Attention my unique Gurus! What a better way to get centered than to center retail around yourself! Yes, selfish retail, well sort of. While I was on my road trip across California, I stumbled upon many retailers that are providing merchandise customers can make an emotional connection to. It all started at Wanderlust 2015 with Bigtruck Brand. This pop-up provides pre-made or build-your-own trucker hats. A customer can start with a base hat of any color they choose, next they can pick a patch that is sewed onto the hat to make it unique to the customer. This is brilliant, not only does it tie the customer into the retail experience but it ensures that there is merchandise that appeals to everyone! At the festival it was a sea of bigtruck brand hats, each one different than the next. Also, some of the patches glow in the dark. By adding a small feature like glow-in-the-dark or reversibility it gives merchandise that one extra selling point that can help hook a customer!
LEGO was one of the original companies to develop this idea of consumer connection with a product. When a customer has buy in to a product, the result is customer loyalty to the product and the company. This type of consumerism taps into the customers emotions as well. Emotional appeal is huge when it comes to marketing retail. The more you can get the customer engaged in hands-on ownership, the higher the return rate of the customer. LEGO continues to develop new ideas to market their product by applying current and relevant themes to their products and displays.
Not only is LEGO genius in establishing customer connection with product but Disneyland is also notorious for customized merchandise. This year I saw something brand new that is like Build-a-Bear on steroids and that is Build Your Own Ride by Ridemakerz. Ridemakerz is a place where kids (and adults) can go in and create a custom car. Shoppers have the choice of their own rims, wheels, body style, color, paint job, and much more. No one car is exactly the same as the other. The choices are endless and kids were flocking over this creative idea. These days kids are glued to screens and places like Ridemakerz and Build-A-Bear are great places for kids to detach from the screens and explore and their creative and emotional side.
Disney also does a great job of making commercialized stores like Build-A-Bear unique to Disney by including build-your-own princess bear and build-your-own Olaf Bear. This is a genius idea because Disney can market that is experience is not available anywhere else so if you miss out on this experience, you will not find it anywhere else. As a commercialized country, Americans do not want to think they are missing out so “once in a lifetime”’ is always a good selling point. With customer connection retail the customer not only walks away with a sense of connection with the product they purchased but the memory of a unique experience as well.
Gurus, this retail idea is not just for kids! Life can be taxing and taking a break by letting your creative side free is a great way to escape the stress that life can bring! Let yourself be free to get centered through dreaming and creation! Until next time, stay centered, Gurus.