16 Apr Unboxing BrandBox: A New Breed of Retail Stores
Once upon a time, shopping malls dominated the retail industry — that is until the internet came around and things inevitably changed. The giant retailers that used to lead the market are now being challenged by recently launched digitally native vertical brands or DNVB. One of those brands in BrandBox.
These small retailers were able to develop and launch brands of their own brand while keeping their costs at a minimum. Since then, things in the retail industry have changed.
But contrary to popular belief, e-commerce isn’t leaving physical retail obsolete. As a matter of fact, the expansion of digital sports brands have resulted in the renaissance of retail stores! The rapid growth of DNVBs have resulted in a new breed of physical stores, one that elevates customer experience.
Stores And Online Brands
One of the key points behind the rapid success of DNVBs is their hyper focus on holistic experience. Instead of just selling and moving their products, these online sports brands focused on cultivating an immersive experience for their customers. The Internet and newly developed platforms like social media have allowed them to directly contact their target audience. And instead of feeling like paying for another service, consumers feel a sense of friendship between them and the retailers.
Ultimately, DNVBs found a new approach to the traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores — pop-up stores! While some people may think opening a store for a limited time is counterintuitive, it actually makes physical retailing more alluring. These visit-or-miss-it stores are curated to have immersive store design. Customers flock these pop up stores for physical experiences that complements the brand’s digital presence.
Aside from providing their audiences with experiences that are made just for them, pioneering DNVBs also saw an opportunity in reconciling the digital-physical divide. Recent research has revealed that consumers who shop both online and in-store have a 30% lifetime value — or LVT — compared to those who stay in one channel.
Furthermore, having a physical location also helps brands expand SERPs as well as brand mentions. For instance, online prescription glasses retailer Warby Parker has recently expanded their retail space over the previous five years.
It’s clear that DNVBs have the power to take their success offline and it didn’t take long enough for other people to realise the same thing.
In a twist of events, a common ground for both digitally native brands and shopping centers was discovered by real estate investment trust company Macerich. And with this in mind, BrandBox was created!
Mall operators have been looking for ways they can stay relevant in the age of digital marketing and e-commerce for a very long time. And though Macerich were known for investing in shopping centers, Chief Digital Officer Kevin McKenzie realized that there was a need for them to have modular spaces that can be reconfigured.
The concept was created to help out digitally native brands bring their stores to life while allowing traditional retailers test out a new market before investing in a permanent store. McKenzie explained that the concept store will have movable walls so that brands can easily come in and out of the store with ease. Furthermore, they will also provide DVNBs to gather important data like foot-traffic.
The first BrandBox location was launched at Tysons Corner Center that housed six brands including a makeup company Winky Lux as well as an apparel retailer in 11,000 square feet space. BrandBox Tysons lasted for 6 to 12 months until the concept store was rolled out to the remaining malls of Macerich including the ones they have in Santa Monica and Scottsdale, Arizona.
As a result the BrandBox Reviews were filled by appreciative DNVBs thanking the concept store for the opportunity of testing their brands in mall environments.
For newly established online brands, BrandBox is a new silver lining towards success. They have given them a brand new platform in curating experiences for their audiences.
But, BrandBox’s success is only as effective as the online sports brand itself. There are things DNVB should prioritize in order to ensure a productive launch — branding.
Online sports brands would have a hard time curating a one of a kind experience for their customers if their branding is inconsistent. Customers would expect the same experience — albeit, a better one — when they engage with you offline. Hence, it’s best for online brands to ensure their branding is consistent through and through beforehand.
This principle is similar to the idea of omnichannel success. Your consumers must be able to easily navigate themselves from your e-commerce website, down to your Facebook account. The only difference now is that another channel will be added to holistic consumer experience.
A New Playground
Admittedly, gaining omnichannel success and consistent branding can be pretty difficult — especially if online brands don’t really have much of experience on the field.
Luckily, they can easily collaborate with digital marketing companies that specializes in products and apparel marketing or marketing sporting goods. Their marketing experts can ensure both your branding and marketing efforts are aligned with one another — creating a personalized experience for your customers.