How Brands Can Use Public Spaces To Amplify Their Impact

How Brands Can Use Public Spaces To Amplify Their Impact
Retail

Companies are contributing ideas for infrastructure and creating spaces that bring people together to make an impact on city life

PSFK
  • 30 march 2018

As the idea of experiential retail—where providing spaces for experiences takes priority over selling products—becomes standard practice in the way stores look and operate, brands are naturally thinking of what’s next. How can they expand their impact into the communities they inhabit?

This can take several forms, from infrastructure that enables new efficiencies to occasions and environments that bring people together around the halo of a brand. By creating spaces that bring like-minded people together, brands are able to leave a lasting mark within communities.

Below, we look at three projects that show how brands are using physical spaces for meaningful outcomes.

BMW 
BMW revealed its idea of building a network of bike lanes above street level, called the E3 Way—standing for elevated, electric and efficient—to help cities everywhere fight congestion and ease emissions by making cycling a safer, more convenient and thus more popular way to get around. The paths would be reserved for electric bikes and two-wheelers (like the BMW Motorrad X2 City, a battery-powered scooter) and have a speed limit of 15.5 mph. The E3 Way would also feature ramps and sluice systems to handle merging, in addition to video surveillance and artificial intelligence to monitor the flow of traffic and ensure safety.

Plantagon CityFarm 
Plantagon CityFarm wants to create a network of underground urban farms—plus whole skyscrapers filled with plants. Set to begin production in early 2018 in the basement of a Stockholm office building, Plantagon CityFarm will grow greens in vertical towers under LED lights. But by capturing the heat from the lamps—heat that would normally have to be vented out of the room and require air conditioning to keep the plants from overheating—the farm operators can send it into a storage system to be used to heat the office building about it through the winter. The system will save the building 700,000 kilowatt-hours of energy a year, worth roughly three times as much as the previous tenant of the basement was paying in rent.

Plantagon. Image: Sweco (CC).

Eaton Workshop 
Located in Washington D.C., Eaton Workshop is a hotel for activists that intends to be the brick-and-mortar hospitality brand of social good. The hotel is built to appeal to journalists, entrepreneurs, community leaders, politicians and “change-makers” and aspires to be a press club, coworking space and canvas for rising neighborhood talent. It’s multi-pronged approach will bring in events and speakers, as well as bars and restaurants that draw and support activists or the activist-minded traveler. Programming will start with a series of talks on topics ranging from climate change to race relations. The goal is to house several activist-artists in residence, many of whom straddle the non-profit and creative fields—think filmmakers and artists who tackle timely issues in their work.

For more on these trends and examples of cause-based marketing and initiatives, check out our recent report Applying Brand Impact To Improve Public Spaces.

As the idea of experiential retail—where providing spaces for experiences takes priority over selling products—becomes standard practice in the way stores look and operate, brands are naturally thinking of what’s next. How can they expand their impact into the communities they inhabit?

+bmw
+Brand Introduction
+chat a researcher
+cities
+Cities
+Europe
+experiential marketing
+Experiential Marketing
+home
+hospitality
+hotel
+mobility
+retail
+Sustainability
+technology
+urban farming
+USA
+work

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