How One Shopping-Addict Transformed Retail Into A Story-Telling Experience [Need To Know]

How Rachel Shechtman melds story-driven content and marketing to create a new experience for shoppers.

Originally published in PSFK’s Need To Know Magazine Volume 1

Rachel Shechtman is the founder of Cube Ventures, a retail and marketing consultancy. She brings her strategies to life through STORY, a new physical, retail marketing experience that has the point of view of a magazine, changes like a gallery and sells things like a store. Rachel explains the project to PSFK:

We are ready for new retail models—both for brands and consumers. As a technology savvy culture, we get news and information every second, and in other formats through daily newspapers and monthly magazines; yet, most stores refresh goods four times a year and renovate after many years.

I believe it is time for all forms of retail to explore a more fluid format to mirror the rapid exchange of information in other areas of our lives.

STORY was created based on two hypotheses: First, while retail will always be about consumption, I believe that story-driven content and community will be a vital component of the consumer dialogue. Second, on the brand side, I feel strongly that retail is an untapped frontier for advertising.

I subscribe to what I call a 70/30 theory. 70% of what I believe consumers want is quality, service and something familiar (and value depending on the market and consumer) and 30% surprise and delight in the form of a good experience (they don’t know they want it, but they respond to it!)

I believe our model taps into that 30% and that is why we have been successful. We are merchandising and editing products as our version of editorial content, and consumers are loving it. Transactional Storytelling! We have customers begging our sales staff and emailing our manager to find out the next STORY.

If you create a compelling experience people will fly across the country for it.

If we were a traditional retailer, I doubt we would be getting emails saying ‘what is in your window next month?’ We are building a community and telling stories and therefore giving customers a reason to come back every four to six weeks! By creating a model that hardwires a sticky element to the consumer experience, we aren’t just logging sales but building strong relationships.

thisisstory.com / @rachelshechtman

Originally published in PSFK’s Need To Know Magazine. Click the banner below to purchase the print version.

Original photography for PSFK by Catalina Kulzar 

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