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Communications.Management.Marketing

Truth Is Just Perception

Could Experiential Marketing Be More Powerful Than E-commerce?

AdAge reports on the growing number of e-commerce brands that invest in brick and mortar stores to create better, more attractive experiences for their customers.

Eyewear specialist Warby Parker‘s SoHo store in Manhattan doubles as a library and reading room. Activewear brand Kit & Ace has opened a shop, also in New York, that doubles as a community table. And Late Night Chameleon Café (LN-CC) is an appointment-only boutique/private events space located in London.

The fact that e-commerce brands adopt traditional brick and mortar business models is revealing. While we can make (almost) all our purchases using our computers, tablets and smartphones, visiting a store, if it is worth the trip, can be the most powerful marketing activity.

Warby Parker's store in SoHo - (CC) Warby Parker

Warby Parker’s store in SoHo – (CC) Warby Parker

First, it conveys a company’s image and values in a far more effective way than any online exposure. Therefore, it contributes to the creation of meaningful communities around the concerned brand.

Moreover, store visits can generate more sales than e-commerce thanks to the emotional experience they create. As Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s retail head, recently stated in Fast Company,

I don’t want to be sold to when I walk into a store. The job is to be a brilliant brand ambassador. Don’t sell! No! Because that’s a turn-off. Build an amazing brand experience, and then it will just naturally happen.

As I have already explained on Superception, I am convinced that experiential marketing is the best strategy for many brands that are threatened by their competitors’ digital marketing operations.

Today, its main weakness lies in its relative inability to collect consumer data. Experiential marketing is very immersive but it has to be far more intrusive than online marketing to collect actionable data.

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