Wall's launches 'disruptor' ice cream brand with Spitalfields store

14th August 2017

Ice cream brand Wall’s has launched Soft Republic - a new ‘disruptor’ soft serve ice cream brand - with a pop-up store in London’s Spitalfields Market.

Brand owner Unilever created a special project division within Wall’s, with a licence to think as a disruptor brand would. It was tasked with creating a new, standalone experiential brand that could reinvent soft serve ice cream for millennial and Generation Z consumers.

The soft serve ice cream category is considered to be ripe for pop-up and flagship experiences, especially those aimed at heavy users of social media.

Agency I-AM was appointed to the project, which sought to enhance the emotional connection beween Wall’s and its customers. Soft Republic is intended as a fresh and vibrant umbrella brand for the diverse range of Wall’s soft serve products, and one that is applicable across a range of retail and experiential scenarios.

The first outing for the brand has been an ‘urban explosion’ pop-up store, inspired by urban art, in Spitalfields Market.

The ‘playfully punky’ store is designed to appeal to a broad cross section of consumers, from local hipsters to tourists.

A social media strategy was launched in tandem with the store to gain maximum impact.

To ensure flexibility, there is no rigid ‘design bible’ for stores. Instead, a design philosophy has been established to offer a wide range of visual elements. This allows the concept to be adapted to specific locations, with street art playing a key role.

Shoreditch artist Rich Fairhead’s work was used in the launch pop-up, with local cues included in his images.

The launch store features pop-up stapes such as plywood counter units.

Window graphics and menu blackboards guide customers through the process of making their own ice cream creation, with a broad variety of styles and ingredients.

They are encouraged to share the results via social media, with staff adding Polaroid images to a ‘Hall of Fame’ display. ‘Instagram moment’ opportunities have been designed into the store from the outset.