For example, watching the Oscars the other night made me think about this as it relates to the cinema. The reason 3D is so big right now is because is creates a point of differentiation from watching movies at home. Well, the night of the Oscars, we rented Inglourious Basterds. We hadn't seen it & thought we should before the Oscars. Well, watching it at home is not at all the same experience as watching it in the theater.
To begin with, we had to pause the movie because Sydney needed something. We lost where we were and edned up missing the end of the 1st chapter. Well, if you've seen the movie, you know that's a critical set-up for the rest of the movie. Plus, the whole time we were watching the movie, we were doing other things. Checking e-mail, going to IMDB to read the trivia or find out more about a cast member. Watching at home, we weren't engaged.
Here's a video of the first in-cinema installation we did back in the day. See how engaged that audience is? That's creating a unique cinema event. That's using the value of place to create an engaging experience.
When it comes to retail, most brands are completely unaware of the importance of place. They don't know how to control the experience that's delivered unless it's their store. And even then, they mostly act like they have no control. Brand managers turn over the retail experience to HR or OPS and hope that it all works out.
But if you've spent millions of dollars and lots of time convincing me to come to your store, what are you doing to show me that you care that I've made that journey? I say all the time, what's the value of being a fan on Facebook if you don't treat me like a fan when I'm actually engaging with your brand? How do you recognize me in real life, not online.
As Dave & I were talking about this idea, we started talking about IN-N-OUT Burger. For years, they've had in-store fans, people who knew about their secret menus, people who loved everything about the In-N-Out experience. Dave told me how we actually takes clients to the In-N-Out Burger in Vegas, brings bottles of wines and gives those clients a special picnic there. He didn't need Facebook to be a fan of In-N-Out Burger, he was a fan where it counted, where he spent his money.
It's not that you shouldn't have Facebook fans or Twitter followers, but you need to know how to also engage your fans where it counts. We all like to talk about metrics & ROI, but as Dave would say, there's one, very simple metric to measure. Did it convince me to buy. Not everything has to be a direct line to purchase, but if at the end of the day you haven't moved people to make a purchase, what have you accomplished?