Adventures in Me-tail: The Enjoy Experience
August 18, 2015
By: Adina Daar, Associate Director, Research & Consulting
Back in May, my partner and I attended a Bike Home from Work party in Dumbo. Among the brands and stands promoting their wares and services were some very nice folks dressed in orange swag offering demos of motorized skateboards.
It was adventurous, happy, and fun. I came away feeling like I had a good sense of the skateboard (I didn’t fall off) and an experience to match. The company behind the demos are not the makers of the skateboard, but rather, they are facilitators of product learning. They are called Enjoy.
Started in 2014, Enjoy is the brainchild of Ron Johnson, the famously former retail guru for companies like Target and Apple. The website carries a curated selection of premium priced items – a combination of high-quality audio equipment from brands including Sonos and Bang & Olufsen, alongside new tech purveyors such as DJI drones and the aforementioned electric motorized skateboards from Boosted Boards. What sets Enjoy apart from other online retailers is the delivery model. This involves an Enjoy Expert bringing you the product in person, and spending upwards of an hour personally teaching the recent buyer how to set up and use it.
So I thought we’d give it a go and buy something to experience the model firsthand. We picked a Sonos speaker. During the checkout process, we were asked to select a time for our in-home visit. We selected 6pm that day. Shortly after, we received a friendly phone call from Andrew, an Enjoy expert, who confirmed the time, and mentioned that all we would need is an active Wi-Fi account (no problem)! Andrew showed up exactly at 6pm. He seemed like a combination of tech enthusiast, teacher, friend, and motivational speaker. It’s not surprising then, to learn that many of the Enjoy employees are former Apple staff since that approach always worked well.
Andrew presented us with our new speaker, walked us around the product, through the setup, and introduced us to the Sonos software and mobile apps. He spoke enthusiastically about his own experiences learning about and using the products as well as how it feels to teach people about cool products in their homes. In short, it is exactly as the site states, “a new way to buy and enjoy technology.” Our entire experience was no longer than an hour and I felt smarter for it.
The Enjoy approach feels like both a return and an evolution of door-to-door sales. It combines the ease and convenience of online shopping, the speed and logistics of urban delivery, and the experience and training of a retail space. I personally crave these kinds of introductions to things and I wish it happened more often. Despite the thorough walk-through, we ultimately decided that the Sonos closed-source business model doesn’t play well with our open source IOT home, but that hasn’t changed my delightful view of the Enjoy experience.
More than anything, I think businesses like Enjoy represent an appropriate response to an economic upturn. Competition is high, retail channels are saturated, and companies are experimenting with new ways to set themselves apart – even to the tune of having product reps for hire. On their website, Enjoy states “they have stores, we have people.” In an economy where me-tail companies like Uber, Trunk Club, and KitchenSurfing are focused on perfecting and bringing the experience to you, it’s no mystery (albeit a little magical) that knowledgeable people are still the most important piece of the puzzle.
What about you? Have you tried Enjoy or plan to in the future? We'd love to hear your thoughts and comments below.
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