Target Just Crowdsourced Their Latest Store Design
One of the first things brand owners tend to learn is that the “customer knows best.” While this may not always seem to be the case, there’s probably more than a level of truth to this statement. More often than not, the customer has insights that may be difficult for a brand owner to recognize on their own, given their attachment to the business.
In the past, Target has shown that they are malleable and are open to listening to what their customers have to say. Their San Francisco concept store named, Open House was originally opened in July 2015 but has been closed since December 2015 for a full redesign. The space was created with the intention of giving customers hands-on experience with Internet of Things (IoT) products as well as allowing entrepreneurs to showcase their new products before they hit the shelves. In case you were wondering, IoT products are a network of internet-connected objects able to collect and exchange data using embedded sensors. What lies within in the sphere of IoT has long since held an air of mystery, leaving many consumers too timid to dip their toe into this new but quickly expanding pool of products.
Image via Target
For the redesign of Open House, Target took an unconventional approach by compiling customer feedback from the over 150,000 shoppers who visited the space while it was still open. Along with their creative and design team, Target formulated the best approach to creating a space that their customers would feel comfortable in while experiencing IoT products for the first time. They also took into account feedback from the entrepreneurs who showcased in the space in order to maximize Open House’s potential. Upgrades include: the new “Garage”, which “serves as an area for companies to showcase or launch their products on a retail shelf, get valuable quantitative and qualitative feedback on their products and have direct visibility to Target buyers,” according to Gene Han, Vice President of Consumer IoT and head of Target’s San Francisco Innovation Office. Target also upgraded the space to hold larger networking and demo events after business hours which provide feedback and analytics opportunities for entrepreneurs directly from customers and industry professionals alike.
At a glance, this type of creative and design involvement on the customer level may seem risky, but it is genius. As a company, if you can not only give your customers what they are asking for, but involve them in the creative process, offering them unparalleled access, you stand to gain free word-of-mouth publicity while creating a stronger bond between your business and your customer . The end game for any business owner is to give the customer exactly what they desire and make them as happy as possible. With an approach like Target’s, both of those boxes get checked off with the added bonus of building customer loyalty that is sure to last for years.