As part of the London Design Festival, home improvement site Houzz has created its very own pop-up living space.

Located in King’s Cross until the 25th September, SmartHouzz is a small, stylish and compact home, packed with smart features designed for city living.

A mix of spot-on branding and experiential marketing, here’s four reasons why I found it worth a visit. 

Drives consumer awareness

It’s hard to miss a large green house in the middle of Granary Square, and with its prime location, SmartHouzz ensures that it captures the interest of passers-by.

As part of the Design Festival, the pop-up is clearly geared towards those who are interested in interior design, however it also succeeds in driving general consumer awareness. 

Events Manager, Ffion Francis, explained to me that visitors had so far been a mix of people who had already downloaded the app (and were therefore interested in applying design tips to their own living space), as well as people simply interested in finding out what was going on.

The concept of the SmartHouzz is based on the fact that ‘small bathroom’, ‘small bedroom’ and ‘small kitchen’ are some of the most popular search terms on Houzz.co.uk.

Using search behaviour to shape the concept means that it is more likely to resonate with consumers. 

Encourages social interaction

Alongside the hashtag #smarthouzz, Houzz is also running a competition to further encourage interaction and drive awareness of the campaign.

Promising the winner a John Lewis gift card worth £2,000, this is a nice little incentive for people to go down and check out the pop-up.

Once inside the house, there’s also the chance for visitors to get involved with other competitions, increasing the chances of people sharing their experience on social media and with friends and family. 

Combines physical and digital retail

One of the biggest challenges for a company like Houzz is the gap between the digital world and very physical nature of its product.

For consumers using the app or website - despite newly integrated AI features such as ‘View in my Room’ -  there is a big difference between browsing on a small screen and seeing a piece of furniture in real life.

As a result, the physical nature of the pop-up is effective at prompting customers to purchase. 

What’s more, the immersive and interactive nature of the experience, such as the ability to speak to ‘design professionals’, gives what is otherwise a faceless brand a friendly identity, and in turn becomes much more personal to the consumer.

Promotes brands partnerships

As well as being a content marketing opportunity for Houzz, the SmartHouzz also promoted products from its partners John Lewis and Dulux.

Using Dulux paint to decorate the interior and John Lewis products to furnish it, Houzz ensured that customers could directly purchase what they were seeing. 

There were some nice touches like the inclusion of tags on furniture, including product numbers and info on where to buy. 

With John Lewis stores also including the tags in their product displays, it means that consumers don’t have to be in King’s Cross to be aware of the campaign. 

All in all, it's a nice example of how to use experiential marketing to increase consumer awareness, as well as a great piece of design.

Nikki Gilliland

Published 23 September, 2016 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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