experiential retail deus ex machina canggu bali

Experiential Retail: Greasy hands & resin-stuck thongs at Deus, Bali

Deus custom motorbikes

Deus custom motorbikes

Deus surfboards bali

Deus custom surfboards

Brand Profile:

Deux Ex Machina – Makers of custom motorbikes, surfboards and a booming apparel line.

The brand is the result of a clearly defined philosophy and clinical execution from creative director Carby Tuckwell and founder Dare Jennings (He previously founded iconic surfwear brand Mambo).

At a cursory first glance, Deus can be perceived as ‘just another clothing brand’ in an already crowded industry, but digging deeper into some unique aspects of the brand’s makeup you’ll soon see what puts them ahead of the wave in retail innovation and brand experience.

Inspired by fashion conscious Japanese and the ’40’s-50s motorcycle culture from the Europeans & Americans, Deus eludes to visions of being James Dean cool.

Pulling up to Deus Canggu, Bali

Pulling up to Deus Canggu, Bali

Deus joglo canggu bali

Deus joglo Canggu, Bali

Deus Skatepark Bali

Deus Skatepark Bali

Deus surfboard shaping bays

Deus surfboard shaping bays

Deus mechanical workshop

Deus mechanical workshop

Deus Scooter

Deus Scooter

Deus Brand History book

Deus Brand History book

My Experience at The Temple of Enthusiasm

Looking at these images doesn’t do it justice…This is a destination.

I’d recently seen and experienced this growing trend in the US of combining retail & other attractions, but this place had it all.

In Bali for a friend’s secret wedding, the soon-to-be-groom and I snuck off to Canggu for a taste of surf and exploration.

We were seemingly in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by ricefields and some local thoroughfare, yet what we found was no regular retail store, it was a meeting place for common existence.

Lobbing onto Deus’ doorstep we could feel something special about this place, it had a sense of character and 150 odd mopeds parked out front tended to agree.

Deus themselves put it best stating ‘The temple is where you end up from never going home’.

The Temple of Enthusiasm has several inward facing joglos (villas) comprising of:
– cafe, restaurant + bar
– bike + surfboard workshop
– barber
– tattoo parlour
– clothing production & office area
– skateboard halfpipe
– art gallery feature section
– a retail store

This equates a multitude of reasons for me and other surf/bike fans to visit:
– Get my bike tuned or surfboard patched up
– Grab a coffee and/or food
– Get a haircut
– Get a tattoo
– View artwork
– Skate in the halfpipe
– Oh yeah and buy a Deus bike, surfboard or apparel, some pieces were strictly exclusive to the store and not available anywhere else

How many other stand alone retail stores give you that many reasons (excuses) to come visit?

deus retail store bali

Deus retail store absorbing elements of local Balinese culture

What I loved most…

Personally knowing the ‘why’ and the ‘what’ of Deus, I was keen to see the ‘how’.

My experience was comparable to visiting a chocolatier and watching them make their finest wares in front of you.

You walked in and saw the finished product on the shelf, but by digging a little deeper you could peer behind the curtain and watch the making of the product.

Tim and I freely roamed through the shaping bays and mechanical workshop, it was any surfer or biker’s dream. You could smell the fresh paint and oil. Your thongs stuck to the resin on the floor. You just wanted to get your hands dirty.

Deus shaping bays

Deus shaping bays

Thoughts…

In a well executed touch, The Temple’s retail store absorbed distinctive elements of the local Balinese culture to help endear itself to the locals, a technique they adopt at their several other locations worldwide.

Experiential retail is something that will only continue to emerge and be extended upon, as physical retailers will need to innovate and inspire their community to visit them, without the expectation they’ll need to pull out their wallet.

Deus’s Online Presence: Experience > Transaction

Deus Online Store Home Page

Deus Online Store Home Page

Deus Front Page Mag-Log

Deus Front Page Mag-Log

Like Deus’ Retail stores, their online presence is built for multiple experiences, not a single transaction.

Deus’ website is not built to sell…At least not until you’ve become entrenched with the brand’s origins, culture and what they stand for.

Landing on their home page today, you’re greeted with a promotion for an upcoming Bike build off competition, a surf festival & blog feature articles ranging from design, films & rider stories.

Subtly amongst these articles are product placements is a popular online trend labelled ‘mag-loging’, combining the look and feel of a magazine or catalogue to give editorial and in-situ awareness to featured products.

Although their shopping experience is a bit disjointed and not as seamless as it could be, (caused by having multiple domains and shopping carts in different countries), they’ve banked enough credits to get your credit card details.

It’s an immersive site that makes you want to come back to often.

Parting gift…

I’ll leave you with this, a little snippet into the tropical life of Dustin Humphrey, Director of Deus Indonesia who lives in Canggu, Bali…

Visit for yourself:

The Temple of Enthusiasm, Jalan Batu Mejan 8 – Canggu Bali 80361, Indonesia

Photography Credit: Thanks to Timmy O for your handiwork behind the lens.

My Backstory:

Having grown up in the surf town of Ocean Grove, the salt water flows through my veins.

My love of design, typography and surf brands was built on regular day trips to the famous Torquay surf shops to source the latest print brochures, so I could come home and emulate their design techniques on my ’98 blue iMac.

I’ve only ever really been a ‘wardrobe surfer’ with an appreciation – but not an appetite for the surf – until a recent visit to Bali and Deus’ Temple of Enthusiasm lit the fire to take up the sport, despite now living over an hour from a local break.

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