CASE STUDY

IMMERSIVE RETAIL: NOW! NOW! EVENTS

 THE PROBLEM

Yes, malls in the United States are having challenges, at the same time successful malls here and in Europe are closely following, and in some cases, reinventing the mall experience. Many are adding an entertainment area or immersive entertainment, inclusive of VR Arcades. As North America is 2 years into the VR Arcade cycle, the competition with other entertainment experiences like Dave & Busters has deeply affected repeatability and footfall. What is the experience that can attract the whole family and attract more people that never went to the mall before?

THE OPPORTUNITY

The opportunity lies at the intersection of immersive experiences, digital shopping and the hype of influencer driven products and campaigns. This category is called Immersive Retail and is very specific to the Mall dilemma and the nascent habits and patterns of Gen Z and Millennials.

THE SOLUTION

My background in working with Wizard World, the traveling comic con, taught me a lot about grassroots marketing and building hype city to city. The fandom equated with celebrity could tie into the hysteria of the various beauty-cons that have been popping up and catering the female shoppers who love the Kardashians and want free samples and an instagrammable moment. The concept I came up with is a traveling pop up show focused on Immersive Retail. Elaborating on an earlier strategy of a monetized VR arcade within a Comic Con, I simply added the women, the beauty and extended into the Mall dilemma.

THE BRAND

What do we call this traveling show? We needed a memorable meme that also served as a call to action and could work internationally. Inspired by the didactic naming for Meow Wolf, I came up with Now! Now! which stated an urgency, “Come to Now! Now!” and also taps into a familiar colloquialism of assurance. The trademark search began and only a European Band was using the name, minus the bangs, a completely different category. I designed a distinct mark that was fashion-y as it needed to be, but also tapped into the game-y it also needed to be. With a communication platform that left an open ended phraseology system, Now! Now! The Future of…. was born. The Future of Shopping, The Future of Gaming, The Future of Fun….the extensions are endless and I knew we had a timeless platform to expand upon. Trademark is pending.

IDENTITY DEVELOPMENT

THE VISION

To be the leader of Immersive Retail, globally

THE MISSION

Now! Now! Specializes in Immersive Retail. We curate, build the experience, create transactions and convert customers. We provide a turn-key approach that can be custom built into semi-permanent or permanent locations. 

THE POSITION

To Gen Z and Millennials Now! Now! Is the leading event company in location based entertainment that specializes in Immersive Retail. We curate, build the experience, create transactions and convert customers through our turn-key approach that can be custom built into semi-permanent or permanent locations. 

THE BUSINESS PLAN

With the Vision, Mission and Position in place, the next challenge was to prove a business model that showed profit and scale. After extensive field studies on costs for ticketed experiences, from Beauty Con to Two Bit Circus, there was already a paradigm and a large threshold for a daily spend for a gated entry. I developed a new algorithm that combined the following factors into a complex equation for success. We needed to be in a successful mall with a minimum annual traffic of 20M people annually. Taking a conservative portion of Mall-Goers, 1%, and combining that with an aggressive multi media campaign that integrates Mall-Nevers, the elusive Gen Z and Millennials, the adoption rate aggregated to a 4% figure. The minimum space needed was 10,000 square feet space allowing for five 2-hour sessions which kept the crowd moving through. Firecode restrictions dictated maximum capacities and our formula tabulation showed a profit within the first pop up show and exponentially increasing month over month. With an average ticket price of $25 - $29, we hit the middle and provided value for a family or exclusives with a VIP day or weekend pass. Another trick I learned from my Wizard World days. The Now! Now! algorithm was born!

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THE CONCEPT

Combine immersive entertainment with immersive shopping

MOOD BOARDS

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THE USER JOURNEY

A multi-touch and fully connected experience

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THE FLOORPLANS

Based on desired demographics to reach, I designed specific floorplans to accommodate a variety of demos.

THE ROOMS

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FULLY MOBILIZED

Introducing the Now!Now! AR Mobile App.

THE PROGRAM

We do not rely on experience alone. We developed extensive influencer campaigns complete with a stage in every experience. On weekends, a VIP ticket will get you a front row seat to see the latest local beauty micro-influencer educate the crowd on the next best way to do makeup, or meet local gaming influencers or visiting Hollywood talent to get their autograph. Our weekly marketing efforts focus on events in the space and gives a real reason for people to keep coming back. If you just want a selfie in front of a flower wall, flashmobs or cosplay, you came to the wrong place!

PERSONA PROFILES

GO TO MARKETING PLAN

Unlike most experience designers, we don’t just build it and leave, we work hard on the local marketing to guarantee as much success as we possibly can. As a general rule of thumb, we used a formula of 20% of Production costs to allocate a marketing budget. On a $10M build, we allocated a $2M Media buy with 10% of that going to creative production. Anything less will risk success. This includes local TV, local radio, OOH, Digital Signage in malls, Commuter placements, Micro-Influencer shout outs and appearances, Newspaper and local Publicity and News coverage.  A comprehensive digital campaign focused on Retargeting and AI – with unique AI algorithms targeting and retargeting mall-goers and mall-nevers. State of the Art Shit!

 

THE BENEFITS

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IMMERSIVE RETAIL

ADDENDUM

If you need this type of consulting or this modeling for brand and business plans, they are available through my paid consultancy. White paper available upon request. Click Here.

Credits

Flaticon

Shutterstock

Unsplash: Robert Nelson

Noun Project:

Lyn Fuque, Jay Deasigner, Design Nex, Daouna Jeong, Phil Goodwin, Brandosaur.us, Vicky Shitzu

 

Production Credits

Y Dreams Global

Magic Xperience

Vertuoso

Perch

Prove

Universe

Oaken Anchor

Red Raion

Ultrahaptics

Enklu

CL Corp

 

Press

RLI

 

Special Thanks to

David Shor

Jayne Rafter

Helen Barnish

Chuck Taylor

Todd Birnbaum

Ingo Jakobs

Wendy Moodie

Karen Klein

Matthew Growney

Lauren Katz