A mobile app & digital in-store experience for Bang & Olufsen that facilitates product adoption and use through personalized experiences for individual customers that foster an ongoing association with the brand.
This was a 4 week project for a senior Experience Design course. We began researching Bang & Olufsen as well as visiting a store to conduct a contextual interview and observe customer interaction. We noticed that despite Bang & Olufsen’s luxury brand status, their in-store experience still contained customer friction common to the AV sales industry.
Bang & Olufsen emphasizes moving personal experiences and the intimate emotional characteristics of sound and picture but their digital presence and in-store experience did little to engage customers on those levels
Further research into the brand and the domain of luxury led us to better understand the privacy and personal ideals associated with members of the Bang & Olufsen brand tribe. We began to frame our process around building intangible value, highlighting aspirational value and simply demystifying the tangibles such as high quality sound.
A Complex Domain
I don't have the time to learn about all these features
We established that the main aspect of luxury that could be synthesized was offering simplicity within this complex domain of purchasing and using audio, visual and home integration equipment.
How do we build trust quickly between the customers and the brand?
In order to answer this question we looked for comparable experiences. Through case studies and brainstorming we discovered that by framing the buying experience around personal curation we would be able to lower the perceived importance hierarchy of the salesman. If interaction with a salesman could be reminiscent of interaction with a librarian a customer would also be raised so that they could converse not solely on the overwhelming specs and features.
Not Just a Campaign
We noted that customers were all being shown the same high-action sequence from the Transformers movie when they sat down in front of the demo TV in a store. We sought to harness the emotion behind Bang & Olufsen’s current campaign titled “What Moves You?” and extend it to the in-store experience. Each customer would be able to experience products with personalized, relevant content, taking the focus from the generic content usually presented in AV retail settings.
Extending the Experience
How do we reach past the brick and mortar store?
During the process of iteration and evaluation of our idea we identified that this personal retail experience is not as effective if unsupported and finite. This led us to look deeper at the customer journey and seek to develop touchpoints outside of the simple "in-store and ready to drop the cash" context.
Improving the Ecosystem
We identified an opening that would create real value for customers after the in-store experience. There is a large cognitive overhead involved with adopting sophisticated new audio visual products especially those involving home automation. Bang & Olufsen's current ecosystem of apps for controlling products appeared bloated and complex.
One App to Rule them All
This insight helped ground the project as we moved into the final weeks. We proposed pulling the functionality of all the apps into one app that customers would start learning to use as soon as they step into store. Or even before.
The app customers use in-store becomes their own personalized tool to control products they have and the features they use most often. Additionally, they would be able to walk into any store worldwide and feel at home with the salesman who will view the products the customer currently owns and how they use them.
Learnability was crucial to development of wireframes and interaction patterns due to the fact the app is a tool/control and should be able to be adopted in-store rapidly.
In order to captivate customers during online research we proposed an addition to the current website. The only content hinting at the importance of an in-store experience was a ‘Book A Demo’ call to action. Instead, a video highlighting B&O’s proposed in-store solution would be included on the website. Website visitors would also be invited to download the app before even going in-store.
Once downloaded, the Beo Form app provides immediate immersion with a lazy signup. In this way it serves as a metaphorical “golden ticket”, providing aspirational value until a store visit.
Bang & Olufsen is slowly expanding their target market to include a younger consumer. Millennials are likely more pragmatic when it comes to luxury brands therefore a luxury brand like Bang & Olufsen needs to win the customers trust quickly.
Could customers learn to use a product they haven’t even bought yet?
A Personal Tool
Do customers need to see functions for products they don't own therefore can't use?