Collaborative Team: Roxie Reeves, Katherine Tiambeng, Will Jenkins, Jahan Nargolwala, & myself.
My role entailed research, experience design, and prototypes of the digital and interactive print ads and website.
Created as part of my Master of Science degree in Experience Design at the VCU Brandcenter.
Develop a solution to refresh the Brookstone brand.
In April 2014, Brookstone filed for bankruptcy.
Their demise can be attributed to several factors. Most importantly, Brookstone suffered from an onerous debt, a perpetual change of owners, and limited product R&D.
Two months later, Brookstone was bought by the Chinese investment firm Sailing company and the Chinese conglomerate Sanpower.
The store products were a juxtaposition of therapeutic and futuristic gadgets. In addition to the futuristic gadgets, there were servo motors, LEDs, and other do-it-yourself electronics.
The employees seemed to enjoy their work. However, they received commission only on massage chairs -the big ticket items. One employee said,
"This was my first sales job. I had difficulties trying to push certain products on customers when I knew they really didn’t actually need it."
1. The founder, Pierre de Beaumont, was an inveterate tinkerer, which makes sense because Brookstone was initially a catalog of hard to find useful items/tools.
2. Almost all of the store's gadgets and tools are designed and produced by Brookstone.
3. People have made videos of themselves tinkering with Brookstone gadgets.
4. It began as a store for tinkerers and inventors.
Although this last discovery is not aligned with the rest of our findings, we cannot ignore that the Brookstone employee experience needs improvement.
Below are comments made on Glassdoor by store associates.
“We used to get little incentive bonuses for certain items that we sold, but they got rid of that plan and made the incentive goal oriented, only to make the probability of meeting and exceeding the goal extremely difficult. The store manager keeps changing, there is no sense of stability, and the training for managers (and sales associates for that matter) is limited and often lacking in important details.”
"Very bad lack of communication between corporate and the store level. Change of policy and procedures too often than not following them after a week or 2."
Hatchpoint has many different types of users, from lurkers, people who casually browse, to those who invent and create with Hatchpoint products.
With that in mind, we knew that the website wasn’t going to be used by one type of person and therefore it had to be customizable to that person’s preferences.
In addition to customers, we created an experience for the Hatchpoint employee.
The hatchpoint.com dashboard benefits employees by displaying pay stubs, work wear and accoutrements, employee benefits, and discounts. It has supportive literature on work policies and new products demonstrations, therefore enabling a supportive community.