Image Source Gucci

In a climate of civic discourse, and consumer distrust, there is an inherent need for trading on culture and art to promote empathy and rebuild social cohesion. Modern retail is the crossroad between commerce and culture. Brands are taking on the role of cultural hub spots and facilitating community in the process.

Guy Gouldavis, TVGla VIP of strategy contends that brands must be culturally and technologically agile in order to engage with modern consumers. At the Retail Expo in May, Nathan Watts, Creative Director of Fitch, stated that art cultures invites empathy. As such, culture is a powerful platform for brands and retailers to connect with their audiences.

Referencing culture, such as film, music and the arts can help brands leverage meaning and generate emotive engagement with consumers. We digest brands embracing these tactics to nurture relevancy, storytelling and inspire conversations and community.

Image Source Lush

Lush’s Think Pink Cinema

Dubbed as a platform for campaigners, activists and like-minded people, beauty retailer Lush hosted a summit in February 2017 at Tobacco Dock, London. The brand hosted a variety of events to promote social progression surrounding the environment, human rights, food, climate change, animals’ rights and digital ethics.

Part of the two-day event included a scented cinema. In time with the 60th anniversary of the iconic fashion film Funny Face, Lush created a pink infused cinema that included a screening of the ‘think pink’ song from the film. Shrewdly a ‘think pink’ bath accessory was available to purchase following the experience.

Image Source Gucci

Gucci’s Emerging Artists

Gucci is at the forefront of culture. Glossy details that in May, the brand transformed Milan’s central Corso Garibaldi area into a colourful mural to mark their most recent art collaboration. The painting showcased two fashionable ladies with an accompanying text reading ‘Freaks and Geeks’.

The focus of the collaboration was to promote emerging artists. Driven by creative director Alessandro Michele, the illustrations within the show are playful, trade on wordplay and heavily reference popular culture. The move is bold and helps blossoming artists gain exposure on a global scale whilst ensuring the century old brand maintains relevancy.

Image Source Gentle Monster

Gentle Monster – Art Sells

Half sunglasses store, half gallery, Gentle Monster trades on artistic storytelling to promote consumer engagement and build conversational hype around the brand and product. The company seeks to decorate their consumer’s face but inspire their mind through art installations in store. The curation of art generates newness.

The future measure of a brand’s relevancy is how meaningfully they connect. Referencing culture gives brands and retailers the ability to resonate with consumers and invite emotive engagement.