Retail focuses on personal touch

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A slight deviation from property this week, as I write this post as a judge for the 2015 Property Council Retail Awards.

For the past three years I have judged these retail awards and this year presented some great cases of Shopping Centres, that thought outside of the square.

In particular Livingston Marketplace and Stockland Baldivis Shopping Centres demonstrated that a personal touch still goes a long way to creating tangible results.

Livingston mixed a social media focus with in-store shopping, through their “Make a wish” campaign. This marketing initiative provided a prize pool and shoppers were encouraged to visit the centre and photograph the items that they would spend the prize pool on. Then in order to enter the competition, they posted the photos of their wish list on the Centre’s Facebook page.

This programme was very successful and what was interesting, was that a number of shoppers actually returned to the Centre on several occasions in order to “tweak” their wish list.

Anyone understanding the psyche of female shoppers would have to feel confident that those that didn’t win the prize pool would still ultimately buy something (if not all of the items) off the wish list and hence this would trigger increased spending (which it did!).

The Stockland campaign for Baldivis was an entirely different offering.

Working collaboratively with the local Baldivis community, Baldivis Shopping Centre sponsored two key services, The Children’s Forest and Baldivis Fire Fighting Brigade, as part of their marketing initiatives.

The company then built on this further by creating two story books about these not for profit agencies, in conjunction with the local schools.

Both these books were printed and distributed as a means of creating a local story which kids and parents could relate to.

This truly altruistic approach was very refreshing, in what is otherwise a very commercial environment.

Too often, as large companies, we forget to tantalise our customers or even be seen as good corporate citizens and as such these two submissions were literally a breath of fresh air.

As we approach 2016 I urge you to think about your marketing efforts for the forthcoming 12 months and generate something that your staff can be proud of and which may also create a degree of legacy!

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