Tysons Corner - creating a brand for a foodhall under new management as a stranger in a new city.
Positioning and strategy
2018 - Present
When Urbanspace was given the opportunity in the Fall of 2018 to take over the shuttered Isabella Eatery in one of the country’s most luxury malls, they turned to Memo to help them overcome a series of significant challenges. First, the introduction of Urbanspace to a new audience would occur under the cloud of negative press surrounding the previous project’s demise. Second, the high-end mall customer represented a new client type for Urbanspace. Lastly, the timeline was aggressive: an initial soft launch by the holiday season followed by a longer, full activation during the first half of 2019.
Memo developed a brand identity and experience for the project with two high-level goals in mind: to embrace the work-in-progress aspect of the activation and to bring a sense of community back to the market. The name “A Taste of Urbanspace” was selected because it struck exactly the right chords for this delicate situation. The word TASTE not only makes it clear that this is a food market, but also implies that more is coming. It is a built in invitation to guests to come back for more.
Secondly, it was clear that the best way to bring positive vibes back to the project was by focusing on the community that the market represents. British illustrator Leon Edler created a series of market characters which speak to the diversity not only of customers but also of the vendors themselves.
Neither time nor budget allowed us to make major changes to the existing market interior or the vendor booths. We covered what we could – mixing old and new as needed, we introduced the new market identity as economically and judiciously as possible, and helped the vendors express their identities while utilizing as much of the existing booth structures as possible.
A Taste of Urbanspace opened in early December with 5 vendors who haven’t stopped cooking since day 1. Mall patrons are super excited to have a place to relax for a while. Workers in nearby offices have already made A Taste of Urbanspace their new go to, and the vendors are elated to bring their passion and food to new audiences.
Stay tuned for a full activation to come in late Spring 2019.