Customer story - Pike Place Market

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pike place market

Making donating
fun and memorable

When a local landmark wanted to better engage with donors, we helped create tools to make donating fun and memorable.

With the ongoing overhaul of the Seattle waterfront, the iconic Pike Place Market is poised to expand westward with its waterfront-facing “MarketFront.” As the project moves into its final funding phase—with construction to begin in 2015—the Pike Place Market Foundation is taking strides to communicate its expansion plans and engage with the community it calls home.

To bring it to life, The Market Foundation wanted a vibrant, mobile-friendly website to provide helpful information at the point of need that could communicate its key messages about the Market and its plans for growth. Just as crucial was an interactive ecommerce component, to help kick off a public fundraising drive, called Pike Up!, to raise the $9 million needed to complete the project’s $66 million price tag.

We partnered with The Market Foundation to help deliver just that: a responsive website that’s helping to communicate the Foundation’s grand expansion plans while providing the community with a fun way to support the Market.

Piggybacking into to the future

Community involvement and awareness are hugely important to the project’s success. It was up to us to help create the visual experience that would highlight the Market’s ongoing relationship with the people of Seattle, while at the same time providing easy interactivity—and incentives—to encourage people to donate. We also wanted to make it easy for supporters to share their involvement with others.

Our team built a responsive website,, using the open-source frameworks HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript libraries. Beyond communicating the details of the expansion project—including a visual historical timeline of the Market, a video overview, and images of the Market-to-be—the site brings a playful, accessible approach to its design that emphasizes the goodwill generated by Pike Place Market and its standing as a desirable tourist destination.

At the site’s core, however, is one clear purpose: to inspire contributions. Thus was born the concept of “Piggybackers"—named in honor of the Market’s bronze piggybanks, Billie (and her better-known cousin, Rachel). Along with being able to make a straight donation to Billie’s Piggybank, Piggybackers can choose to write their names into Market history by purchasing a bronzeHoofprint or steel Market Charm, both of which can be personalized with the donor’s name or message in real time—and will become a permanent part of the revitalized MarketFront.

To help spread the word to others, the site also includes a meme generator, which offers the ability to add text to an existing (or uploaded) image of the Market and share it directly on Facebook.

Slalom Consulting customer story - Pike Place Market

A shared vision

Since its founding in 1907, the Pike Place Market has been an iconic part of Seattle’s cityscape—a bustling destination for locals and tourists alike. The new site is helping the Market share its 40-year vision for the completion of Pike Place Market with the world, and inspiring others to stand up, speak up and Pike Up! for Seattle’s historic Market.

Meet the producer

Every city has its must-see tourist destination. Paris has the Eiffel Tower; New York, the Statue of Liberty. In Seattle, that destination is the Pike Place Market.

The Pike Place Market is synonymous with handmade and homegrown. The doors to Seattle’s original farmers market are open to the public 19½ hours a day, 362 days a year. Overlooking Elliott Bay, its stalls are teeming with artisanal wares, locally-grown fruits, vegetables, and flowers, and—of course—the iconic flying fish.

Energizing the waterfront

Change is coming to the Seattle waterfront. The city’s current waterfront thoroughfare, the above-street-level Viaduct, is being torn down and replaced by an underground roadway. Its impending removal leaves the prime waterfront real estate open for an urban revival. That’s where the Pike Place MarketFront project comes in.

The MarketFront project is about creating more of the destination that people know and love. The low-rise, mixed-use development project will provide more retail and restaurant space, in addition to low-income housing for seniors, expanded social services, and more parking. “This project represents 40 years of restoration, rehabilitation, planning, and a vision for the future of our city,” says Peter Steinbrueck, a lifelong market advocate. The planned expansion will connect the Market with the waterfront by a new terrace that will spill out onto a public waterfront promenade.

“It’s the last undeveloped part of the market,” says Jackson Schmidt, chair of the Pike Place market Waterfront Redevelopment Committee. “I think it’s going to energize both the Market and the downtown and the waterfront. We’re just at the right place at the right time.”

Slalom Consulting customer story - Pike Place Market map
“This project represents 40 years of restoration, rehabilitation, planning, and a vision for the future of our city.”
Peter Steinbrueck, market advocate

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