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CLIENT

Alter Group

 

MY ROLE

UX Research

Product Consulting

CLIENT

Alter Group

 

MY ROLE

UX Research

Product Consulting

CLIENT

Alter Group

 

MY ROLE

UX Research

Product Consulting

SUMMARY

The executive team asked another designer and me to help them target an innovative retailer to fill one of their vacant spaces.                     

SUMMARY

The executive team asked us to help them target an innovative retailer to fill their vacant space that had been sitting empty. Using my design process, we pitched several potential clients for them to target.

SUMMARY

The executive team asked us to help them target an innovative retailer to fill their vacant space that had been sitting empty. Using my design process, we narrowed down and suggested several potential clients for them to target.

SUMMARY

The executive team asked us to help them target an innovative retailer to fill their vacant space that had been sitting empty. Using my design process, we pitched several potential clients for them to target.

SUMMARY

The executive team asked us to help them target an innovative retailer to fill their vacant space that had been sitting empty. Using my design process, we narrowed down and suggested several potential clients for them to target.

To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted confidential information from this case study. 

PROBLEM STATEMENT

One of Alter Group’s office buildings, 20 W Kenzie, which holds one of the largest WeWorks in the city, is in a prime location settled in the River North neighborhood of Chicago.

Unfortunately, from the expansion of innovative retail stores and restaurants in the area, the building started losing its appeal with the millennial audience. 

PROBLEM STATEMENT

One of Alter Group’s office buildings, 20 W Kenzie, which holds one of the largest WeWorks in the city, is in a prime location settled in the River North neighborhood of Chicago.

Unfortunately, from the expansion of innovative retail stores and restaurants in the area, the building started losing its appeal with the millennial audience. 

PROBLEM STATEMENT

One of Alter Group’s office buildings, 20 W Kenzie, which holds one of the largest WeWorks in the city, is in a prime location settled in the River North neighborhood of Chicago. Unfortunately, from the expansion of innovative retail stores and restaurants in the area, the building started losing its appeal with the millennial audience. 

PROBLEM STATEMENT

One of Alter Group’s office buildings, 20 W Kenzie, which holds one of the largest WeWorks in the city, is in a prime location settled in the River North neighborhood of Chicago.

Unfortunately, from the expansion of innovative retail stores and restaurants in the area, the building started losing its appeal with the millennial audience. 

PROBLEM STATEMENT

One of Alter Group’s office buildings, 20 W Kenzie, which holds one of the largest WeWorks in the city, is in a prime location settled in the River North neighborhood of Chicago. Unfortunately, from the expansion of innovative retail stores and restaurants in the area, the building started losing its appeal with the millennial audience. 

Project Goals

Project Goals

1. Attract a younger audience to the building

2. Help enhance the image of the building to be younger and hip 

3. Activate the empty space

4. Energize the building 

5. Enhance the value of the property

1. Attract a younger audience to the building

2. Help enhance the image of the building to be younger and hip 

3. Activate the empty space

4. Energize the building 

5. Enhance the value of the property

1. Attract a younger audience to the building

2. Help enhance the image of the building to be younger and hip 

3. Activate the empty space

4. Energize the building 

5. Enhance the value of the property

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Alter Group needed a refresh to the building to maintain its status as a premier, forward-looking national commercial real estate organization.

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Alter Group needed a refresh to the building in order to maintain its status as a premiere national commercial real estate organization.  

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Alter Group needed a refresh to the building in order to maintain its status as a premiere national commercial real estate organization.  

Research

Research

To start, we needed to gather important data on the type of people that live, work and travel to the River North area on a daily basis. 

Here are some highlights: 

1. 60,000 people work in the River North area every single day

2. 89 percent of the people that live in River North are Metro Renters; i.e. people aged 29-35 years old

3. The average median income is $114,833

4. 1000 people per day in the building

Since we had a short amount of time to work on this project, we were only able to conduct one interview of a WeWork staff member. Although ideally, we would want at least 3-4 interviews for this type of project, the one interview, combined with our primary and secondary research, gave us enough detailed information to at least suggest retail recommendations that align with business objectives. 

 

To counter the lack of qualitative insights from residents and workers, we spent time conducting ethnography. We visited the space and the surrounding area, observing consumer habits, and analyzing competitors within a few blocks radius. 


To start, we needed to gather important data on the type of people that live, work and travel to the River North area on a daily basis. We gathered strong data that planted us within our potential customer's shoes. 

