Spoke London Conceptual Exploration: Translating an app-based brand into a guided physical retail experience…

Location: UK

SPOKE London hold a unique position in the market through their offer of custom-fit jeans and chinos, supported by their one-of-a-kind Fit Finder questionnaire that encourages customers to find their perfect cut.

Alongside inviting customers to share their dimensions, the Fit Finder questionnaire also asks questions like “How do you fasten your wristwatch?”, so that the brand cannot only match products to a customer’s size but to their style and fit preferences, too. On top of this, SPOKE believe a premium custom-fit is found only through the perfect combination of tailoring in three main areas: waist, thighs, and leg length.

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Having had success with their Fit Finder questionnaire online, SPOKE wanted to introduce its non-traditional approach to the high street. Seeking a design partner who understood the power of the concept, the menswear brand consequently appointed Briggs Hillier to bring the Fit Finder to life through a tactile, travelling pop-up which could be stationed at inner city hotspots for young, affluent professionals.

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The Brief

To ensure that the pop-up store would be as special as SPOKE’s offer, we looked to strip away some traditional functions – like carrying high volumes of stock and encouraging customers to come away with their purchases, there and then – to truly lean into and shine a light on the unique Fit Finder concept.

Key attributes of the store would include exceptional fitting room design, immersive brand storytelling, and a seamless and premium multi-channel customer experience. Above all, the brand sought to offer a journey of chronological touchpoints that communicate SPOKE’s fit story and successfully guide the customer through the process to instil confidence in their revolutionary model.

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Research & Insight

Since product testing and trialling would stand at the heart of this temporary retail activation, alongside researching SPOKE London and the landscape in which the brand sits, we carried out an extensive fitting room study to understand how customers react with a fitting room and its various elements. This helped us to realise the perfect fitting room configuration, design and combination of elements that contribute to a superior ‘try-on’ experience.

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Design Strategy & Customer Journey

We sought to illustrate the Fit Finder concept via a design strategy focusing on store layout, zoning and the considered arrangement of instore activity points. Customers are welcomed into the store to complete the brand’s Fit Finder questionnaire at digital stations, with accompanying information boards inviting customers to regard more than a pair of trousers’ colour and style, and consider how they could look with a bespoke custom-fit.

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Fitting rooms are awarded a larger area than you might typically expect, inviting customers to try-on the different example fits available to them instore, before choosing their preferred colour and fabric finish via a separate display demonstrating the complete range of colour options available through a library of material swatches. Ample seating is provided throughout to encourage customers to take all the time they need as they contemplate their requirements.

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VM Principles

Intentionally carrying low stock to encourage customers to order their bespoke fit through the omnichannel process for delivery or collection at a later date, the store displays a limited range of chinos and jeans. However, a combination of folded and hung product can be found throughout the store, both along the perimeter wall and on midfloor displays featuring ‘mannequins in motion’, to suitably demo the product and its elite fit.

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SPOKE London Travelling Pop-Up

Additionally, flightcase-like displays invite customers to ‘build’ their fit and cannot only be moved around the store to manipulate its layout, but can also be used to create a ’flightcase pop-up shop’ concept for further temporary retail activation opportunities at other locations.

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The Creative

We created a series of mood boards for the multiplicity of areas and activity points, from fixtures and mannequins to seating and fitting rooms, before creating a defined mood board for the overall look and feel of the store which would showcase a creative direction conducive to brand’s brief.

We landed on an “Energetically Minimalist” concept which would perfectly define the brand and create an excellent backdrop for delivering a premium customer experience. This would consist of a clean and contemporary design aesthetic with an attention to detail and the seamless integration of digital.

Graphic communications would remain simple, yet playful, consisting of typography and infographics helping to guide customers through the Fit Finder process, and visuals of the target consumer carrying out an array of day-to-day activities to encourage customers to move around so they can appreciate not only how the trousers look, but how they feel, too.

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Bringing Designs To Life

We designed a best-in-class brand experience through creating the real life “Fit Finder”. Our strategic-led approach translated a complex concept into an easy-to-understand process that spotlights the brand’s unique offer, and a comprehensive design that can be applied to a myriad of retail formats.

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Lucy Mister

2nd November 2023