It’s always interesting to hear Lisa White, Creative Director of Homebuild Life, speak and her talk on ‘Experience Design’ at 100% was no exception. The expert trend forecaster dubbed experiences as the final frontier when it comes to retail and it makes sense. The increase of online shopping has meant that people have less and less need to visit physical stores – perhaps the only way back is to entice them with experiences, not sales pitches.

‘Shared experience’ is at the heart of experience design and crucially, providing money-can’t-buy experiences and giving the person something entirely for free. Best in show was the Missoni zig zag party at Milan which offered a multi-sensory light display experience to launch their new furniture collection in a space entirely clear of furniture – the essence being guests’ enjoyment and positive affinity with the brand and the understanding that if that is achieved, sales will come later.

Our favourite was the Milka example; their ‘come together’ project which saw strangers form a human chain in order to activate a free chocolate vending machine gave us a warm glow just from watching the video. This, explains Lisa, what it’s all about, bringing people who are so used to connecting in the virtual world back together in the real world and giving them a something to talk about, a day to remember and a rare chance to interact with other humans in an entirely positive way. Lots to think about…