DIP 018: The internet repeats itself

PLUS: A slime-themed pop-up, Bush 2020, and Co–Star for stocks.

👋 Hi. CBD label Not Pot has been stocked out of its signature gummies for a couple of weeks now. To fill the void, it’s been promoting Not Pot-atoes and is sending customers a free branded pouch and stickers. It’s an interesting contrast to Rent The Runway’s supply chain drama. When life hands you lemons, make surprise-and-delight lemonade. As always, reply with questions, comments, or thoughts about anything you read here.

The Chips 🕶

  • Madewell is partnering with ThredUp to sell secondhand denim from its own brand.

  • Goffee is Seamless for coffee and I… don’t understand why anyone would use this.

  • Outdoor Voices is building upon last fall’s Megafleece capsule with new fleeces, zip-off pants, and a Merrell collab.

  • Speaking of Outdoor Voices, is a training app in the works? A trademark application for the phrase "Beginners For Life" is filed under international class 41, which encompasses products related to education, training, and entertainment.

  • Sloomoo is an experiential, slime-themed pop-up.

  • Joshua Tree-based olive oil company Wonder Valley now makes skincare products.

  • Moe is a business management tool for influencers from the team behind WeWoreWhat.

  • Ultra-premium activewear label Wone revamped its ecomm experience and is shifting away from an exclusivity-led model.

  • Bodily specializes in post-partum health.

  • A meat- and plant-based sausage company is setting up shop in Brooklyn. Related: Misfit, formerly a juice company, now offers a similar product.

  • Tango is a unisex, all-purpose sex toy brand.

  • byHumankind is breaking down the ingredients it uses in a very Seed-inspired manner.

  • Flamingo launched Mons Mist, a moisturizing spray similar in concept to Fur, alongside a Bush 2020 campaign.

  • Is saffron the new turmeric? The Fullest’s new saffron latte suggests it might be.

  • Dieux Skin makes ingestible skincare products.

  • MSCHF’s latest project, Bull And Moon, is Co–Star for stocks.

  • Fancy sleepwear brand Lunya launched a men’s line called Lahgo.

The Dip 🗯

I’ve been thinking about the cyclical nature of trends and how the pace of the digital world might accelerate that (see here for more questions to keep you up at night). Then Copycatted launched, and things started to click.

Safe spaces for self-discovery…

I became an obsessive follower of fashion blogs in high school. I had a list of Blogspot URLs that I checked daily — Fashion Toast, Style Rookie, Childhood Flames, Sea Of Shoes, Garance Dore, The Sartorialist, etc., etc. — and pulled outfit inspo accordingly.

Before that, there were the Teen Vogue forums. Readers from around the world would share recent purchases, wishlists, outfits of the day, and affordable recreations of runway looks. It was my gateway into the world of digital self-expression, and while I didn’t participate, I was an active voyeur.

Copycatted, which launched earlier this month, describes itself as a platform where real people can share product recommendations. It profiles and celebrates girls with unique points of view, and very much reminds me of Chictopia.

In 2008, when Blogspot had a thriving community of fashion bloggers whose monetization strategies maxed out at banner ads, Chictopia launched as both an alternative and complement to blogs. It was a style platform that allowed users to upload a photo, tag brands and products, and comment on others’ looks. It built out an editorial team and profiled the site’s top users.

At its core, Chictopia was a celebration of individual style and a platform for self-discovery. It was targeted to users who were just beginning to come into their own — not unlike Copycatted, or H&M Group’s short-lived Itsapark.

… and the products that facilitate it

It’s not insignificant that we’re seeing Gen Z-targeted beauty brands crop up. Relatively speaking, make-up is affordable. It’s an easy and accessible purchase for someone who doesn’t have a steady income but may save up birthday money or an allowance (that’s still a thing, right?).

There’s InnBeauty Project, Blume, Fluff, and Starface. Even Glossier seems to have shifted its attention to a younger audience.

I remember going to the mall with friends in middle school, having no more than $20 to spend, and wandering through Sephora and Bath & Body Works for nail polish, lip gloss, or perfume samples. We’d take pictures on our Canon Powershot ELPHs and post them to Flickr (these were the days before Facebook, mind you). It was the first time that we were making our own purchasing decisions — no longer accompanied by a parent whose wallet we relied on.

