Socialites kiosk centre:mk
Socialites point of sale display concept
Socialites mission

The brief

Socialites approached TYC following a recommendation from an existing client with a brief to create a remarkable mid-mall retail experience to disrupt the vaping marketplace with the sole aim of stopping the UK smoking.

The retail design needed to tie into customer needs and create a caring economy along with a statement of intent that positioned Socialites as the number one choice for healthier lifestyle vaping by both landlords and customers alike.

With an estate of 70+ locations across the UK and Holland, Socialites is uniquely positioned as the only vaping brand to be owned by a pharmaceutical company, crafting their own ejuice locally in the UK. Socialites was focused on leveraging the superior flavour, quality and standard of the product whilst getting landlords onboard with the idea that vaping could be a welcome addition to malls. 

The approach

Following an insightful project kick-off that consisted of a full creative day workshop, Socialites’ pharmaceutical background was identified as the basis for a new mission statement that only they could own:

“To help adults break free of their deadly tobacco addiction and offer a safer vaping alternative. We want to convert all smokers to zero-nicotine vaping”

Next, the team deep dived into the business and it’s roots to begin creating a new visual identity and graphic language for the brand (from logo and strapline to point of sale) that communicated the newly defined pillars of Care, Commitment and Craftsmanship. The objective was to create authoritative brand elements that helped customers understand that Socialites care and understand the challenges faced by customers on their zero-nicotine journey. 

Brand and graphic communications such as point of sale and product descriptions were kept clean and clinical. Leading with flavour based descriptive language supported by an illustrative style of imagery focused on natural plant origins, inspired by early botany.

From the outset the collective team was keen that the physical retail experience should not follow other vaping and e-cigarette examples by looking or feeling like a technology store. Instead, the interior design of the kiosk aspired to communicate the pharmaceutical connections of the brand, framing products within a contemporary twist on the traditional apothecary style retail experience.  Combining a mix of natural materials and botanical elements to suggest a medicinal authority, trustworthiness whilst also signalling a healthy living lifestyle.

Consultation areas were designed into the footprint with an aim to encourage visitors to take the time to discuss their personal circumstances with a trained member of staff. Here, visitors can receive professional advice about the steps to reach a zero-nicotine vaping goal.

Socialities kiosk concept design

The outcome

Socialites have seized the opportunity to be a truly different type of vape brand, with a very real interest in helping people break free of their deadly tobacco addiction by placing emphasis on the pharmaceutical aspects of the business and by promoting the superiority and quality of the product.

The new branding and kiosk began rolling out in September 2017, performance has been measured by KPIs set out at the beginning of the project:

  • Product sales have increased by 6% when measured against one month of like-for-like trading figures comparing an original kiosk in the same location (centre:mk) for the period of October 2016
  • Projected sales for first year of new kiosk based on trade figures since opening are projected to increase by 10%
  • The size of the UK portfolio has increased by 48% (growth from 62 UK units to 92 UK units as at January 2018), 60% above annual target, achieved within 3 months
  • Projected UK portfolio growth in first year of trading with new kiosk is projected to increase by 61% (projected 100 UK units by September 2018), 103% above target
  • Secured 30 high-value mid-mall sites for long-term bookings during November 2017 in premium mall environments including two portfolio deals confirmed with British Land and Intu, 200% above target.

The bravery and belief of the client in partnership with TYC has created a sector changing concept for the vape industry that confidently positions Socialites as the market leader in the UK and across Europe.

Project scope: Strategy, Branding, Graphic design, Interior design, Roll out

  • Socialites kiosk concept design
  • Socialites kiosk Meadowhall shopping centre
  • Socialites kiosk product display
  • Socialites customer journey map
  • Socialites menu
  • Socialites kiosk concept design
  • Socialites manifesto
  • Socialites shipping container kiosk
  • Socialites shipping container kiosk
  • Socialites moodboard

“To be a successful business you need TYC on your team! TYC provided the insight and creativity that woke my 'sleeping brand' in 2016. The energy and commitment TYC brought to both myself and Socialites gave us the ability to buckle-up and compete in our fastpaced market.“

Samantha Woodcroft, Director of Retail Operations, Socialites