New Stand

Traditional newsstands are relics of a physical media content era, yet still occupy some of the most valuable physical footprints in retail and repeat commuter traffic. Combo worked with a team of ambitious founders to enliven daily routines with a reinvented habit-forming experience by bridging the physical and digital daily lives of urban commuters today.

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Store photography created by New Stand

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Redesigning the Daily Routine

Addressing the Digital Realities of the Modern Commuter

In response to digital media’s pervasive pull on people’s attention, a group of entrepreneurs wanted to create a new model for the convenience store that spoke to the sensibilities of the digital native and was built specifically for the modern commuter ©. The company’s big goal was to be a “day improvement company”—providing solutions for typically unenjoyable parts of the day—focusing here on the daily commute. Together with Combo, New Stand set out to not only anticipate people’s needs but also offer points of relevance and interest to elevate the commuting experience.

© The contemporary workforce created a new commuter with different interests than the businessman of the 1950s, the original consumer newsstands were created for.

Developing the Brand and Business Strategy

Combo’s strategy team helped develop a business strategy that leveraged the features of a digital app to connect to a physical retail environment. The team also developed a brand strategy that responded to the repetition and monotony of the daily commute by focusing on the idea of newness. From the visual identity to the functionality of the app to the selection of goods in the store, the brand identity would be about bringing “the latest and greatest” to meet the modern commuter whenever they were in between places.

Designing the Mobile App

The mobile app was conceived as both a functional tool from which commuters could shop New Stand goods and a platform on which commuters could discover articles, music and other interesting pieces through a “wheel of content” that awarded loyalty points for engagement —which could then be spent in the New Stand store. The platform connected the digital to the physical experience (for example, an umbrella provided by a sponsor if the forecast called for rain), enabling synchronization between what commuters do on the train and the store they walk by every day.

Creating Identity

The visual identity and voice was built around excitement, freshness, playfulness and movement. Design gestures were about finding moments of fun in what is otherwise routine. The logo, for example, took the “New” in “New Stand” and translated it into a button, a playful wink representing the points of excitement the brand aimed to embed within the commuter’s routine.

Retail Space Consulting

Combo also functioned as a consultant on the space design and buildout of the retail stores, ensuring that the idea of newness translated to the physical layout. The interiors were based on modularity, with equipment like magnetized shelves and counters on wheels that could be rearranged to keep the physical composition of the store fresh, tying back to the central concept of the brand identity.

New Stand' Is NYC's Underground Bodega for the Modern Commuter.
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