Brand Experience Brief: Pirch
(Here’s a new Brand Experience Brief — if you’d like to suggest a brand experience at a new or interesting restaurant or retail concept for me to audit, please email me at mail [at] deniseleeyohn [dot] com.)
PIRCH, the new Fixtures Living, shows how you can transcend your category and create an emotional, memorable, and distinctive customer experience, even if you sell seemingly mundane items like dishwashers and backsplashes. Take a look:
Brand Experience Brief: PIRCH (by Denise Lee Yohn) from Denise Lee Yohn on Vimeo.
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Coffee bars, manifestos, and taglines like “live joyfully” may seem appropriate for a store like lululemon or whole foods, but these are some of the elements that comprise a chain of appliance and hardware retail stores called PIRCH. And this brand experience brief on PIRCH shows how you can transcend your category and stand for something deeply meaningful, even if you sell seemingly mundane items like dishwashers and backsplashes.
PIRCH is actually the new name for the company formerly known as Fixtures Living which operates a handful of locations in Southern California and plans to expand into several new markets soon. Former Barbeques Galore chief Jeffrey Sears started PIRCH to create a place where people could shop the way they wanted to live in their homes and share them with others.
So PIRCH provides a 360° sensory and interactive experience with working kitchens and bath fixtures. For example, the power and plumbing is hooked up so you can run a faucet or test an appliance. Instead of having to guess how different fixtures might look together, you can to move pieces around. The Patio section which features a full set up of furniture, grills, wet bars, outdoor fireplaces and firepits, and huge flat screen TVs gives you a real sense of what it would be like to host a party in that setting. And in the Sanctuary, you can get a spa treatment to try out the massage tables, steam and sauna rooms, and shower heads before you buy them.
Serving up the products is signage that not only conveys helpful information but also expresses the PIRCH brand personality and inspires your imagination. They do a great job of promoting the product brands in the context of the PIRCH brand look and feel. Decorative signage, inspired lighting, and fun staging like this dog wash display add to the sensory experience.
And then there are the friendly employees who welcome you as if greeting someone to their home and offer to brew up a coffee or serve you herb-infused lemonade. As I listened to their conversations with customers, they seemed intent on getting exactly what the customers wanted and had the expertise to do so.
The reason why PIRCH is able to create such a phenomenal customer experience is the brand values and purpose that drive everything the company does. It has a manifesto comprised of 23 exhortations that it calls “elements of joy,” including Don’t Wait for a Special Occasion; Life Is a Special Occasion, and Be Real. It doesn’t say anything about the business or products of PIRCH, but it gives employees and customers alike a reason to engage with the company. And through regular blog posts, the CEO Jeffrey Sears explains what the elements mean. That kind of communication from the head of the company helps align and inspire the organization.
As I said before, PIRCH is a new name for the brand and I’ve asked Jeffrey to join me for a discussion about the change and so I hope he takes me up on the offer soon. Subscribe to my feed so you don’t miss the interview.
For now, I hope this brief helps you see that you can create an emotional, memorable, and distinctive brand experience in virtually any product category if you have the right brand foundation.