Article by Lisa Glover, Two Approaches To Transform The Shopping Experience, http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/207934/two-approaches-to-transform-the-shopping-experienc.html#axzz2dBxYV8kG
Experiential campaigns, when executed so that the brand’s mission aligns with the values of customers, have the potential to not only drive sales, but create memorable and unique shopping experiences. Over the course of this summer, several brands capitalized on their event surroundings and found that the experience is what truly resonates with consumers. In June, Martini Media released a study finding that “affluent consumers are 47% more likely to make a purchase online compared to their non-affluent counterparts.” When it comes to these digitally-driven customers, how do brands redefine the shopping experience and get them offline and back into the store? Are brick and mortars the only alternative, or have brands uncovered a tactic that will appeal to the experience-craved Affluents?
Retailer on Wheels
Alex and Mike Faherty, founders of Faherty Brand, a new environmentally friendly beach brand, designed their line with the inspiration of the beach. For the brothers, their favorite memories always involved the beach and what they coined their “Never Ending Summer.” When launching their clothing line, they wanted to deliver that same feeling to customers. So rather than buying real estate and setting up shop in a mall or department store, they brought the shop to the people.
Kicking off the summer, the Faherty brothers created a “mobile beach house” and toured their clothing line across the country, stopping at several summer hot spots to grow awareness about their new brand. The beach trailer created an exceptional experience for customers and engaged consumers throughout their entire #NeverEndingSummer campaign. Along the way, the brothers kept an active blog and updated followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. “Their photos told their story in such a way as to make you feel that you were along for the ride, said Bill McKeveny, VP of Brand Development at Conversation. “They kept fans interested and engaged which is key to launching a new line and generating buzz.”
Redefining Window Shopping
A mobile beach house isn’t the only way brands engaged with Affluents this summer. Kate Spade Saturday, a brand spinoff of Kate Spade, channels the “carefree spirit of the weekend” by empowering customers to embrace color and spontaneity. While the price point is a notch lower than the parent company Kate Spade, the merchandise still appeals to the traditional Kate Spade customer. Scattered across downtown Manhattan for one month were bright yellow store fronts that encouraged customers to shop without even having to enter the store. A simple storefront touchscreen acted as a virtual catalog that allowed users to choose items and add them to a cart. The screen provided customers with a customized shopping experience and promised to deliver merchandise to their New York City door within one hour. Customers were promoted to pay with a mobile app. Shopping on your lunch break has never been easier.
Comparing the Customer Experiences
Kate Spade removed traditional customer service from the equation, while Alex and Mike created a shopping experience that truly personified their core brand and stood out against others by devoting their summer to traveling with the brand. Their respective strategies really resonated with Affluents, who require a deeper level of service than more value-driven consumers. On both occasions, the retailer kept the customer experience top of mind. Although executed differently, each delivered a personalized and exceptional experience.
In both instances, the quality of service remained high for the brands while taking a non-traditional approach to marketing. The option of not lugging shopping bags around town was a groundbreaking, never-before-seen concept. Affluents want to know they are being treated at a higher service than others. In addition, the ability to touch and feel the quality of merchandise, speak directly to company founders, and enjoy a unique shopping experience carries a great amount of weight in the Affluent decision making process. Both campaigns were effective in garnering attention from their target demographic… the Affluents.