In a world where there is so much “stuff” presented democratically via a flat-screened internet, it is not surprising that there is a growing trend to distinguish and redefine to attract attention and business. A story or shtick—whether it’s for a brand, manufacturer or retailer—creates a “stand out.”
It’s taking place on large and small scales. Here are some examples:
• During last month’s N.Y. Home Fashions Market, some visitors took time to see the Hudson Yards complex (shown) on the West side in Midtown Manhattan. When completed in the next year or so, it will include more than 18 million square feet of commercial and residential space, the sculptural Vessel honeycomb stairway, the first Equinox Hotel, The Shed art exhibition space, the Snark Park with interactive exhibits and an Observation Deck that will be the highest manmade viewing area in the western hemisphere. To date, office towers, luxury apartments and the luxury mall are completed.
A grouping of office and residential towers with park space and shops isn’t new. However, Hudson Yards developers have tweaked the mix to create a fresh story, adding in first-evers, including a retail department store—Neiman Marcus—that has never been in New York City before, to create a must-see destination where retail is part of a unique experience.
• On a smaller scale, last month Revman International launched the first bedding collection for Instagram-famed brand, Ivory Ella. The brand has gained 2.5 million social media followers since its inception in 2015. The apparel, accessory and now bedding products are directed to the nearly 74 million Gen Z U.S. consumers who range in age from 3 to 23.
Ivory Ella was created to support elephant conservation with a portion of profits going to savetheelephants.org. Donating proceeds to charity is not new, but this brand incorporates the mission into the products, with elephant motifs adorning most items offered online at ivoryella.com. The products are special because they are one with the story.
• India-based GHCL, Ltd. has been offering its services in the U.S. for 12 years, but it is now redefining itself by focusing on a four-pronged stance that sets them apart by “standing for something.” Every product involves one or more of these attributes: sustainability, traceability, innovation and giving back—whether it’s the Nile Harvest Authentic Egyptian Cotton line, the Meditasi heath and wellness bedding, or the Cirkularity or Rekoop lines that involve recycled polyester.
Is this the time for you to create a story to tell or an angle to sell?