There are angels in heaven: A retail experience to remember
With £1 in every £10 being spent online in 2011, retail brands have to up their game in order to compete. Many have stood up to this challenge already and through the power of brand experiences, are standing out from the crowd in saturated categories. From bringing to life your brand’s personality and values to understanding and addressing consumers’ needs through activation, brand experience can mean a number of different things and everyone is having a go. Whether it’s Burberry’s new digitally interactive store or Levi’s Intellifit electronic body scanner, brands are awash with creative, exciting and innovative ways of making the retail environment a more enjoyable experience that will keep customers coming back.
But what really makes the difference? This thought came to me as I was stomping the busy pavements along Oxford Street on Saturday afternoon (I know, bad idea) becoming increasingly frustrated with the amount of people, the queues for the changing rooms and the rude shopping attendants. That was until I wandered into heaven… a.k.a. the new highly acclaimed, Victoria’s Secret flagship store in Central London. Yes it looked fantastic but as my experience continued it was clear that Victoria’s Secret was going to make an impact in more ways than one.
At Clear, we work to 4 key values; Commercial, Simple, Inspiring and Human to help brands make a meaningful difference. My shopping experience in Victoria’s Secret was one of the most human I have experienced on the high street in a long time. Not only was the merchandise beautifully presented and the interior design delightfully feminine but the interaction with the staff was enchanting.
Upon entering the store, I was greeted with a heart-warming smile, asked what I was looking for and directed accordingly. Once in the changing/fitting room area , my name was taken and added to the list and I was invited to wait out my turn in comfort, surrounded by changing room doors each labelled with a compliment; ‘gorgeous’, ‘radiant’ and ‘stunning’. Minutes later I was shown into my changing room (I got ‘Fabulous’ and yes, it made me smile). Iris, my personal fitter, talked me through the process, different styles and designs and even showed me her own bra as an example! Brimming with warmth and a helpful attitude, I felt well cared for and special. Once back on the shop floor with my personalised clothing card highlighting my preferred designs and styles, I located an assistant who efficiently showed me where each design was and off to the till I went. Having enjoyed the most human retail experience that I have come across in a long time, I left the store smiling (having spent a pretty penny) and that certainly exceeds anything I have experienced online.
As a brand, Victoria’s Secret is sexy, fun and approachable and this was delivered in abundance showing that brand experiences don’t need to be ground breaking or over the top, but that simple and enjoyable makes a meaningful difference.
A simply delightful experience – ladies I recommend a trip.
By Hattie Camp, Junior Consultant