BARNES & NOBLE
"How can we save the last national bookstore retailer?"
OUR SOLUTION // By repurposing Barnes & Noble to fight 'The Imagination Crisis'
People are opting for passive activities that require little thought or imagination.
Today we see kids preferring video games to playing outdoors. Before sleeping, adults choose to scroll through their phone rather than picking up a book to read. With an abundance of standardized testing, even school systems are fueling a society that thinks black or white.
As a result, society as a whole is becoming less conducive to imagination and creative thinking.
A researcher at William and Mary analyzed over 300,000 Torrence scores and observed that creativity had been steadily on the rise. That is, until 1990. Over the last 20 years, “Creativity quotient” scores have tumbled.
Barnes & Noble has the opportunity to show that it’s more than a bookstore; it’s an integral part of the community, a place for nurturing one’s imagination.
Nurture endless imagination.
We asked ourselves:
We wanted to figure out why people visit Barnes & Noble. Through interviews and store visits we learned there are 4 types of visitors:
"Reading is like having an intimate conversation with a stranger."
"I can't wait for my friend to finish her book so that I can read it next."
"I can't wait until summer break so I can finally get some pleasure reading in."
"When I worked as a freelance designer I would spend hours there, using books as an inspiration for work."
Stories come in many forms: conversations, photographs, music, movies, presentations, or even audio recordings. It’s these stories that take you on new adventures, uncovering new truths, seeing different perspectives by transporting you to a world that's different than your own.
In this age of the 'Imagination Crisis' Barnes & Noble needs to live beyond books by bringing storytelling to life.
Spark imagination through stories.
We want to modernize the logo and make it more adaptable for digital use.
Barnes & Noble stores are overwhelming with their endless selection of books.
We want to create a space that is cozy and inviting by featuring live greenery and ample natural lighting. Interactive storytelling will be immersed throughout the store to encourage visitors to share ideas and excercise their imagination muscles.
Walls throughout the stores will come to life as people color, write, and rearrange.
Employees will take a more active role in storytelling by wearing shirts featuring their own personal stories.
The current membership structure is expensive ($25) and provides little value beyond product-related discounts.
We want to make it more accessible by providing 2, less-expensive tiers. Perks will focus on building a loyal community around storytelling through exclusive access to store events.
The current Barnes & Noble app provides little value beyond buying products and searching books.
We want to integrate it with the membership program to make it easier for members to track their points and become part of a larger community of members.
Creating brand manifesto video
Conducting primary research [store visits, customer interviews]
Brainstorming creative executions for in-store experience
Defining new membership structure