Is going to the Glossier store with friends any different than going to the mall? It’s still a destination, and a playful one at that. Visitors take pictures with the intent of sharing them. The products available for purchase are accessibly priced and align with a narrative of self-discovery. In going to the place and buying the thing, or simply buying it online, we project something about ourselves — what we are, what we believe in, and what we hope to become.

A cross-generational playbook

All of this is to say that purchasing habits stay the same. The brands and the marketing tactics may change but the gravitation toward products and platforms that facilitate discovery, especially among adolescents (sorry, I sound old), remains constant.

As this cohort of consumers gets older, new brands with more mature products will arise that speak their language. They’ll be bold, bright, inclusive, and imbued with a conscience. They’ll be digitally native and will find new ways to engage with customers.

Take Parade, for example. It prioritizes SMS over email and its marketing seems to say “this is the new way of doing things.” It’s diametrically opposed to Victoria’s Secret, in much the same way that Aerie was when it launched in 2006. It’s a brand that young adults will grow into and then — maybe — grow out of as they get older and solidify who they are, what they value, and what they stand for, an identity facilitated in part by the brands they purchased from.

Still hungry?

Real Dip 🛰

Curried kuri squash (or any kind of squash, really) dip.

Cut your squash in half, remove the seeds, drizzle it with salt, pepper, and olive oil, and roast with the cut side facing down at 350 degrees until you can easily pierce the skin with a fork. Let it cool.

Tear up one half of the squash and put it in a food processor (or scrape the insides out and ditch the skin — either one works). Save the remaining half for another meal. Add a smashed clove of garlic, pinches of salt and pepper, and a teaspoon-ish of curry powder (or DIY a mix of equal parts turmeric, cumin, ginger, coriander, and chili pepper). Add a large spoonful of tahini. Drizzle in olive oil.

Blitz it, taste it, see what it’s missing. Lemon? Salt? Add it.

Plays well with grain bowls, flatbreads, and the rest of the squash.

Thanks for snacking,

— Emily 🐿

DIP 017: Experiential retail, American Girl style

PLUS: Umbros by OV, Tums for millennials, and Ikea is designing retirement homes

👋 Hi. Fall (or Q4, as some call it) always feels like the most exciting period in the consumer brand space. Between holiday campaigns, limited-edition products, and pop-ups, there’s a lot going on. I’m personally looking forward to hibernating 75% of the time and exploring retail set-ups the remaining 25% (looking at you, Goodee). And Beaujolais Nouveau season. Lots of Beauj Nouv. As always, reply with questions, comments, or thoughts about anything you read here.

The Chips 💫

The Dip 💆

I walked by American Girl Place (aka the American Girl doll store) in midtown Manhattan recently and was struck by the realization that everything digitally native brands are seeking to do in retail — from in-store exclusives to crafting immersive spaces — is baked into the American Girl experience, and has been for years.

All Dolled Up

Here’s some background: American Girl was founded in 1986 with a line of historical characters. Additional historical figures were introduced in subsequent years, and a looks-like-me line was launched in 1995. There are also life-size baby dolls, called Bitty Babies, and limited-release characters. More recently, American Girl has added male figures and bald dolls to its roster and lists glasses, hearing aids, and braces as optional accessories.

Each doll comes with one outfit, and American Girl sells additional outfits and accessories. All in, an American Girl doll costs upwards of $100. Extra clothing averages $30 — about the same as an outfit for a real toddler from The Gap.

With Somewhere To Go

American Girl opened its first store in 1998. That it chose Chicago as its home seems important. Yes, the company’s founder was born there, but Chicago is also the largest city in the midwest. It’s centrally located, with a major airport and Amtrak routes that funnel in from Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, and other neighboring states. By opening in Chicago, American Girl was making its store accessible.

In the years that followed, American Girl opened flagship stores in New York and LA, as well as smaller outlets in Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Toronto, and Vancouver.

The stores are immersive, with restaurants, store-in-store boutiques, and even musical theater productions. They present opportunities for both new and existing customers. You can go to purchase your first doll or play in the American Girl world with an existing one. It’s a space that functions more like an amusement park than a store.

I remember making a pilgrimage to the store in Chicago with my mom and sister when I was younger. We spent an entire day browsing and playing. Our dolls got their hair done and we all (dolls, included) had afternoon tea. Years later, it’s not what we bought that I remember — it’s what we did.

Bring It Home

American Girl has done a lot to create rich experiences for consumers at home, too. It produces a seasonal catalogue to highlight new clothing for dolls and formerly created direct-to-video movies and published a bimonthly lifestyle magazine. More recently, it has begun to post DIY and doll-related content on YouTube.

