Founder, Dr. Bose once said, ‘Never lose your imagination.’ This applied, almost limitless philosophy has helped Bose to become one of the most formidable audio companies in the world today.
The imagination remains key to Bose’s prolific product development programme, responsible for delivering multiple ground-breaking technological innovations in sound reproduction. Today, these extraordinarily complex products – created by the imagination of some of the engineering world’s most talented minds – possess the power to stretch the human imagination in highly sensorial, totally immersive ways.
Our challenge was to translate and enhance this story of imagination to the retail space, bringing the quality of the products to life in a way that captivated listeners in a ‘shopping mind-state’, seductively transitioning them along a journey from curious to committed.
Bose had already identified their two key customer types – the ‘avid enthusiast’ and ‘uncomplicated explorer’ – we set about exploring both; their passion for high quality sound and their differing needs and motivations.
The avid enthusiast was almost certainly going to use a physical store as a proof point to affirm a selection journey they’d previously researched online. It is also highly likely that they’d probably already own a Bose product or two. These individuals were aware of the quality and benefit of Bose product already and although their custom remained important, they required less persuading when making purchase decisions.
Mapping the emotional journey
The audience of major interest to us was the uncomplicated explorer – these guys were less likely to be beguiled by the technical merits of the product, their bias invariably being emotionally aligned, and their ‘Come-to-Jesus’ moment more often realised via ‘life enhancing’ benefits.
Our research also showed that this audience could suffer genuine anxiety from tech fear, or being placed in a position where they weren’t in control of the experience they were receiving (often resulting in negative human interaction). We designed the retail experience to ensure that the uncomplicated explorer not only felt in control but were emotionally engaged during every step of their journey.
Breaking the retail journey into three key steps – Play, Discover, Trial – we firstly considered and acknowledged the barriers and desires along the path to purchase, we then carefully mapped out the emotional journey we’d ideally want the customers to take using the appropriate sensorial triggers.
High streets and malls have been a battle ground of visual noise for some time now; retailers competing to shout as loud as possible about their latest product or promotion. Amidst this assault on our senses, very few succeed in connecting on an emotional level, the vast majority turning customers off at best, at worst having no impact at all. Through playful visually disruptive behaviour we tantalised the imagination and helped customers see the potential of a playful experience in store.
We know that if a customer makes a positive physical connection with a product they will be more inclined to have a richer emotional experience – therefore in the Discovery step we encouraged tactile interplay with the products, be this feeling the weight of a Soundlink revolve speaker, or trying on a pair of QC35 headphones. We gave explicit permission to play through material choice, engaging content and staff interaction allowing the customers to feel the Bose product benefit.
Make no mistake, to truly appreciate Bose product you have to experience it, but how do you build this experience not only in a way that helps the customer to appreciate the acoustic properties, but also helps them to visualise the products in their lives? Through an immersive set of principles, we developed interactions that put the customers at ease, supported by content that helped to contextualise the environments where these products were ultimately intended for use, augmenting real-life experiences through elevated audio trials.
Through the simple steps of see, feel and experience we take visitors to the Bose store on a journey of the imagination that is empathetic to both their needs and desires ensuring that both the left brain and right brain are stimulated in the most fitting way at the most appropriate time.
When it comes to imagination, we believe Dr. Bose was 100% correct – there really is no end game…