Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Windowless Shopping.

A fascinating piece in the New York Times real estate section re-raised the implicit question of whether you should design your offering to appeal to all or to actively dissuade those you don't want and thereby excite those that you do.

The pronouncement of a design analyst that the Abercrombie "barrier" storefronts "are sending a message early in the conversation that says you belong or you don’t belong,” clearly alarms the retail analyst whose verdict is that "They are shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to new customers, and new customers are so critical.”

"All of which Abercrombie & Fitch freely admits. “We are not targeting middle-aged men,” said Mr. Lennox, the communications director. “To have them flee the store, that is fine with us.”

It's all about having the nerve to filter out the window-shoppers who idly drift in but lack the passionate purchasing mindset. It's about freeing your time to dedicate your attention to those who search you out as a destination.

Of course, this does not preclude the need for you to actively nurture that destination outlook. It's just that "window shopping" now involves different windows and has moved from the mall to high school corridors and online. Thus, making the interior of a store an object of desire is a smart move, because the impact of design can be literally life-affirming.


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