The key to long-term customer loyalty is customer experience. As we show in Building Great Customer Experiences, 85% of senior business leaders agree that price, delivery and lead times are no longer effective marketing business strategies. Building great customer experiences is the answer.
Companies around the world are adopting a customer experience approach to meet their marketing needs. The American Girl Doll Company takes the cake, literally, when it comes to earning customer loyalty through emotional engagement via the customer experience. The American Girl Doll Place sells experiences. Inside their “stores,” there are customized bistros with signature Treat Seats for girls (or boys) and their dolls. The dolls are given “doll-sized” silverware and teacups. After celebrating a special event with family, friends and their dolls, the child receives a personalized note to remember “their special day.” If girl forgets her doll, the American Girl Place has extras just in case.
In addition to the Treat Seat, American Girl Place offers scavenger hunts where children search for clues to find their dolls inside the store. The entire scavenger hunt is themed according to the doll’s “biography” and historical period. Girls can receive vintage portraits of themselves with their doll, or go to the salon for haircuts. Family can even attend the American Girls Revue at the American Girls Theater, a 70-minute stage production.
American Girl Place “sells” more than a product. It sells experiences. The reason this is an effective marketing experience is because it anticipates the underlying, subconscious needs and wants of its consumers better than any competitor. Moreover, it offers girls meaning, value, entertainment, friendly and caring service, belongingness, brand community, and a memorable and engaging experience to last a lifetime. To learn more about how to implement an experience similar to that of the American Girl Place, click here.
|Colin Shaw is founder & CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s first organizations devoted to customer experience. Colin is an international author of four best-selling books. Beyond Philosophy provide consulting, specialised research & training from offices in Atlanta, Georgia and London, England.
Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter: @ColinShaw_CX