Brand destination experiences: The ultimate storytelling trend

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Every company in the world has a tale to tell, and a yarn to spin. It’s one of the reasons PR, marketing and advertising agencies exist- to help businesses realise what they want to project. But have you ever stopped to think why this is important?

Brand storytelling is the act of explaining to the public what the firm is all about- where the ethics, interests, and heritage come from, and where the future might be going. However, this is becoming much more complicated a task than ever before.
According to a study of 5,000 Britons conducted by Co. Design earlier this year, when asked what they want from a brand, consumers categorically answered ‘a share of emotion’. This means they would prefer to see companies as 360-degree entities in the same way as people. A proven way of achieving that is by allowing them to fully appreciate what goes into the products, not just what comes out.
Hence the rise in brand destination experiences. These locations are open to the public, and have been built with one core goal in mind- allow people to truly get to know a firm through immersion in the company’s own world. We’ve picked some of the most interesting examples below, and explained exactly why we consider them so impressive.
 
L’Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels; Paris, France
Considered amongst the finest jewellery design houses on the planet, VC&A  launched a special programme in 2012 for those
interested in learning more about the elegant process of making precious wearables. Watch craftspeople at work, try a hand at basic design, and surround yourself in the priceless- from past to present.
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Function – To spread knowledge about the painstaking methods used, instilling an understanding and appreciation of value, and educating visitors in good taste.
Brand benefits – Reaffirming why the company is so highly regarded, showing people the artisanal processes to encourage word of mouth promotion to friends, triggering aspirational desires in current and new customers.
 
Pilsner Urquell Master Bartender Competition; Pilsen & Prague, Czech Republic
Each year one of the biggest beer brands invites bartenders and journalists from across the globe to its homeland, where they compete to pull the perfect pint. Each gets to bring two friends for this all-expenses paid trip, which is both deep learning exercise and huge party, with lager flowing day and night.
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Function – Teaching stakeholders about the traditional brewing methods used, showing what constitutes ‘the ultimate pint’, and generating great media content during the grand finale, which takes place in a prestigious Prague address.
Brand benefits – Making influential tastemakers more inclined to promote and recommend the product, reiterating Pilsner Urquell’s status as one of the world’s oldest beers, feeding the public’s hunger for heritage and tradition.
 
Samsung 837 Center; New York City
Located in the ultra-hip, design-savvy Meatpacking District,  Samsung 837 is a store like no other. The Social Galaxy lets you ‘walk into’ your own online history, a MainStage area streams unique entertainment, and a VR tunnel gives the chance to try Samsung Gear headsets. Create custom device cases in the Playroom, compare Samsung’s legendary picture quality to that of rivals via images of the Manhattan skyline, and enjoy innovative eats from guest chefs in a restaurant-cum-showroom.
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Function – Elevating the ‘in-store’ experience beyond our expectations, showing off the latest products in an interactive environment, and tapping into our inherent desire for personalisation.
Brand Benefits – Proving how high-tech and advanced the company is, making us want these levels of innovation in our pocket, and tapping into invaluable word of mouth promotion by giving us plenty to talk about after leaving.
 
LEGOLAND; Billund, Denmark
LEGOLAND opened in 1968, allowing kids and big kids to immerse themselves in all things plastic brick. Once through the gates, visitors have chance to learn about how the company has developed through fun and interactive exhibitions, enjoy rides ‘built’ from the toy, explore a variety of worlds themed on brand playsets, and, perhaps most important of all, engage in activities that promote greater understanding of everything from music to science- a fundamental pillar of LEGO being education.
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Function – To provide a living, breathing image of the fantasy world the company has created, whilst also making the firm’s ethics and goals clear for all to see.
Brand benefits – Creating memories through incredible experiences to build customer loyalty, inviting people to play in the created universe to make them feel more inspired by and involved with the products.

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