In a bid to court tech-savvy, style-conscious future consumers, German automaker Porsche has partnered with US audio specialist Bose on a pop-up experience dubbed The Sound Of Porsche: Stories of the Brand. The initiative transforms a space in Manhattan's fashionable Meatpacking district into a digital record store.
The multisensory destination is divided into three interactive areas:
- At the front of the store is a bank of personal listening stations. Guests place a disc resembling a traditional 12" vinyl record on a digitally responsive pad, triggering short films that regale them with various segments of the brand's backstory. See Monetising Brand Heritage for more on the value of revealing a brand back-story.
- At the rear is the Sound Lab Virtual Drive Experience – a glass-walled room housing an iconic Porsche 911 painted matt white. Visitors can play with a choice of three visual schemes, which are digitally mapped onto the car in order to illustrate what it's like to drive a 911 through Miami, an Austrian mountain pass or on the German Nurburgring racetrack. Each scheme is accompanied by surround-sound audio, delivered by Bose.
- The Design Corner serves as a freestyle space where visitors can draw what the sound of Porsche means to them on a sizable wall, and upload their designs to social media using the hashtag #soundofporsche.
A section of the space has also been given over to retailing Porsche's accessible line of branded product design, which includes handbags, watches and sunglasses. There is also a café and lounge area – echoing the rising trend for relaxing, hospitality-industry-inspired selling environments in the automotive industry, to counter the increasingly ineffective 'hard sell' ambience of traditional showrooms. For more on this, see Innovations in Automotive Retailing.
Open until October 6, the experience is scheduled to move on to London and Shanghai (dates to be confirmed).
For more on the multisensory environments deploying technology to simulate experiences or simply engage via advanced retail theatre, see Immersive Brand Spaces and Virtual Immersive Commerce.