In the battle to win unwavering customer loyalty, one thing's for sure: simply selling at people all the time just isn't going to cut it these days.
And while the rise of online content marketing initiatives—such as influencer marketing, blogging, offering style advice (check out this blog post for some cool examples)—that aim to win consumer affection for being helpful or informative has undoubtedly reached the retail mainstream, brands are moving this concept into the offline world too.
From free yoga classes to wine-tasting events to coffee popups, the benefits of experiential retail marketing are clear: not only do they foster a deeper connection between retailers and their customers by encouraging shoppers to buy into a brand lifestyle, but they also bring great benefits such as:
- Word of mouth marketing: While consumers are unlikely to talk to all their friends about an unremarkable trip to the shops, cool in-store experiences can help create a buzz around your brand to spread the word.
- User-generated content: Linked to the above, creating designated hashtags and encouraging consumers to share their experiences on social can provide brands with a wealth of user-generated content that can further be used in their marketing campaigns.
- In-store footfall: While direct selling may not be the name of the game, the additional footfall created by in-store events can have a knock on effect on sales.
- Customer data: Offline events give brands the unique opportunity to look beyond a customer’s transactional data and get to know them more as people. All of this information can subsequently be used to send more interesting, tailored content. For example, a womenswear brand might host an in-store yoga workshop; after the event, the marketer could use attendee data to both enrich these customers' profiles (that they're interested in yoga, for example) but also create tailored follow-up marketing campaigns to encourage purchasing afterwards (a dedicated yoga-themed mailout with a special offer, for example).
And so, without further ado, here are six brands hosting awesome in-store experiences.