The Exploratorium

Explorative, discovery centric and self-steered brand experiences are set to boom in value.

Try before you buy is nothing new, but how you deliver it is imperative. In property we’re selling the intangible most of the time (when selling off plan) so what’s needed is to give potential owners a true experience of what it would be like to live in the space.

From fashion to audio equipment to book stores to music, retailers are giving customers the tools to experience the product and brand on their terms.

The best examples allow consumers to steer their own experience, often via ‘light touch’ assistance. According to research, nearly 50% of US consumers who received sales associate assistance on their last store trip would rather have performed the same action themselves, on their own device.


Sonos’s first transactional flagship in New York launched in July 2016. It features seven private soundproofed hubs resembling typical domestic rooms like a study, living room and kitchen. Inside, guests can customise playlists from streaming services via the Sonos app on an instore tablet, while a products tab on the app allows users to peruse the brand’s catalogue without a sales assistant.

Idea Room is an initiative from Silk Road