Even its customer service has a twist. Damaged dolls can be shipped to the Doll Hospital for repairs and are sent back wearing a hospital gown. After my sister poked her doll’s eye in, we sent it to the hospital. My parents were not enthused, but I remember thinking it was all very exciting — much like when a friend broke a limb and you got to sign their cast.

All of this is to say, American Girl takes a stunningly immersive, holistic approach to brand and content, and has for decades. American Girl focused on rich experiences because that’s what was right for the brand, not because anyone else was doing it at the time. And in that regard, it may have been most prescient.

Look at what Glossier does with its retail outlets, what Outdoor Voices does with events, what Casper does with its spaces, what Great Jones does with content, what Food52 is soon to do with its store… There’s a macro level, birds-eye view at play. These experiences are about more than product. They’re about building brand affinity.

Still hungry?
  • This semi-viral Reddit post about a woman who messed up her uncle's American Girl fansite is pretty funny.

Real Dip 🐩

Spicy cashew sauce.

Toast a large handful of unsalted cashews. Let them cool, then put them in a food processor along with one smashed clove of garlic, a two-second pour of rice wine vinegar, two pinches of pepper flakes, a big splash of fish sauce, and a drizzle of honey.

Blitz it, scrape down the sides, then drizzle in olive oil until it all comes together. Swap olive oil for water if you’d rather it function as a dressing.

Thanks for snacking,

— Emily 🐣

DIP 016: Equal parts product, service, and community

PLUS: Fancy jigsaw puzzles, OV x Rapha, and PopSocket koozies

👋 Hi. House Beautiful (of all publications) has a trend piece about “grandmillennial” design and I really love it. Think needlepoint, wicker and rattan furniture, lace accents, and chintz upholstery. The Inside launched a small collection of chintz furniture a few months back, too. Everything old is new (and irony-tinged) again. As always, reply with questions, comments, or thoughts about anything you read here.

The Chips 🍝

The Dip 🍳

Equal Parts, the first label from Pattern Brands, fka Gin Lane, launched today. (For background, skim DIP 008 and DIP 013.) We knew that it would be a cookware label, we knew from Instagram teasers that the products would be matte black, and we knew that there would be some sort of tech or service component to it. Now that it’s live, of course, we know a lot more.

One Part Product

Equal Parts’ products are sold exclusively in sets. “Your Complete Kitchen” is the most comprehensive option, with two pots, two pans, cooking utensils, a knife, mixing bowls, a colander, measuring cups, a cutting board, and a baking sheet for $575. There’s also a pared-down, storage-friendly kit for $325. You can buy a set that has all of the cookware, a set that has everything but the cookware, or simply buy the Equal Parts chef’s knife.

In offering sets, Equal Parts is targeting people who are either building a kitchen from scratch or looking to overhaul their existing gear en masse. The cookware is stackable (read: apartment-friendly) and simple in appearance. It’s matte black and bereft of ornamentation — visually appealing largely because of what it lacks, rather than what it has.

In its product descriptions, Equal Parts is more focused on ease of use than performance, where terms like “5-ply” and “premium” are industry standards. Equal Parts is dishwasher safe and made with recyclable materials; it’s PTFE- and PTOA-free, with non-toxic, non-stick ceramic coatings; it’s all made from lightweight aluminum. You could argue that the choice of material alone positions Equal Parts as a no-fuss, starter brand.

Aluminum cookware is typically more affordable than stainless steel. It’s lighter in weight and heats up faster, but also doesn’t retain heat as well and can be prone to warping. Alternative materials like stainless steel, cast iron, and carbon steel may be heavier and more costly, but they’re often more durable.

This isn’t to say that Equal Parts made a mistake in producing aluminum cookware. Rather, for the customer it seems to be targeting, it seems to be the right choice. As the brand grows and as its consumer gains confidence in the kitchen, the brand will likely introduce new, more advanced products to complement the aluminum cookware. A rep from Equal Parts explained that the company’s “direct with consumer” model allows the brand to evaluate what its community wants and develop products accordingly.

One Part Service

Each Equal Parts purchase comes with eight weeks of access to a free, SMS-based cooking coach. Equal Parts describes the coaches as “real experts who can provide tips, techniques, and inspiration for all levels.”

