Lollapalooza, Governors Ball, Bonnaroo and Coachella are four well-known music festivals. What makes them unique? They have all doubled in sales year after year. Coachella in particular has been making headlines: it has beat it’s own benchmarks in the past four years consecutively, with the cost increasing as well.
Why though are people camping out for x-amount of days for a music festival that is very expensive? Perhaps not just to hear the music, but to feel it as well. They want to become one with it, they want to escape and just be.
The world of fashion retail is quite the opposite: we need to go into shopping centers and stores where we need to interact with people, or shop on our mobile devices. We put down our technology to use the stores’/brands’ technology. Stores spend an elaborate amount of money making their spaces to be beautiful so it is ironic that digital means overpower it. These spaces should be cherished and celebrated. We go to touch, feel, smell and experience products and vibes. We as consumers go to experience products.
When we buy an experience, we become happier individuals. They even make us happier than when we simply buy ‘things’ because we feel like we are bettering ourselves. Take Selfridges in London, who opened up a “Body Studio.” The pace features 150 brands in the lingerie, active-wear and swim categories, all while offering a hair salon, a “Fit Studio” for bra fittings and a café concept from two clean-living food bloggers as well. A true experience is determined by what you charge for time.
A store should be used to escape reality: to live a dream of fantasy. We as consumers crave physical experiences, however finding the balance between the physical and digital world is a means of a well-thought out design. The key is to find experiential inflection points where consumers can be physically engaged. A store must breathe joy and have a connection-like nature. Let the trip linger on within the consumer long past they leave the establishment. Or rather, a successful store entails it becoming it’s own mini Coachella.