A bit of older news, but VitaminWater launched a 'pop-up' concept store in london. Featuring bright lights which change every 10 minutes in conjunction with six new products, it promotes a more lasting message of 24 hour hydration. It also has a thoughts wall to record consumer input and any terrible graffiti or slightly clever riffs you want to tag. Supposdly the store is designated as a hub for meetings, training, media events and sampling.
Putting a retail face on a brand seems to be hot at the moment, but generally speaking this is a great way to create an experience to engage consumers outside the product. While every product should be the brand, its not always true the brand gets to engage consumers on its own. The brand should be the bigger idea and be more leveragable. Pepsi could have used something like this to quell the Aquafina debacle. Retail creates meaningful consumer interactions in a place not often obtainable, in this case a bottle of sugar water. Excellent starting point to create brand equities.
The retail face is also a great starting point for innovation, in that consumers will engage with portions of the brand they like beyond the product. Determining these equities can eventually help dimensionalize how to stretch the brand into new products. Ok it can be communications too, but we digress. But it must be done right. Giving a place for tourists to use the bathroom and sample the latest from R&D really isn't adding value to the brand. But Glaceau and Coke are fairly smart. Somewhere a brand curator is probably devising some interesting psychology experiments to run on some unsuspecting visitors.