Themes/Storytelling: What is a brand experience?

In today’s world, we’re surrounded by thousands of brands. So how do companies make their products or ideas stand out?

Well, they are turning to designers to help them create events, installations and experiences – branded space. At the centre of this work is the idea of storytelling – an activity that has brought people of all cultures together for centuries. Stories can draw people in, capture the imagination, and have the power to surprise and delight.

The examples below explore how storytelling can be used by designers in unexpected ways. These projects create exciting, interactive experiences for visitors to experience different kinds of branded space.


Bompas & Parr: Truvia Voyage of Discovery

Photograph: Nathan Pask.
Selfridges rooftop in London was temporarily flooded and turned into an emerald green boating lake, complete with a crystal island, free flowing cocktails, tropical soundscapes, cups of tea and strawberries delivered by rowing boat! The reason; the launch of Truvia calorie free sweetener onto the UK market, designed by Bompas & Parr.

Explore more projects by these ‘food architects’ on Bompas & Parr’s website

Advisory note: some of Bompas and Parr’s projects explore adult themes.


Tinker: Nestle ‘Nest’ experience


Video: Tinker. Nestlé, the worlds largest food company wanted to create a family experience to celebrate its 150th birthday. The ‘nest’ is an interactive exhibition space and café created by Tinker, a design agency from the Netherlands. ‘Nest’ is a return home to the first Nestlé factory of 1866. It takes you right back to the beginning of Nestlé’s story, but it also address the challenges surrounding food production in the world today and explores the future of nutrition in a playful manner. Watch the film to see how different elements of the design help families to connect with this brand story.

Read more about the project on Tinker’s website


Tinker: The new experience- a magical day out


Video: Tinker. ‘The new experience’ is a place designed for people with multiple disabilities. It helps visitors develop a sense of independence. The design encourages them to explore the space using their imagination and all five senses. This very different type of ‘sensory’ experience, also created by design agency Tinker, invites people to paint with their hands or even voice, or go on a journey by car, train or boat. The brand here is the actual experience – created by Tinker and its client, foundation the new experience. Watch the video above to journey through this amazing space.

Read more about the project on Tinker’s website


Studio Weave: London’s Largest Living Room

Photograph: Studio Weave.
This giant living room was created as part of the London Festival of Architecture at Somerset House. As the Festival progressed, the furniture moved to various public sites across London. People were encouraged to create their own spaces and stories and post the results on social media. The aim was to make us think about how we could use our public spaces better. It’s a good example of how designers can use playful interventions to promote the broader themes and ideas of an organisation.

Find out more about the moving furniture and how the Festival’s branding was made integral to the design on Studio Weave’s website


Studio Weave: St James Market- The Safe Deposite

Photograph: DN&CO.
Studio Weave describe this space as both a ‘folly’ and a functional space – a place to hold temporary exhibitions and performances. It was designed by Studio Weave as part of the re-development of St James Market in London. Re-development often involves re-branding or revitalizing, but this doesn’t mean designers forget about the past. The architects were inspired by the history of the site, a former location of the Pall Mall Safe deposite, and its architect Leslie Greene.

Find out why ‘Wheat’ gold became a main colour in the design on Studio Weave’s website


Benefit: Good Ship Benefit

Feature and above image: The Persuaders.
To launch a series of new products, the cosmetic brand Benefit created a fun, immersive brand experience aboard the HS Hispaniola in collaboration with creative agency The Persuaders. Passengers were invited to hop aboard and join the crew for anything from brow consultations to cocktails, dinner and even yoga classes on deck. The transformation of the space never left anyone in any doubt that they had become part of the Good Ship Benefit brand story.

Explore the design story on The Persuader’s website


Find out more about the course Sam teaches on:

BA (Hons) Design for Branded Spaces