The White Company
Wednesday 15 Mar 2017
Home and clothing style brand, The White Company, sees the re-launch of its Marylebone High Street store, with a smart and sensory take on beds and linens, designed by branding and experience design agency, Household.
Beyond its style appeal across clothing, home and fragrance, the latest store from The White Company aims to be a destination for the ultimate night’s sleep. The newly introduced area named The Sleep Studio created by Household brings an innovative and sensory service experience to customers choosing beds and linen.
Household’s insight that Google searches for the word ‘sleep’ over the last 10 years have increased 300% and research shows that 97% agree a good night’s sleep is essential to quality of life. (source: Better Sleep Council; National Sleep Foundation; Google). It’s official, sleep is in demand and is a highly emotive category, yet for many customers, choosing bed and linen products has become complicated and based on rational and technical specifications rather than the way it makes customers feel.
The White Company sleep experience designed by Household differs from other bed and linen offers with the concept revolving around ‘touch’. Household’s approach of emotion first, functional specs second, sets the scene for an intuitive and more natural way for customers to navigate and choose.
‘White’ is explored through texture, and communication is expressed through words, written and designed to feel immersive, and with the purpose of leading customers to explore sensorially.
Service experiences have been created to invite customers into the world of what makes great sleep, appealing to both serve and self-serve customers. These key elements combine to give The White Company an authentic and timely take on the power of sleep and how to achieve it.
The Sleep Studio gives customers 7 steps to a perfect night’s sleep – duvets, toppers, mattresses, linen, headboard, pillows, and bed, are displayed together for the first time within The Sleep Studio. Designed to feel like a walk-in wardrobe, a naked full-size bed gives customers real-feel mattress, pillow and topper combinations. Through enhanced visibility, customers can more easily discover that all these products are available to test and buy at The White Company. Design cues are borrowed from the clothing fitting room to encourage customers to think differently about this area and gather products together to try.
Oversized fabric swatch books hang from the perimeter walls and serve as inspirational and informational communications panels. They invite customers to take four tests:
Touch test – linen; Rest test – pillows; Comfort test – mattress; and Wrap test for duvets. The Wrap test lets customers indulge in selecting a duvet they want to try from the built-in rail and then literally wrap it around them to get the sense of size, weight and feel, as well as ‘lovability’ factor. These interactive touch points also serve as tools for colleagues to engage customers in the buying process.
Communication is written and designed to feel immersive, with the introduction of emotive font ‘Autumn Chant’ to the brand handwriting to add femininity. Product labelling has been simplified and ordered with a greater focus on benefits to play on personal preference. Product range take-away cards make product comparison even easier bringing a personal ‘hotel’ touch.
Across the store, Crittall-style windows create a department store feel to each area, enhancing browse, as well as visibility across the store. All brand communications are designed to feel a natural part of the story and store experience. Communications are framed like pictures and embody The White Company’s style and quality values – they too feel good enough to buy.
Design features include low-level lighting to create a cosy bedroom domestic atmosphere. A palette of solid timbers, such as oak, with pale and white washes brings a home style and texture. Wire and acrylic frames house communications. The Test stories and product ranging communications are printed onto fabric to soften information, creating additional textures.
The Marylebone High Street store elevates the partnership between sensory communications and immersive store design and is paving the way for a richer, yet informative customer experience, and an innovative experiential brand response from The White Company.
Founded in April 2004, brand and experience design agency, Household, is leading the way in designing retail-culture to better help brands excel in today’s supercharged customer landscape. Household’s ambition is to create a retail-culture where people and brands come together on equal terms for valuable and worthwhile experiences.
With studios in London and Los Angeles, Household’s customer-focused brand and design creation approach has led the agency to partner with brands as diverse as Amazon, Christian Louboutin and Unilever across food, fashion, beauty, luxury, banking, consumer tech and lifestyle.