Swarm Gets Inspired - Monthly Picks, September.

This month we’re sharing the industry stories that have inspired us and sparked conversations across the Swarm team - from the Zalando stores with no products, to Ford’s virtual event platform - September seems to have breathed new life into the world of brand experience and we’re delighted to share our favourite picks of the month with you. 

Zalando Launches Virtual Pop-up Store with no Physical Clothes
Following last year’s launch of Zalando’s new brand direction, Zalando’s “free to be” celebrating inclusivity and innovation, they’re now opening a new virtual pop-up store which features no physical clothes but allows user to try on its entire range using projection technology. This allows any garment from Zalando’s online catalogue to be projected onto the shoppers’ body, responding to them as they move. This concept brings a whole new dimension to the phrase ‘one size fits all’. 

Why Beauty Brick-And-Mortar is Thriving in China
Evidently, customers can’t resist the real deal as offline and hands-on beauty brands in China have seen a surge in in-store sales since restrictions have eased following the peak of the pandemic. This thought-provoking article from Jing Daily delves into the reasons why the cosmetics and beauty industry is bucking the trend of ‘going digital’ and is in fact, taking their learnings from e-commerce and social media to create the most appealing real-life retail experiences for their customers. 

Imagination Creates Ford Horizon – A Virtual Platform for Ford to Host Next Generation Interactive Experiences
On the 2nd September, Ford launched Ford Horizon, the home for the automotive giant’s virtual experiences and events. Ford Horizon is a bespoke platform that takes the audience into a designed and curated experience with rich interactivity, wrapped around next-level content.
Ford of Europe director of product communications, Jay Ward said; “we see this as a different way to host shows and events in the future as the world grapples with safer ways to interact with its audience.” We’re excited to see how this new style of virtual event platform is embraced by brands and their audiences alike.

Isobar Creative Experience Survey 2020 Reveals Marketer Innovation Priorities
Global experience agency Isobar published the results of an exclusive study of over 1,350 global chief marketing officers assessing the evolution of customer experience design in the age of Covid-19. The report discusses the rise of ‘Creative Experience’, an approach to customer experience focused not only on eliminating friction but on engineering delight and building differentiation and highlights that in a one-click (or no click) world, brands risk becoming increasingly indistinct - and increasingly invisible. Download the full report from Isobar here. 

The 2020 Brand X Challenge: Shaping the Next Generation of Event Marketers
In an effort to raise awareness for the experiential industry as a potential career path, Event Marketer, leading event agency MAS and SEPHORA teamed up to create The Brand X Challenge, a experience design competition for students in the US. The Brand X Challenge invited students to get exposure to the experiential discipline by responding to a brief to design a fictitious event campaign for a real brand - SEPHORA - and more than 630 teams of students spanning more than 150 schools, universities and colleges signed up. Read more about the challenge and the winning submissions here.

Image Credit: Christopher Burns