Ever since Anna Wintour revealed the first rose-studded backdrop to the Tony Awards’ red carpet in 2015, flower displays have officially been in vogue. In the years since, botanicals have bloomed in pop-up experiences around the world, adorning everything from windows and walls to ceilings and chandeliers. But what is it about flowers that have captured the imagination of retail design agency world? And how can these sweet-smelling design elements transform pop-up experiences?
Seattle Pop-Up, Glossier
Flowers are a great way to capture a city and curate the local culture. Residents of Seattle were treated to a great representation of their city’s identity when a Glossier pop-up merged urban and rural in a design that brought the best of the city’s surrounding countryside into focus. The retail design agency drew clear lines between the rural and the urban, with the contours of the display outlined with mossy mounds over a pure white background.
In a great gesture to sustainability, Glossier even offered visitors plantable postcards to plant at home – an impressive example of experiential marketing that left a growing impression long after the end of the pop-up.
Sketch, Mayfair, London
Flowers aren’t just Insta-worthy – they can also be a powerful form of expression. London restaurant Sketch pushed this to the limit when they asked four leading florists to create installations for the space. Dubbed ‘The Mayfair Flower Show’, the idea perfectly reflected the restaurant’s identity as an “Alice in Wonderland” experience, where diners are invited to explore different spaces (including those eponymous toilets). This pop-up installation shows how flowers can be used, not just to create a social media storm, but to tell a multi-sensory story.
L’Occitane’s experiential flagship, Toronto
Out of all of our senses, smell is the one most closely linked with memory. And what smells better than a field of freshly cut flowers? In 2017, L’Occitane refurbished their Canadian flagship to create a ‘glocal’ multisensory experience, with flowers at the fore.
L’Occitane North American vice president of concept design, construction and merchandising Paul Blackburn explained, “Visiting this store will be an experience like no other. Upon entering, guests will feel a sense of wonderment – they will be transported to the lavender fields of Provence, learn about L’Occitane’s expertise in the art of extraction, and visit the land of Corsica, home of the powerful Immortelle flower.”
With a ceiling literally dripping with blooms, the cosmetics store took their use of flowers beyond the visual realm into the experiential, showing how sight, smell, sound and touch can combine to create something truly memorable.
Through flowers, retail design agency artists are making an important connection to today’s audiences. Whether it’s a flower wall, seasonal window display or simply some carefully curated indoor plants, botanicals give pop-up designers the opportunity to make an impression, right down to the very last detail. With flowers, in today’s market, brands have a great opportunity to blossom in their own right – to craft multi-sensory experiences, make an organic statement and move towards authentic design.