Fostering a community with your customers is key to brand loyalty. Your best customers likely expect community. Emotionally connected customers have a 306% higher lifetime value, which means brands have to find ways to show you care. One way to do that is through meaningful events that overdeliver on value.
Events have the potential to be a highlight in your customer journey and communicate your brand values in a memorable way. Retailers that have a footprint in the physical retail landscape are perfectly positioned to take full advantage of the power of in-person events. Events can give your customers another reason to visit and keep coming back while spreading the word.
Here are 5 examples of forward-thinking retailers that are fostering community with events:
1. Apple: Today at Apple
The campaign “Today at Apple” started in 2017, and Apple stores still host these free educational sessions. Topics range from video, photography to music, coding, design, art and more. Creatives from all levels are invited to free sessions led by Apple experts and members of local arts communities. Apple wants to make each store a unique community center, bound by shared technology and a common desire to create. The events not only strengthen the relationship between their customers but to the community and with the brand.
2. Arc’teryx: Arc’teryx Academy
In 2018 Arc’teryx Academy hosted a four-day immersive experience bringing together outdoor enthusiasts through expert-led clinics, seminars, and movies. As an outdoor retailer, they showed they’re not bound by the four walls of their brick-and-mortar shops. They offered three experiences (each with a different focus), including climbing and snowboarding trips. Bringing your customers together to pursue their passions at a brand-led event only strengthens the association of your products with the things they love. This is a great example of how a retailer can think outside of the store!
3. West Elm: Fair Trade Felt Craft Workshop
During Fair Trade Month in October, a series of workshops were organized by West Elm. Guests could make their own coasters using felt balls handcrafted by Fair Trade artisans at Everest Fashion. As the first home retailer to offer Fair Trade Certified goods, the event helped bring together like-minded people who support a common cause. All the income generated by the event fee was donated to fair trade initiatives. Events that contribute to social good is another way to create strong emotional ties to your brand.
4. IKEA: The sleep over
What kid hasn’t imagined sleeping in a supermarket or furniture store – at least for one night? IKEA offered to make those childhood dreams come true for 100 lucky fans with a sleepover in an IKEA shop. The sleepover included massages and the freedom to choose any mattress, pillow or sheets for the night, all under the supervision of a sleeping expert helped customers find mattresses that fit their sleeping style and needs. Events that appeal to the kid in your customers while also treating the insomniac adult in us all will help show that your brand cares.
5. Stance: Launching event for a new line of products
This retailer decided to partner with Fenty Beauty, a distinct brand founded by Rihanna. They used this collaboration as a reason to throw a party in store with DJs. Rihanna was behind the register and helped guests check out. Proceeds went to initiatives that make education and health more available globally. This campaign is a great example of how retailers can collaborate with brands they sell in order to elevate the customer experience with unique events full of surprises.
The impact and ROI from events can be big for your business. From free PR to delighted customers and incremental sales, events can bring quantifiable value to retailers that are serious about creating a thriving community. By making sure the events are interactive, original, relevant and reliable, you can help your business grow. When your events foster a community that strengthens your customers’ emotional bond to your brand, the value extends far beyond annual turnover.
At Lenati, we truly believe in the power of creating a community around issues and topics we’re passionate about. If you’d like to be updated about our upcoming events, be sure to sign up to our newsletter.