This is my last example of a concept in connection with the experience economy which is so important for today’s companies for selling their products. It is not only about the product itself, but people want to lose themselves in stories and fairytales, because we can buy everything we want so it just the material thing is way not special enough. It’s all about the story.
Last month I went to Limburg to visit a friend of mine and this friend has always been very trendy, so he said to me “Jorn, I know this place called Achter de Beek, it’s a very small place but there’s a store you’d definitely love.” I was bound to believe him and so we went to the middle of nowhere to see what’s going on over there. I was exciting because I didn’t know what to expect, but when we arrived I was completely flabbergasted. The concept was made up by two interior-stylists, but the one is specialized in vintage furniture and the other one is specialized in art and design. These two facets seemed to be the perfect combination to create a whole new concept, called the ‘Experience!’. This store is not just a store where the consumer pays his money for the object he/she want to have after which he/she finally leaves. No, this is way more than just a store. It is everything in one when we look at lifestyle. They do sell products, but behind every product there is a story the stylists can tell you. They pay a lot of attention to the consumer, but the special thing is, is that the stylists don’t treat you like you are consumer but like if you’re a friend of them. Instead of just grabbing a random product you may like, as consumer you want to know the story behind it, and that is what the stylists do. They tell you the story. Besides, it is also possible to go there when you’d like to have some inspiration for your living room. You can just walk in and just like a speeddate (concerning the time) the stylists will give you advice about how you can design your living room or garden or anything else in the best way. Furthermore, the ambiance is very cozy, it doesn’t feel like a shop or a big store chain. It is intimate, small, familiar and there’s also a live band playing which plays a kind of music which totally fits to the ambiance. When you step into the store you can feel where they stylists stand for. And I think it is just cool that they know the exact story behind everything they sell, whether it’s an product or an idea or a vision. I think many more companies should do this, because in this way the stylists gain confidence and I think that is the most important thing when you set up a store. And I think this is a great way to realize this.