Sarah Anne White MFA Design CandidateCalifornia College of the Arts Thesis Documentation 2012
“When technology is used not just asa gimmick, but to actually help solve aproblem, like cutting a line or gettingaccess to reviews, it creates an elevatedexperience for the consumer.”Julie Bornstein (Sephora)
How might we celebrate and supportthe public (and ourselves for thatmatter), the new brand champions,as collaborators in such a way thatencourages our sustained generosityand engagement towards not only thebranded objects we collect or consumebut our fellow citizens as well?Thesis Statement + Abstract
With the prevalence of personal/mobile technology, today’s retail experience hangs precariously betweenbrick and pixel. Forever changed are the ways brands market, set prices, manufacture, and track customertastes. Unfortunately, more often than not, we’ve found ourselves overwhelmed; at a loss for any trueemotional attachment, enjoyable sensory experience or intimacy to the objects and experiences that wecollect. We’ve come now to crave a balance between curation and choice, exclusivity vs. accessibility, andautomation with authenticity. We yearn for an experience ripe with purpose, connection and loyalty.How might we celebrate and support the public (and ourselves for that matter), the new brandchampions, as collaborators in such a way that encourages our sustained generosity and engagementtowards not only the branded objects we collect or consume but our fellow citizens as well? The “we”I refer to includes an audience of experience designers, retail strategists and brand-oriented creativedirectors.My work seeks to define a methodology for engagement and uses quick and simple, generative excersisesinvolving participatory design. The co-creation of re-imagined artifacts looks to reframe that which alreadyexists within the experience with a deeper, more complex relationship: to reimagine them as catalysts for abroader commonality, attachment, and personalization.It’s my hope to explore three main areas: The “wrapping” (what the thing which we collect/consumeis clothed in and comes with), the importance and connection of visual vs. physical perception, andappropriateness of location for technology. Crowd-sourced inspiration and dialogue supports theconsumer as collaborator and producer.The industry is overdue for new approaches to our tech saavy, visual culture that actually solve problemsrather than existing as mere gimmicks. Embedded and integrated, my final creation(s) could be just ashappy existing in a slow-tech or low-tech solution as a fast one.The world doesn’t necessarily need more products – we need to regain the delight and attachment to ourbelongings through improving the experience of acquiring them. That which already exists must to domore for us emotionally.
k s ONE WEEK THESIS WHERE I STAND A PREEMPTIVE CASESTUDY The hangtag, an item typically Over several months, both a A company with a compelling disregarded and discarded trendscrape and historical analysis ideology, Tom’s Shoes have immediately after acquiring a were conducted to evaluate where unfortunately have been knocked new piece of clothing was re- the “whitespace” might exist off repeatedly. I explored a subtle, imagined as an artifact within the within my area of interest. A list tech-oriented change that could retail experience. I explored it’s of new technologies and brands recapture their essence and create potential to unlock special access implementing them was also sustained generosity with a broaderor incentives, provide knowledge to compiled for personal exploration conversation around each purchase.brands on habits and as an activator during this process. for delightful, in-store experiences.
