TOSCANO® cigar -manufactured by Manifatture Sigaro Toscano- has an austere image, known by smokers, mainly as a mass market cigar sold in an old-fashioned point of sale where to gather quickly what you need and dash away. Inside a tobacconist the brand engages with craft-passionate community by telling a 200 year’s history tale. This is because success passes through bonding with all those who are passionate with what stands behind this Italian excellence. This means divulging the TOSCANO® cigar heritage with a contemporary language, telling a story that goes beyond the product, and generating interest in everybody.
MST, as italian manifacturing excellence, was asked to participate to FICO (Fabbrica Italiana Contadina). FICO is the biggest agri-park in the world, promoted by Eataly to let the world experience all the wonders of Italian excellence in one place and showcases the traditional skills of Italian artisans. MST was asked to use the 35mq tobacconist store to deliver a shop sustainable in terms of commercial results and winning in terms of engagement, communication and storytelling. We developed a store concept consistent with the FICO essence, aware of tobacco's legal restrictions on communication and with a scarce area to create an engaging experience. Our goals were:
- keeping the store functional
- generating a user experience able to make the Kentucky tobacco production chain story appealing to a wider, Italian excellence target audience;
- widespreading the Manifatture Sigaro Toscano values of tradition and innovation and telling a 200 years long story of passion to a bigger audience.
We took into consideration a multiple target made up of cigars connoisseurs & smokers and FICO visitors
The demographics for these targets are quite similar and can be resumed as: 66% high school degree) 15% coming from all over the world mainly individual Foodies a business audience of experts in agri-food and wine industry.
To bring the right creative idea into life and reach the target, we worked on three strategic pillars:
- attract: thanks to a fascinating iconic and welcoming store environment, with digital entertainment available
- engage: a five senses phygital immersive experience, fueled by a 360° VR.
- educate: intrigue on TOSCANO® cigar’s heritage, through didactic focus on the stunning phases of the hand-crafted wrapping. A tale of creation, from birth to wrap, told from an unexpected point of view, attractive for everyone.
Since 19th century, Italy has been producing extraordinary cigars. Masterpieces of hand-craftmanship with a unique heritage, known by a niche. Every cigar is an object of high craftsmanship, unique and unrepeatable, emblematic on the lips of famous personalities from the world of art and culture: from Garibaldi to Eastwood, from Modigliani to Leone. Coincidence? No, it's in the unique nature of TOSCANO® cigar. For smokers or non smokers, the history and gesture around wrapping a cigar is an hypnotic experience. How can we leverage this peculiarity to improve perception and increase interest? We must change our perception: we won't talk about a product, we want people to live a journey in a magnificent story of artisanal excellence, from a leaf’s point of view. A five senses immersive experience results unexpected for TOSCANO® cigar connoisseurs, and highly attractive for a wider audience of curious visitors.
To bring the creative idea into life, we used a prototypical process, involving the Client in building up the idea and used our expertise in defining every detail of the experience:
- Customer experience map co-created with the Client and design of the overall experience concept: “from a leaf’s point of view”.
- Store zoning and flows analysis.
- Design of commercial areas: counter, compartments, warehouse.
- Windows display styling focused on craftsmanship, using heritage tools to wrap cigars.
- Interior design of the experiential area: design of a modular seat as the hero furnishing of the store. The shape reminds the sinuosity of Tuscan hills landscape and softness of tobacco leaves. Armrests integrate iPad and VR visors to enrich the experience. The material, oak wood, is the one used for the fire curing of the tobacco.
- Realization of the 360°video experience: concept, storyboard, 3D modeling, location shooting with green screen, compositing, editing, storytelling and voiceover; sound design.
- Digital experience: UI/UX design of the content display, wireframe and design of the app interface introducing the VR experience.