A story of heritage for a limited-edition sneaker

Client

New Balance X Size?

Location

Key Size? stores, online, social media

Services

Consumer insights, customer journey planning, retail & experience strategy, brand campaigns & activations, phygital integration, prototyping, manufacturing & installation

Brief

To launch its new and limited edition of the iconic 990 sneaker, New Balance wanted to tell a story that evoked nostalgia and brought to life the heritage of the shoe’s beginnings in 1982. To build hype and raise awareness for this collection that is limited to just 500 shoes worldwide, the customer journey began online leveraging social channels and key influencers before concluding in a retro brand activation in key Size? stores in Europe.

Bespoke packaging evoked the nostalgia of 80s corner shops with bold-type, pop-art and punchy colours.

Approach

The new 990 moves away from the classic muted colour palette that the shoe is known for and takes its inspiration from vibrant 1980s-style packaging that was commonplace in British corner shops and convenience stores. To bring this to life, we created an immersive brand activation as the final destination in the customer journey where people can connect the dots between the online hype and the physical shoe by interacting with the collection in real life. The end result is a nostalgic experience that transports people back to the corner shops of 1982, the year when the story of the 990 began.

In-store tables replicate shop pyramid displays with traditional poster-style product information.

Uniformity, repetition and stackable design brought to life the retro design aesthetic.

Design Details

We designed the space to look and feel like a corner shop with bold colours, pop-art style graphics, eye-catching messages and chequered floors. Custom New Balance packaging lines the shelves to create impactful walls of colour and touchpoints in-store communicate the information about the sneaker. Every detail was considered to evoke nostalgic memories of corner shops including newspaper headline style A-Boards wrapped in the 990’s new colourway and takeaway branded postcards that are a memory of this one-of-a-kind activation.

Influencer and PR seeding boxes designed in the eye-catching campaign aesthetic included a personalised handwritten note and a set of stickers, along with the new 990 sneaker.

Social media and website content educated New Balance’s audience on the 990 heritage.