k IN STORE POST PURCHASE NEXT VISIT Your shoes 8 of your friends scanned your TOMS code! You’ve helped will go to contribute ____________ $42 to the would you like to follow them? __________________ village this month. the hangtag reimagined future of tom’s shoe
DDI publ. BRICK AND MORTAR BLOGOSPHERE & VMSD publ. MKG EXPERIENTIAL SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING Tech Blogs +Gensler Weiden+Kennedy Mommy Blogs Fashion Blogs FastCompany + Forbes Amy Lanigan VP of client strategy / Fluid +Intel Don Bradford VP of Social Product / eBay Johnny Vulkan of Anomaly E/M/T Benjamin Palmer of +MODERN Barbarian Group SapientNitro COMMERCE Digital Commerce Strategists Rachel Shechtman A Start Up Store Marian Salzman Nielson David Gensler measurement and TREND +Kingshuk Das +FrogSHOPPER of Keystone information TECH Design Union SPOTTING of Jump Associates Jaron Lanier author of You Are Not A Gadget Piers Fawkes PSFK s Roo Rogers +Sophistication Based On Personal Knowledge Dan Ariely author of Predictably Rachel Botsman Collaborative ConsumptionPrepared To Trade Data For A Better Experience IrrationalInstant Access To Expertise Amos TverskyTakes Advantage Of Technology cognitive/ mathematical Journal of Consumer Culture Journal of Consumer Research psychologistWants To Be Offered A Perfect MatchThe Why & How often paramount to the What Adam Arvidsson author of Daniel Kahneman psychology of Brands: A Critical CULTURAL Lisa Gansky judgment and PSYCH Perspective author of The STRATEGY behavioral economics Mesh Flow Theory Holt, Douglas B., and RETAIL The Co-Op Group Douglas Cameron Technology UK based authors of Cultural Strategy Acceptance Model ETHICS +Greening Retail Philip van Allen Program The New Ecology of Things Lab Marks & Spencer UK based UNKNOWN GOV + HEALTHCARE + KOR Group LA real estate investment, development and management firm
THE NEW BRAND CHAMPION “Let me name my price.” NETPLENISH “Let me help decide what’s sold.” CATERPILLAR TRUCK DESIGN“Let me sell on your behalf in exchange for cash, discounts/exclusive access.” MULU.ME “Let me help them decide what to buy.” NEEDLE CUSTOMER SERVICE h The digital, physical and psychological realms were explored with equal weight, culminating in an attitudinal (rather than demographic) profile of the modern shopper as the new Brand Champion. Brand Champion is defined as a customer who feels compelled (through loyalty, passion or incentive) to spread a status-yielding story to their social circles, thus broadening the larger relationship and conversation.
DIRECTIVE help avoid becoming a shop-and-compare commodity be selective with use of technology BRAND enrich and extend the conversation CHAMPION create a deeper, personal connection to the things you purchase (instill value) alleviate stress / provide delight provide “ownership”
RESEARCH METHODS method 1 : anthropological mind-setinvestigate patterns of social interaction codes of conduct/social cues 12` method 2 : participatory mind-set probe first - then cocreate w/ generative tools ^hÅ
Tool KitWhat do we lose or gain with technology in the retail experience? Are thereopportunities to more closely link our objects to our experiences? How canwe provide delightful affordances without giving them a gimmick? A series of probes was created to better understand the possibilities. What better way to tell a story than to be asked for one?
t c +a C+A TWITTER + TSHIRTS I ADORE LETS START HERE CHALLENGE An exploration into bridging Inspired by the work of Candy A four-part, participatory challenge the physical and digital to Chang and in collaboration with that aims to explore three main create a long-term community Lisa Woods, the “I Adore...” project areas: The “Wrapping” (what for repeat participation, the arose from an interest in personal the thing which we purchase is campaign was meant to spark value, public participation and clothed in and comes with), theconversation and act as a means appropriateness of location for importance/connection of visualof crowd-sourcing painpoints for introspection. Extremely well vs. physical, and appropriateness of innovation while supporting the received by the audience, the location for technology. In order to consumer as collaborator. This key take away was the ease in arrive here, a behavior-based phototool may be rebranded for a final which participation was facilitated safari of social cues was conducted production and integrated into as well as the serendipitous and an initial participant pool was the exhibition. affordance for editing the entries developed with a screener. of others to create new meaning.
A SIMPLE SOCIAL SHOP Planned for early spring semester, A Simple Social Shop will bring the recent Pinterest phenomenon into the 3 dimensional environment to explore the physicality of browsing and selecting while publicly sharing. A tactile version will be presented alongside the digital version. In order to source images to “pin”, a holiday catalog drive was held to collect and reuse the under utilized wealth of printed material distributed each holiday season. This is the second participatory exhibit involving an aspect of a digital, social channel turned into a low fidelity, physical prototype. It is my hope that both of these will serve as a means of uncovering nuanced social interactions and needs surrounding our possessions and obtaining them.
