Enough stats and theory: here are some examples of brands delighting CITYSUMERS around the world in innovative ways:
In thriving mega-cities, whose economic and cultural power already often surpass that of entire nations, CITYSUMERS’ identities will often be closely tied to a city’s culture, its brand, its heritage, its ‘being’. This means that for brands, delivering city-specific products, services and communications that truly capture a city’s character will be a great, human and fun way to pay respect to CITYSUMERS (especially if those brands are considered big, impersonal and ‘corporate’).
- Fragrances are a popular way to capture a city’s essence. High-end US fashion brand DKNY released a fragrance “Love from New York for Women”, while the city of Beverly Hills created their own line of three scents that are meant to “evoke what life is like for the Beverly Hills woman”. And then there’s New York’s Bond No.9 launch of High Line, a fragrance inspired by the New York neighborhood experiment. Dubbed as “The World’s First Railroad Perfume with the scents of wildflowers, green grasses … and urban renewal.”
- Minneapolis design firm Workerman created city in a jar which contains a jar full of Minneapolis icons on pins; each jar is filled with 600 pins with 20 different hot spots from the city. Minneapolis was the first city to be ‘bottled’ and there are more to come.
- 718 made in Brooklyn is an urban furniture design company based in New York. In May 2010, “The Subway Series” was unveiled at the BKLYN Design Show in Brooklyn. The work consists of decommissioned subway signs that had been recycled and turned into lights, for CITYSUMERS to place within their home.
- The Spanish candle brand Cerabella has launched a range of candles inspired by the different districts of Barcelona, from La Rambla to El Raval.
- The Absolut Cities Series was first launched in New Orleans, when the brand developed a special mango and black pepper blend inspired by the city. The taste of Boston saw the brand launch a black tea and elderflower vodka that has a backdrop reminiscent of Fenway Park’s Green Monster, while 2010’s Absolut Brooklyn was a red apple and ginger flavored vodka with a Spike Lee-designed brownstone themed bottle.
- The final edition of Adidas’ City Collection was released in December 2010, paying homage to the city of Birmingham and its famous Cadbury chocolate factory.
Related to limited (city) editions: With online access making everything available to consumers from Atlanta to Adelaide, impose an oft-forgotten scarcity through LIMITED LOCATION products. The upside? That scarcity will be reflected in CITYSUMERS’ engagement, excitement and ultimately their willingness to pay premium prices 😉
- Check out Dior’s very expensive Shanghai Blue Phone, only available in Shanghai stores, for a great example of how LIMITED LOCATION doesn’t mean limited prices.
- Japanese Fashion brand BAPE sells some of its limited edition lines only in stores in Tokyo (Harajuku), Kagoshima, Nagoya and Matsuyama.
- In August 2010, Starbucks announced the launch of a new range of ultra-premium, single-origin coffees that will be only available in limited quantities in metropolitan markets including: New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Miami.
Or how about taking it right down to the neighborhood level? With mega-cities becoming ever bigger, intra-URBAN PRIDE offers the ultimate in extreme urban expression:
- In December 2010 in San Francisco, Yahoo! installed digital screens into 20 bus shelters across the city on which commuters can play video games against each other. Passengers identify which of the 20 specified neighborhoods they would like to represent when playing, and the one that wins the two month long contest will be rewarded with a music block party featuring the band OK Go.
- In October 2010, Adidas launched a game challenging footballers to capture cities. Connecting via Facebook, players pick their city (which is divided into hundreds of areas) and then try to claim each segment through one-on-one battles.