Continuing yesterday’s theme… We know that the third place is a general term (our ‘home’ away from home and work), but how about when a business successfully defines it in their terms? Once again, Trendwatching.com has the definition:
Brand space – a space that capitalizes – in the broadest sense of the word – on consumer expectations set in motion by being spaces (aka third places). Think literally accommodating consumers outside the home and office, becoming a relevant and useful part of their daily lives, offering them surprise, discovery, empathy, transformation. A place to lounge, hang out, try things out, work, or relax. Or all of this at once?”
In other words, a brand space is one company’s interpretation of providing a third place whether it’s selling an experience, a service or even a product. This is essentially where the rubber meets the road, and why every business should look at Trendwatching.com’s examples here.
While local independents don’t want to become commodities like national chains, they should still learn from successful examples by larger companies that take risks (and read the book, E-Myth). One such example is Gallery illy (pictured). Located in SoHo, Manhattan, it’s a cafe, gallery, library, theatre and even university all dedicated to… coffee, where one can experience what is billed as the most authentic espresso in the city, watch a film on coffee’s history and chemistry, or take a three-week course on preparation and indulgence.
But what’s a successful brand space really all about? As the company’s CEO says about the venue’s patrons, “It’s tremendously insightful; to sit in the library and on the couch, engaging in conversations with them, finding out about what they do, how they learned about illy, what are the passions in their lives.”
For a local independent version of a brand space (which is more authentic because the ‘neighborhood brand’ is infused), check out Busboys and Poets, only a year old and already a neighborhood institution in Washington DC.
Image source: Trendwatching.com