Interbrand’s latest study heralds the importance of multi-sensory experiences in building brand value particularly when we see dramatic shifts in digital marketing. As marketing dollars are being directed to digital media, the report advocates marketers to be careful about abandoning retail and its role in the consumer’s experience of the brand.
Shopping is no longer undertaken on a need basis. We shop for the experience, to examine trends, and see other consumers’ purchasing behavior. Hence the in-store marketing and digital avenues must complement each other. The store allows us to use all of our senses and oftentimes picks up where technology leaves off. Brands have to perpetually move beyond the relevant and expected, to develop more emotion and dimension within their brands for fresh connections with consumers.
Apple is the one which has mastered the retail store front and making the consumer feel a part of the brand and lifestyle. Check out some of the brands who use their retail environments to tap into all of our senses and turn browsing consumers into brand loyalists:
Abercrombie & Fitch: The clothing mecca for tweens, does a tremendous job of making consumers feel a part of the brand. From the models that greet you at the door, to the palpably cool decor to the cologne wafting through the air, Abercrombie makes certain to hit all the senses and leave you wanting more.
Cold Stone Creamery: Not only does this place smell like heaven, but consumers get to metaphorically eat with their eyes as they watch employees put together their custom made desserts right in front of them. Guests become part of the process as specially trained employees delicately fold the specialized toppings into these divine desserts. Topping off the brand experience is a musical number or two, especially if it’s your birthday. Watch the video for the experience.
When consumers shop as much for the experience as they do for particular items, make sure your brand isn’t missing out on valuable mindshare by offering a lackluster branded experience. Consumers need to be woven into the brand experience for them to commit you to their memories and eventually their hearts.