***** Our handsome German Shepherd is one of many different dogs from our high-quality glass ornament series Peotry in Glass®. It looks like he wants to play! 🎾 ***** #käthewohlfahrt #seit1964 #poesieinglas #käthesoriginal #dog #dogsofinstagram #pets #germanshepherd #interiordesign #handpainted #glas #decoration #homedecor #inspiration #summer #love #family #shop #deutschland #rothenburg #rothenburgobdertauber #germany #since1964 #mykäthe
Think of a decoration that you want to put up in your tree – they have it. In their 800 square meter store, they sell over 100 different ornaments for all different breeds of dogs alone. Their staff is totally Christmas saffy and dresses as elfs, they can explain you everything about German Christmas traditions, what gift to give to whom, and when to burn candles under your hand cut wooden Teelichtpyramide. If this store doesn’t get you in the mood, we don’t know what does.
What about you?
Do you feel that your brand should be thinking about creating an offline experience as well? Here’s what we’ve seen: it does not always work out well (read this peace in het Financieele Dagblad about the CEO of toy store Intertoys promising escape rooms and karaoke rooms in all its stores, to great surprise of all the franchise holders who were not having the square meters available for such ideas).
Here’s a few tips from us:
- Stick to your brand. No in store DJ when you’re not selling music. No espresso corner when you sell kids clothing. Create an experience that fits your brand.
- Be unique. A glass of prosecco for people trying on a new pair of shoes is not.
- Good service is more important than having an experience. Meaning: good service can be the experience.
- Better than having a small corner with your unique experience in every store, it is worth creating one dedicated flagship experience store.