Founded by Ari Peralta, a former media research professional turned cofounder of a cosmetic skincare clinic turned fashion designer, the company is uniting retailers with scientists and technologists to create stores that resonate on an emotional level. “It is going to be the job of us at Arigami to just focus on one word: ‘multi-sensory’,” explains Ari in his first interview to press since registering the company last June. “And to explore as many ways to find common sense-approach solutions to build deeper relationships between fashion and retail.”
Omnichannel and experiential retail have become a key focus in the troubled retail sector, but Arigami hopes to turn these into long-term trends by using scientifically-backed concepts that engage with sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. “I do not agree that marketing and business is all about data science, I think it’s about science. We’re using data science to paint a full story which brands will invest millions of pounds in just to get it wrong. So, ultimately, it doesn’t create the full picture. It doesn’t really paint the full story of desires and subconscious.”
Of course, many brands are already investing in sensory activities. It’s not uncommon for brands to create bespoke scents for the retail environment through companies like Air Aroma, who has worked with Hugo Boss and Max Mara, or hire specialists like Soundscape Agency who have matchmade the likes of Wolford and George at ASDA with the perfect sound for their brand environments but Arigami wants to bring it all under one roof. Importantly, they’re also adding a new layer by providing data on how the consumer’s mind reacts to the combination of all these sensory inputs to help create emotional memories. If we can engage consumers emotionally, Ari believes this will lead to purchases on all platforms. “The future of retail for me is in the physical space, yes, but also in the ecommerce space. Bricks and mortar will truly not fuse into brick and click until we understand how human senses work, how we improve multisensory engagement in any brand,” he says.
Advancements in neuroscience now mean that the company will be able to take live brain scans of customers as they move around a store, thanks to a wearable, halo-like piece of equipment that will track which areas are being triggered as they interact with their surroundings. They also want to debunk popular facts about how our brains function. Current findings show that while men do have larger brains, women typically have a larger hippocampus, the memory-storing part, and the notion that we only use 10% of our brains is also incorrect, even when we sleep. Arigami wants to explore what this could mean for retail.
While neuroscience might not give us everything we need to know to create the store of the future, Ari believes scientific evidence is the missing piece to take traditional market research methods to the next level. “We’re able to take elements of that focus group, include elements of data science and transactional data, and elevate it with in-moment MRI scans. We’re able to measure where in the brain there are stimuli and how it is being translated chemically.”