Going through Spring Rituals
I love it when I get to go to a brand experience for a brand where I don’t feel that I am the primary target. It means that I can judge the experience without preconceptions and the brand ambassadors are challenged to make sure I feel included.
My brand preconceptions were not zero, when I had told others I would be going to see Rituals Cosmetics’ The Ritual of Sakura Collection in Covent Garden, some friends were loudly expressive of their jealousy.
The experience, a pop-up designed and developed by Backlash, at 4 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, would be a chance for me to immerse myself in the best-selling aforementioned Collection, a springtime celebration scented with the aromas of cherry blossom and rice milk.
This was a two-day experience, 21-22 April 2023, and I went on the Friday. It was a ticketed affair, in a thoughtful way, with a £10 ticket being redeemable against £15 worth of product. There was a nice bit of bustle around the doorway on the light rainy morning I attended suggesting excitement and busyness but not a discouraging queue nor a sense of hurry.
The studied lack of hurry was in fact my main take-out from this event. Brand immersion needs space to breathe. This experience had been designed to accentuate calmness and to provide a relaxing walk through. Notwithstanding, the experience had lofty ambitions to rejuvenate the mind, body and soul of its customers.
Whilst a complete rejuvenation was beyond any likelihood in my case the experience did make a very good attempt to engage with my mind, soothe me physically and depart soulfully. The blossom tree set used WebAR to playfully engage. The tech was very much a nice add on alongside traditional sensory touchpoints – messages to write, photos to take, tea to taste and best of all, a hand massage.
Budget holders take note, there’s nothing a digital advert can do to equate to a hand massage. The human touch is a powerful thing, something we fully understood when Covid took hugs away. My hand massage connected me to another person but also in that moment – and I only know this for certain a few weeks post experience – it connected me to the brand. I was literally asked ‘how do you feel about the Rituals brand now? and I answered ‘warm’, and it brought to mind the arrival of Springtime.
Human touch, human warmth, it is part of our daily connection with others. I reflect that Rituals is very well named for the Sakura Collection, a softly scented product that would help anyone feel balanced and ready for the day ahead.