Experience, hotels and beer

If the future of retail (or for that matter offices) is about ‘experience’, then where should we look for examples of great real estate led experiences? A good start would be places where people choose to go rather than have to go. We all have to go to work, and (although less so in the e-commerce era) we all have to go shopping for necessities. However, we choose to go to places like restaurants (you could just eat in), theme parks (the definition of experience) and hotels (central to leisure breaks). The best hotel chains have clear experience propositions, which aim to make their customers feel valued and excited in a way that is appreciably heightened compared with being at home. In a concept that blends hotel with theme park, Aberdeen-based BrewDog has opened what it believes to be the ‘world’s first crowdfunded craft beer hotel’ in Columbus, Ohio (safe assumption). Strong branding, fun, beer on arrival, beer taps in every room, shower fridges, beer pong, beer museum – clear what it stands for? This is perhaps not a great solution for serving a mass market. However, as a vehicle for responding to a clear market segment, whilst raising the profile of the parent brand, it’s pretty spot on. Is this so different to the emerging role of real estate for many retailers?