Reason #348 why Zappos is awesome: honesty in advertising! Lately, I’ve seen more members of my social circle raise their eyebrows over hyper-targeted web ads — the kind that give real-estate to a product or product category you may have just been looking at, or a website where you bought something. There’s the creepy and unexplained stuff that feels like it's stalking you, and then there’s Zappos.
We know that putting a product in the hands of someone the masses adore can do wonders for sales. Perfectly logical. Putting a product in the hands of someone the masses detest could therefore potentially hurt sales. Perfectly Logical. But! Can putting a competitor’s product in the hands of someone the masses don’t trust help your sales? That is some next-level double-reverse marketing trickery right there.
The advent of online retail has forced brands to take a good, long look at the in-person shopping experiences they offer. One of the best ways to woo pavement-pounding customers is with in-store experiences and offerings that go way beyond the merchandise. One need only look at the velvet rope and the long lines outside of the Abercrombie & Fitch store on Fifth avenue in Manhattan to see that this strategy can work very well. But are chiseled, shirtless men enough to bring in these crowds? I've always wondered. Is it the aura of exclusivity and luxury that these shirtless men convey? Thankfully, an essay in the newest issue of The Believer sheds some light on this kind of "Immersive Retail Experience," examining the Hollister clothing brand phenomenon. From what I gather, the Hollister store has everything you could want out of a shopping experience: half naked dudes with enviable pecks, music that's almost too loud for comfort, and of course, that inimitable SoCal vibe. Wait, I can get all of that on the internet. Or can I?