Through beta testing with consumers across the US, the Equal Parts team learned than more than 70% of engagement fell between 6–8pm in each time zone, and that people also interacted with their coach earlier in the day as they began to think about what to make for dinner. Based on these learnings, Equal Parts is making coaches available from 4pm–midnight ET (1–9pm PT) on weekdays and from noon–midnight ET (9am–9pm PT) on weekends.

Concerning the eight-week window, a rep explained that customer beta testing showed that eight weeks “was the right starting place to help build intuition in the kitchen.” The brand doesn’t currently have plans to expand the service beyond that period but says that customer feedback will be used to determine if ongoing coaching can add value: “We will constantly assess demand to expand the service and build on our brand mission of delivering guidance. We want to form a personalized relationship that motivates you to get started and stay in the rhythm in the kitchen, so we’re committed to making that a reality for our consumers. We want to listen to you, learn from you, and adapt based on what’s most helpful and enjoyable.”

One Part Community

As both a complement and amplifier to its cooking coach, Equal Parts plans to host a series of in-person events. The focus will be on basic skills and facilitating hands-on cooking experiences.

In thinking more about how Equal Parts, and Pattern as a whole, can foster community, I find myself hitting a wall when it comes to social media. Pattern is intentionally working to minimize its social media presence, yet so much of what gets people cooking in the first place unfolds on Instagram.

It’s about discovery.

It’s why Alison Roman is the Millennial kitchen whisperer and why Bon Appétit has a cult following. People see a recipe, they go offline and make it, they share their version of it, the recipe’s creator shares the user-generated picture, and the flywheel kicks into action.

A lot of Equal Parts’ messaging speaks to building “intuition” in the kitchen. A cooking coach may share recipes or provide recommendations, but the main focus is on developing skills. I’ll be curious to see how, if at all, Equal Parts speaks to and engages people who are already comfortable with cooking, or who may be interested in the brand’s ethos but don’t have a need for its product.

On a related note, if Equal Parts is aiming to facilitate habituation and intuition among beginner cooks, cookware usually isn’t the biggest hurdle — it’s knowing what ingredients to start with and what to do with them. That, in theory, is where the cooking coach can add the most value. But to be truly valuable, it should go beyond recommending recipes. It should generate grocery lists, and maybe even pre-populate Instacart orders.

The coaching service isn’t dissimilar to what Great Jones is doing with Potline, which recently adjusted its hours to be available five days a week and which has a lower barrier to entry than the Equal Parts guide (in that access to the service is not contingent upon a purchase).

I’m excited to see Equal Parts put Pattern’s life-lived-more-fully ethos into practice. And I hope that it finds ways for people who are not customers to engage with the brand. Its message is meaningful and universally applicable. It would be a shame if the only way to access it was through a transaction.

Still Hungry?

Real Dip 🍿

Lazy tomato sauce.

Heat a big glug of olive oil in a pan. Add thinly sliced garlic and let it cook for about 30 seconds. Add a pint or so of cherry tomatoes and two big pinches of salt. Stir occasionally, until the tomatoes start to shrivel and the whole thing is simmering and juicy. Splash in some high-quality red wine vinegar. Stir and let it meld for another couple of minutes.

Try it with grilled white fish, smeared on good toast, or paired with fried eggs.

Thanks for snacking,

— Emily 🍪

DIP 015: Scratch my back, I'll scratch yours

PLUS: Glossier's new campaign, LES-inspired sausage, and Bumble has a Fortnite team

👋 Hi. Fall is slowly creeping into the air, which means that indoor season is right around the corner. But while there’s still daylight to salvage, I made you a playlist with bops that feel right for right now. Here’s JAM 001. Give it a listen. And as always, reply with questions, comments, or thoughts about anything you read here.

The Chips ⛄

The Dip ⛱

Last week, Modern Retail ran a story about direct-to-consumer brands partnering with other brands to boost acquisition efforts. The article was pegged to Glossier’s partnership with Bark, in which the beauty brand created dog toys inspired by its best-selling products (Toy Brow and Balm Dogcom). While acquisition can be a benefit of collaboration, it shouldn’t be the only measure of success, and partnerships can often be more interesting when customer acquisition isn’t the primary goal.

Tell Me A Story

As with most of what Glossier does, the Glossier x Bark partnership stemmed from the brand listening to and observing customers. People were bringing their dogs to Glossier showrooms and posting pictures with dogs and Glossier products on Instagram. As a means of acknowledging and rewarding this behavior, Glossier created products that further encourage it.

