FordHub: Using Environments as Brand Experiences
AUTHOR: Derse / February 28, 2017
Ford recently designed and opened a new business space, but the center’s purpose is not to sell cars. Well, at least not directly. FordHub, located in Westfield World Trade Center, is a space designed to connect with customers more than the typical four hours a year they spend at the dealership. On the whole, FordHub’s purpose is to create a memorable customer experience, but currently Ford hopes to spark a conversation on the future of transportation within the public.
“Our first FordHub is a place designed to spark questions and curiosity,” said Elena Ford, Ford vice president, Global Dealer and Consumer Experience. “This isn’t a store or a dealer – it’s a place for participation and creativity. We want people to have fun while engaging in conversation about the future of transportation.”
Rolling out mobility solutions that extend outside of the traditional automotive industry, Ford is using their new Hub to showcase and educate the public on new offerings. FordHub offers engagements for car-owners as well as New York subway commuters and pedestrians. Attractions include a giant board with New York commute times, tablets that allow you to customize a Ford, and virtual reality headsets simulating a self-driving car’s ability atop of the Empire State Building.
Ford sparks customer interest on the future of transportation with FordHub.
FordHub is the perfect example of using an environment as a permanent engagement opportunity – for new product offerings, fostering relationships and informational literature. Unlike one-time events, environments exist as brand experiences customers can visit at any given time and at their own convenience. Here are a few helpful tips to designing your next branded center:
- Tell a Story. Craft a customer journey throughout your touchpoints. Your branded space should have a natural flow and include elements that directly touch on your customers’ pain points or your brand’s capabilities.
- Be Flexible. Design an environment that can adapt as your business goals change. Although environments are permanent experiences, they don’t have to be the same experience permanently. Account for a change in graphics, product display areas and virtual elements.
- Be Creative with Venue. Environments are just that – an environment. Ford may have built an entirely new center as a brand experience, but you can build the same engagements into meeting rooms, briefing centers, even your business’s main lobby. Be creative and utilize any space as a place for customers to explore your brand.
Aim to connect more than once or twice a year with customers. Open your doors and create an engagement touchpoint throughout your very own branded center.
Header Source: Cool Hunting
- Brand Centers
- Westfield World Trade Center