Here are some highlights: 

1. 60,000 people work in the River North area every single day

2. 89 percent of the people that live in River North are Metro Renters; i.e. people aged 29-35 years old

3. The average median income is $114,833

4. 1000 people per day in the building

 

We visited the space in order to get a feel for the layout and design. We also affinity mapped amenities that the building has and categorized them into 6 retail themes:

1. Convenience

2. Comfort Food

3. Play 

4. Lounge

5. Experiential

6. Pop-Ups    


After we narrowed down the retail categories we wanted to target based on business needs and objectives, we conducted qualitative and quantitative interviews of residents and commuters in the area.  


To start, we needed to gather important data on the type of people that live, work and travel to the River North area on a daily basis. We gathered strong data that planted us within our potential customer's shoes. 

Here are some highlights: 

1. 60,000 people work in the River North area every single day

2. 89 percent of the people that live in River North are Metro Renters; i.e. people aged 29-35 years old

3. The average median income is $114,833

4. 1000 people per day in the building

 

We visited the space in order to get a feel for the layout and design. We also affinity mapped amenities that the building has and categorized them into 6 retail themes:

1. Convenience

2. Comfort Food

3. Play 

4. Lounge

5. Experiential

6. Pop-Ups    


After we narrowed down the retail categories we wanted to target based on business needs and objectives, we conducted qualitative and quantitative interviews of residents and commuters in the area.  


To start, we needed to gather important data on the type of people that live, work and travel to the River North area on a daily basis. We gathered strong data that planted us within our potential customer's shoes. 

Here are some highlights: 

1. 60,000 people work in the River North area every single day

2. 89 percent of the people that live in River North are Metro Renters; i.e. people aged 29-35 years old

3. The average median income is $114,833

4. 1000 people per day in the building

 

We visited the space in order to get a feel for the layout and design. We also affinity mapped amenities that the building has and categorized them into 6 retail themes:

1. Convenience

2. Comfort Food

3. Play 

4. Lounge

5. Experiential

6. Pop-Ups    


After we narrowed down the retail categories we wanted to target based on business needs and objectives, we conducted qualitative and quantitative interviews of residents and commuters in the area.  


We affinity mapped our insights and categorized them into 6 retail themes:
 

1. Convenience

2. Comfort Food

3. Play 

4. Lounge

5. Experiential

6. Pop-Ups    

What did our user say?

What did our users say?

What did our                    users say?

“It’s an extremely techy area - almost everyone around here works in the tech industry”


“People here are very successful or are at the peak of success in their career”


“After work, I’m looking for something unique to do, and I’m tired of going to restaurants near me. My area is overloaded with dining options and most of the time I don’t even eat out unless it’s the weekend”.

Our insights pointed us in the right direction and aligned with our hypothesis: workers don't want just another large sports bar - they are looking for something unique. We then created a persona - meet Carey, she is a highly mobile and educated person who lives in River North. 

 

persona

The Opportunity

The Opportunity

We found that River North has a surplus of large sports bar type restaurants and clubs (places that are not intimate), hip or coffee-shop-like. There was an opportunity to create something unique and in its own category; something that would stand out from the competition and replenish the image of the building, and even have an impact on the surrounding area. Whether local or international, we focused on targeting business that offered something within our 6 retail categories. 

We found that River North has a surplus of big restaurants i.e. places that are not intimate or coffee-shop-like. There was an opportunity to create something that was unique and in its own category; something that would stand out from the competition and replenish the image of the building. We focused on targeting any type of business that offered something within our 6 retail categories. 

The Result

Our extensive research and design-focused approach helped Alter Group nail down the perfect client. They are currently in the process of communicating with our client suggestions. 


Our extensive research and design focused approach helped Alter Group nail down the perfect client. They are currently in the process of communicating with our suggestions. 

 Download the presentation deck here!

Reflection

This was quite a unique experience because it was not mobile, web, or anything even close to digital design. Though, I knew we could help because of design thinking and other design processes that we have in our toolbox (agile design, sprints, etc.). It was fun to be able to take the same systems I use for digital design work and apply it to work that genuinely required brand and product consultants. At the end of the day, I acted as a designer and brand consultant - it taught me that designers are not just, well, designers. We have many tools that can help facilitate business growth and leave a lasting impact on future business decisions. I'm thankful for my past experience in brand and marketing because, without it, I would have struggled to understand Alter's goals and I don't think we would have been able to put together quality insights within just 2 weeks. 

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