Bark already had the infrastructure to produce custom dog toys, and it lends credibility to the endeavor. Glossier, for its part, is merely giving its customers what they want. Bark may gain new customers (though if product was exclusive to Glossier showrooms, those customers can be harder to track), but Glossier is the brand that benefits most from the partnership.

There are barriers to entry here: you need to own a dog, you need to be near one of the few stores stocking the toys, you need to be engaged enough to want to own a limited edition dog toy. None of these render the partnership any less effective, though. In fact, those limitations, and the story behind the products, make it even stronger.

Ease Into It

For larger, more complex brands, partnerships can serve as a testing ground for new products and price points. In 2018, CB2 partnered with Goop to create a series of elevated, modern-romantic furniture.

A white shearling swivel chair named after Gwyneth herself was the collection’s pièce de résistance, and sold out despite its $3,299.00 price tag. After the collaboration had sold through, CB2 continued to produce the Gwyneth silhouette in less precious and more affordable fabrics. For CB2, the partnership was a means of testing new designs (as well as price resistance); for Goop, it was a way to create products in a new category and claim space in people’s homes.

Credibility Is A Two-Way Street

In the last year or so, Madewell has ramped up its collaboration efforts in a really smart way. Its partnerships are driven by either exclusivity or discovery. In the realm of exclusivity, it’s teamed up with Veja, Vans, Outdoor Voices, and Lively to produce already-popular silhouettes in custom colorways, and somtimes to test new silhouettes altogether (like this Outdoor Voices scrunchie).

Regarding discovery, Madewell has used its platform as a mainstream brand with national reach to elevate smaller, local, lesser-known names. Its partnership with As Ever sold out within a matter of days, and it launched cobranded products with Los Angeles-based Christy Dawn.

What I find most exciting, though, is Madewell’s Hometown Heroes Collective, which brings product from small labels into its stores and onto its site. It positions Madewell as a platform for discovery and builds Madewell’s credibility as a tapped-in tastemaker.

Sweetgreen, too, has explored partnerships with smaller brands. It sold custom-label bottles of Brightland’s Alive olive oil and more recently created plant-based dog treats with Wild One. In both instances, Sweetgreen has been able to boost its credibility within the food space while also elevating likeminded brands whose platforms and audiences are smaller than Sweetgreen’s.

While those Sweetgreen collaborations may not have garnered a flood of press coverage, they were extremely effective in illustrating brand values. And for fans whose personal values align with those of the brand, these partnerships feel personal.

In the same way that brands with a specific audience can build vibrant and likeminded communities, partnerships can reinforce brand identity and bolster brand affinity. Working with a national brand can offer unmatched exposure, but it almost always dilutes exactly what it is that makes a brand special.

The most successful and additive partnerships, thus, are guided by stories. They’re small, seeking to reward a subset of an existing audience, rather than appeal to everyone or attract those outside of the brand’s existing sphere. And, if done well, they may even attract new customers.

Still Hungry?
  • Away has introduced collaborative products with big-name people and brands, like Dwayne Wade and Star Wars. While most co-branded products are little more than exclusive colorways, some, like the Dwayne Wade’s matte black aluminum luggage, appear to have been used to test interest in future products. Soon after the Wade partnership, for example, Away launched a rose gold aluminum case.

Real Dip ⛈

Inspired by Julia Sherman’s watercress romesco.

Put two giant handfuls of watercress (or basil or spinach or arugula), juice from half a lemon, a clove of garlic, two big pinches of salt, and a handful of almonds in a food processor. Get it going, and drizzle in a half-cup of olive oil followed by splashes of water, until everything comes together.

Plays well in grain bowls, with rotisserie chicken, and peak-season tomatoes (we’re still living it!).

Thanks for snacking,

— Emily ⛽

DIP 014: Bigger than a sundae

PLUS: Instagram-exclusive drops, Outdoor Voices wants to do maternity clothing, and a Girlboss retreat

👋 Hi. Have you heard about the phenomenon of Amazon fulfillment center employees tweeting to ensure the general public that they are by no means dissatisfied or working under dangerous conditions? It’s not the first time that social media has been used as a propaganda tool — I wrote about the @SyrianPresidency and @TSA Instagram accounts back in 2013. As always, reply with questions, comments, or thoughts about anything you read here.

