World’s first New Balance Experience Store in Beijing

A Pioneering Multi-Sensory Journey
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Beijing proudly became home to the world’s first New Balance Experience Store

A groundbreaking establishment that revolutionized retail through an integrated sensory experience.

Opened in August 2009 on the elegant and historically significant Qianmen Avenue, this store marked the beginning of a new era for New Balance, with plans to expand its concept to 1,000 more outlets across China.

With over a century of experience in the industry, New Balance originated in Boston, known for its marathon heritage, driven by the mission to redefine running shoes with superior arch support systems. This rich legacy and commitment to innovation served as the inspiration for the concept behind the New Balance Experience Store.

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Creating a Nostalgic Ambiance:

Stepping into the New Balance Experience Store is like entering a time capsule that pays homage to the brand’s storied history. The interior design draws heavily from the 1950s and 60s, creating a nostalgic atmosphere.

Adorning the walls are archival photographs, vintage New Balance advertisements, and brand memorabilia dating back as far as 1910. A captivating DNA ribbon guides customers through New Balance’s remarkable chronological journey, connecting them with the brand’s heritage and instilling a sense of history.

Engaging the Senses: To transport customers back in time and forge an emotional connection, New Balance collaborated with Equal Strategy, a leading “environmental branding” consultancy. Together, they crafted a fully immersive sensory experience, leveraging music, fragrance, and audio messages. By engaging with customers’ five senses, the store fosters resonance and cultivates long-term loyalty.

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Signature Scent:

Equal Strategy and New Balance aimed to evoke the ambiance of a mid-20th century shoe shop. They developed a bespoke fragrance that permeates the store’s air conditioning system, immersing visitors in a sensory journey.

With natural rich woody notes and a touch of leather, the fragrance transports customers to an era gone by, enhancing their overall experience and creating a lasting impression.

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1950’s inspired Background Music:

Complementing the nostalgic atmosphere, the store pulsates with the vibrant sounds of 1950s “do bop” music.

As customers explore the store and shop, iconic tunes from Bill Haley and the Comets, Little Richard, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers, and Jerry Lee Lewis fill the air.

This carefully curated playlist adds an extra layer of authenticity, capturing the spirit of the time and immersing customers in a bygone era.

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Audio Messages:

Interwoven between the music tracks, Equal Strategy delivers pre-recorded messages that guide customers to explore the merchandise on the second floor.

These messages repeatedly highlight New Balance’s unique performance DNA concept, further reinforcing the brand’s message and creating a cohesive experience.

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Achieving Remarkable Results:

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“We are very pleased with the way the music, messaging, and specially formulated New Balance ‘aroma’ integrate within the built three-dimensional aspect of the New Balance Experience store. We want to create a brand experience that is reflective of the brand essence and as such this has to go beyond what you see and encompass all of the human senses.”

Bob Neville – Regional Retail Manager, Asia Pacific Region

Achieving Remarkable Results

The New Balance Experience Store in Beijing has garnered significant acclaim and achieved remarkable performance milestones, reflecting the success of sensory branding in the retail sector.

Online Impact:

The store garnered over 200 million hits on sneaker, fashion, and social networking websites, demonstrating its immense popularity and reach. Media Coverage: Within a span of just four weeks, the store received US$2.5 million worth of media coverage. Remarkably, less than 20% of this value was spent on building and marketing the new store, highlighting the store’s ability to generate significant organic publicity.

Increased Footfall:

Footfall at the New Balance Experience Store soared by 2.5 times, from 1,000 to 2,500 visitors per day, indicating the allure and appeal of the sensory experience.

Higher Transaction Value:

The store’s average transaction value (ATV) surpassed that of other New Balance retail outlets in Beijing, standing at twice the amount. This demonstrates the effectiveness of sensory branding in influencing purchasing decisions and driving customer engagement.

Increased Items Sold per Transaction:

The New Balance Experience Store outperformed other first-quality New Balance stores in Beijing by selling 50% more items per transaction (IPT). This indicates that customers were more inclined to make multiple purchases and explore a wider range of offerings within the store.

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