V UPCOMING TELL THEN TAKE TANGIBLE ASSETS UKNOWN As a means of exploring physical in order to continue pushing the digital TBDmethods of expanding the conversation collection of tools that have been with consumer as collaborator, I plan to developed, a set of tangible assets create a set of visual storytelling blocks will be created to hand out to the as a vehicle to facilitate cocreation public. These may be prototyped then sessions. They are planned to have revised and branded as part of a final strategic contact information (much production.like that of a business card) and provide continued outreach and affordances of for repeat participation. After utilizing them to explore, the participant has a token they may take with them.
thesis goalsa methodology and defined exercises with tools useda re-imagined artifact(s) that aids in inspiring participation whichis then recorded digitally to create a deeper impression andcontinued conversation.3 modes of study & evaluation: Educate (inform and lengthen the relationship) Create (how can the consumer be the collaborator/producer) Translate (what does it become to the consumer post purchase)
01/15 02/29 participatory research + reimagined artifacts creation (cont) arrange 4 participatory design sessions PRESENT dev. of sketch A Simple making/ “I Adore” prototype for Social Shop testing of R.A. two more reimagined (late Jan) locations rework/push participation for artifacts online challenge promptcontinue to iron Cultural Ideology Arrange meeting Synthesis of arrange meeting out details for Brand Hijacking with thesis social cues / with thesisA Simple Social Punching In committee pull needs from committee Shop completed challenges Establish draft framework for final made work
3/15 03/30reimagined artifacts making/ testing/ revising Midterm Review Establish draft arrange meeting Draft Written framework for with thesis Work final made work committee
PrintHolt, Douglas B., and Douglas Cameron. Cultural Strategy: Using Innovative Ideologies to Build BreakthroughBrands. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2010. Print.Discusses the development of deeply rooted cultural strategies as key to future innovation for successfulbrand management/development with a balance of scholarship and case studies.Berger, Warren. Glimmer: How Design Can Transform Your Life, and Maybe Even the World. New York:Penguin, 2009. Print.Works to tear apart disciplines to encourage “smart recombinations” within innovation and highlights thegrowing trend of “everyday people” emerging as critical designers and problem solvers.Frankel, Alex. Punching In: The Unauthorized Adventures of a Front-line Employee. New York: Collins/HarperCollins, 2007. Print.In this lively and entertaining narrative, Frankel takes readers on a personal journey into the land of front-lineemployees to discover why some workers are so eager to drink the corporate Kool-Aid and which companiesknow how to serve it up best.WipperFurth, Alex. Brand Hijack: Marketing without Marketing. New York, NY; The Penguin Group, 2005.PrintBrand Hijack offers a practical how-to guide to marketing that finally engages the marketplace. It presents analternative to conventional marketing wisdom, one that addresses such industry crises as media saturation,consumer evolution, and the erosion of image marketing.Laurel, Brenda. Design Research: Methods and Perspectives. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2003. Print.Moggridge, Bill. Designing Interactions. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2007. Print.Arvidsson, A. (2005), “Brands: A Critical Perspective,” Journal of Consumer Culture,” 5(2), 235-258 [GoogleScholar].
Digital“Social Commerce Today.” Social Commerce Today. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2012.http://socialcommercetoday.com/more-on-the-psychology-of-social-shopping-on-being-predictably-irrational/“Retail.” Fast Company. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2012.http://www.fastcompany.com/most-innovative-companies/2012/industry/retailSalzman, Marian. “Marian Salzman Blog.” Marian Salzman. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Sept. 2012.http://mariansalzman.com/“What’s The Future Of The Sharing Economy?” Co.Exist. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2012.http://www.fastcoexist.com/1681009/whats-the-future-of-the-sharing-economy“Sephora Doubles Down On Tech.” TechCrunch RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2012.http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/08/sephora-doubles-down-on-tech-in-store-ipads-revamped-website-pinterest-tie-in/Websites For Curated Offerings• The Trunk Club (curated packages, personal stylist, free returns)• BeachMint (and JewelMint, StyleMint, ShoeMint, BeautyMint, IntiMint)• FarFetched (unites global fashion boutiques)• BlankLabel (custom mens shirts)• Warby Parker (try before you buy online eye-glass retailer)• Everlane (highend basics - direct)• Fab - daily design inspirations and design-minded, curated sales• OpenSky - endorsed by celebrities and experts• UnCovet• GILTAdditional Brands Studied• Sephora (Sephora Pantone + ColorIQ system, app, ipads in store)• Target (offering exclusive lines of designer products)• Walgreens (app to scan barcode for refill prescription)