Emerging VM Trend: Sensory Interaction (Julia)

WGSN Takeaways

  • Brands and retailers are now facilitators, as customers demand a heightened experience and deeper understanding in-store and online
  • Create atmospheres that interact with consumers through technology or low-fi techniques
  • Take customers on an informative or inspirational journey
  • Allow the customer to become part of the brand, creating brand hype
  • Seduce consumers with the moving picture; inform with video tutorials
  • Embrace mobile commerce; apps offer personalised pocket shopping and instant access to product


  • Instant access to brand and product offer is pioneered through virtual technology systems. Create platforms for communication and feedback through playful touch-screen technology
  • Playful platforms such as American Eagle Outfitters’ “Live-from”, and Diesel’s confession-booth TV see the customer essentially become part of the brand
  • The increasing use of QR codes allows retailers and brands to tag further information to product. Tags can stimulate a deeper understanding of brand identity, or be used to take customers on an offbeat journey. We loved the recent advertisement by Calvin Klein, famous for its controversial campaigns, which used the QR code to create brand hype
  • The use of social-media platforms such as Twitter is also used to create brand hype. Uniqlo continues to demonstrate its success with its latest “Tweet for a treat” discount campaign
  • Mobile-commerce has been hailed as the future of retail, and the increasing development of mobile apps offers personalised pocket shopping. Debenhams, which has launched the high street’s first scannable barcode, allowing customers to access product in sight such as fit, stock availability and exclusive offers via their mobile phone

Film Shorts

  • The static image is replaced by the moving picture, as retailers and brands exploit the ease of encapsulating the consumer’s mindset
  • A renewed interest in fashion film means film shorts become a blank canvas for experiential storytelling, offbeat humour and evocative product stories, delivered both online and in-store.
  • The increasing ease of implementing digital screens marks the move from set design to retail for high-impact displays. Moving imagery for facades or located at the entrance to venues creates immediate atmosphere.
  • Creating a dedicated cinematic space in-store sees retailers amplify the customers experience, while increasing dwell time
  • Video tutorials highlight key trends and product offers with ease, allowing a deeper consumer understanding of new product.


  • Simplicity reigns, as retailers interact with consumers with tried-and-tested techniques
  • The recent Ben Sherman “Shop load of shirts” window created huge brand hype, as the secretly filmed video of customers’ reaction to the window of externally placed shirts circulated the web
  • The return of the vending machine marks the use of simple push-button technology. WGSN loves the way in which the recent collaboration between Love magazine and Selfridges, and Simon Hasan’s Mass-Made machine at Tom Dixon has revived it as a quirky one-stop luxury shop
  • Old-fashioned instruments, such as the magnifying glass, are used to focus on key product at Oasis for its Fashion Week windows

  • Post-it note commentary and feedback at asos allows customers to easily interact with the brand
  • Simple, interactive games that make the customer think about product offer, seen at The White Building by www.mydeco.com, prove to be successful



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Filed under Innovative Marketing Campaigns, Julia, Secondary Research, Trends Research

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