Digital Strategy, Concept Development, Brand Strategy, Art Direction, User Experience, Visual Merchandising, Environment Design, Visual Merchandising, Retail Strategy
Q: How can a European brand ubiquitous among audiophiles, elevate awareness with everyday consumers in North America?
A: Develop a transformative retail pop-up and let it live where it can be experienced by millions.
Sennheiser has been making headphones that are among the world’s best for nearly 70 years, but not enough North American customers are aware of the brand. Buyers of middle and high end headphones value quality, looks, and specs equally. They need to touch, feel, and most importantly hear to be convinced. The competition to grab the ears of these consumers is stiff, the market is saturated, and we needed to connect with them on an emotional level.
The Sennheiser Soundscape is designed to evoke the feeling of listening to great music. The pop up’s form is a sculptural installation made up of 2200 dichroic “sound rods” designed to attract guests by changing color based on the sun and a viewer’s position in the room. It creates a dancing analogue animation that never looks the same twice. Within the Soundscape, we developed strategically positioned experience zones. These zones are flanked by cases filled with hero products and key artifacts from the brand's history. Brand ambassadors help answer questions, as well as complete purchases onsite. Additionally, to help drive traffic we created custom CG media for the massive integrated displays throughout the Oculus. The Soundscape gave Sennheiser an opportunity to put their 70 year history and the transformative experience of hearing your own music through them in front of nearly 300,000 daily users.
We knew we had to build everything around sound. The most important insight was this: listening to music on a pair of Sennheisers is really, really different. So we should allow people to hear that for themselves, pairing the product with their own device. Everything changes when a song you’ve heard thousand times, suddenly becomes a new experience when you use a pair of Sennheisers. First, we identified the need to narrow the focus to a few key products and get those headphones on the right heads. Next, we chose the Westfield WTC in the Oculus in downtown Manhattan as the place to find them. As it’s a transient space for those traveling to and from work, we knew we’d be able to immerse a huge volume of potential buyers in the story and experience of Sennheiser.