The Experience Maker: 5 Questions With Samsung VP Zach Overton


A one-of-a-kind makeup tutorial with Sephora and Bixby, Samsung’s voice-powered digital assistant. A Fortnite gaming session. A Galaxy Gear-powered workout with Dogpound. A TV watching party for Rupaul’s Drag Race. These are just a few of the events happening this month at Samsung 837, the flagship experiential hub for all things Samsung.

Samsung 837

Located in New York City’s Meatpacking District, Samsung 837 showcases Samsung technology with free hands-on experiences that merge tech and culture in an engaging way, often inviting other brands to come and play in its digital sandbox, which also features an on-site DJ, food and coffee (great coffee is key, we found out), free Wi-Fi and a speaker series, fun events and much, much more.

Samsung 837 4D VR virtual reality experience New York

With a menu of activities including having fun with virtual and augmented reality to making your own digital emoji or “Super Slow-mo” videos with the Galaxy S9 and testing Samsung wearables at its in-store fitness area (which expanded with the 2018 Winter Olympics) and connected home experience, Samsung 837 is a not only its global retail flagship but also an inspiration to other brands contemplating how to elevate their own experiential marketing touchpoints. It’s also moving from reactive to more proactive customer care with on-site assistance and workshops.

Samsung 837 New York retail experience Super Slow-mo video

In the wake of celebrating its second anniversary of defining “retailment” in February, we once again caught up with Zach Overton, Samsung’s Vice President of Customer Experience and General Manager of 837, to see what he’s discovering clicks with people following two years of a dynamic and packed schedule of events, partnerships and technology rollouts at 837.

Samsung 837 New York interactive windows experience

Zach, you’re continually refreshing this space; every time I visit there’s a new feature. How are you currently enriching the experience at Samsung 837?

Zach Overton - Samsung

One example is upstairs where we’re building out a really robust interactive smart home. You’ll take a personality quiz and it will tell you different use cases of technology in a fully-fledged New York City apartment that’s decked out in Samsung and third-party technology, showing how our technology reduces friction points in your everyday life. A lot of people are starting businesses from home, so we’re thinking about what the smart connected business starts to look like. We have a partnership with WeWork and we’ll do a lot of things with them on-site at their locations. We’re really interested in the gig economy and the sharing economy and how our technology can help.

What’s an example of how your smart home technology is evolving and becoming more about personalization?

A consolidated app can manage all of your smart technology and IoT-enabled technology with Bixby. So you’ll see an experience where you can take a photo of your food using Bixby vision that will tell you nutritional information about your meal. It can tell you how many calories you’ve already eaten for the day and what you have in your fridge, so it can serve up personalized recipes to you based on what your dietary restrictions are and what your eating habits have been that day, and then that factors into your workout. It gives you a much more cohesive narrative about how the full ecosystem of our products and services work in the context of your everyday life.

Samsung 837 smart home experience

How are you evolving the programming and the experience?

We’re really focusing this year on showcasing future technology. So we don’t want just everything that you can buy now, we want to get people excited about what we’re working on. It’s going to get people excited about how technology is going to continue enhancing their lives. Some of the biggest shifts we’re made are into education programming, or edutainment as we try to make them entertaining and engaging. So our fitness classes and workshops and things like that that really give people authentic windows into how our technology works.

Samsung 837 Anatomy of Ski experience / 2018 Winter Olympics

Who’s coming to 837 and what are they looking for?

When we launched we thought this space would be great for people who have our technology already to learn how to use it better. Now we’re really finding that about two-thirds of the people who come to our events are not new owners, but prospective owners. We’re piquing their curiosity and creating a unique, authentic way for them to really understand our devices and make a smart decision for themselves.

Samsung 837 guests in theater

How are you taking this platform beyond 837?

We’re in the middle of what we’re calling the Galaxy Studio Tour as a new mobile experience celebrating the Galaxy S9. It’s a multipart experience that has nine different experiences tied to the S9. We have different tours across the U.S. over the course of two months. It’s a good way for us to bring our experiential platform to more audiences. But the biggest, boldest, best execution of that experience is still here at 837.

Below, some images showing the 837 experience:

Catch the winter wonderland in 360. ❄

A post shared by Samsung 837 (@samsung837) on

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