The Chips 🗑

The Dip 🛋

When news of Museum of Ice Cream’s $40M Series A and $200M valuation hit the internet, there was a lot of criticism and confusion — how could a company that creates hollow, made-for-Instagram experiences be worth so much? Unlike some other sky-high valuations, this was one that I could understand. Museum of Ice Cream — or, more appropriately, its parent company, Figure8 — has a secret sauce that can be iterated upon and applied to new concepts.

Memory Lane

When Museum of Ice Cream launched in 2016, Instagram had staked its claim as the go-to social platform. Stories, copied directly from Snapchat, had just been introduced. Facebook was falling out of favor. A year earlier, Refinery29 opened the doors to its first-ever 29Rooms concept.

The way we experienced things and the way we shared those experiences was changing. The rise of short-form, short-term storytelling lent urgency to these social platforms and amplified the already pervasive FOMO that surrounded them. Lines for things like cronuts and milkshakes were becoming the norm. Waiting was part of the experience, and the experience was meant to be shared.

Museum of Ice Cream launched at a pivotal moment. It tapped into the zeitgeist of shareable, immersive experiences — that everything is an anticipated memory — and pushed the phenomenon forward.

Big Scoop

A week or so after the news of Museum of Ice Cream’s valuation broke, Fast Company published a story about the brand’s aspirations and plans for growth. The company already has a permanent space in San Francisco and is opening a three-story flagship in the heart of Soho, taking over space formerly occupied by H&M. It’s eyeing international expansion and allegedly pitched investors on a theme park concept. I’ve long believed that the company would do well to open up in shopping malls, too (wink wink, nudge nudge).

Under the Figure8 umbrella, the company is creating an agency meant to support brands in creating experiences — “experiums,” in Museum of Ice Cream-speak — of their own, the first of which will be announced mid-2020. It’s also planning to iterate on the Museum of Ice Cream concept and create additional experience-driven brands, as confirmed by a job listing for a VP/SVP of People role: “the VP of People will oversee the buildout of our people function ... as we scale from 130 employees to multiple global locations and concepts.”

“Our ambition has always been to create spaces that can connect humans to humans, and humans to architecture,” Museum of Ice Cream founder Maryellis Bunn told FastCo. “Our journey to get there has been to create, understand, and then recreate. We create spaces, we understand what’s going on, and we get tons and tons of visitor feedback.”

We All Scream

For brands, every waking moment presents an opportunity for engagement. Even our non-waking hours are sought after. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings cited sleep as his company’s biggest competitor, and Pokemon is introducing a gamified sleep monitor.

In our digital-first, attention-driven economy, getting people to leave their homes and seek out a physical space is a massive achievement. Time and attention translate to money, and Museum of Ice Cream has proven that it knows how to capture both.

Bunn knows this, telling FastCo, “When I think about competitive landscape, I think about Netflix and Instagram, because it’s about who the players are that are captivating your time…. How can we create something that is both so enticing and so fulfilling in the real world that it [makes people want to be] out and exploring and interacting with the space.”

Depending on your outlook, experiential retail concepts are either exciting or gimmicky. In either case, it’s impossible to deny the impact that these concepts have when done well. (Reminder: we live in a world where people would rather purchase basic supplies like coffee filters and paper towels online than spend time in a store to get the same products faster.)

Museum of Ice Cream is at the far end of the experiential spectrum — it’s over the top, but it’s effective. As competition for time and attention continues to ramp up, we’re going to see a middle-ground emerge.

Concepts like the Canada Goose cold room and Casper’s Dreamery draw people to physical spaces and complement the purchasing experience, but don’t force it. The Outdoor Voices mission to “activate locally, amplify digitally” is about building community through events and activations, and prompting purchases only after someone has been drawn into the fold (See: DIP 003).

The most successful, worthwhile, and additive brand experiences don’t seek to sell product; they engage and enrich. And if that engagement and enrichment lead participants to make a purchase, great. But ultimately, experiential concepts are brand-building exercises, and if it’s strong enough to get people to leave their home and make time to visit it, that’s arguably a bigger win than a successful checkout.

Still Hungry?

Real Dip 📬

Preserved lemon relish-ish.

Chop about 1/2 cup preserved lemon (store-bought is fine, and very much worth buying), 1/4 cup mint, and two shallots. Add it all to a bowl with a couple of glugs of olive oil and a crack of black pepper. Stir and taste. You might need to add salt.

Spoon it on grilled fish, toast and tomatoes, and roasted potatoes.

Thanks for snacking,

— Emily 💡

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