THE POWER OF ATTRACTION
Holiday Décors – Impactful Experiential Marketing
Experiential marketing is probably the most widespread and trendy expression in the retail vocabulary nowadays. It is profusely used to express the notion that consumers now seek more than just a transactional environment; they want to be told a story and live that story, and a personalized one at that. They want to be immersed in a whimsical world, which is exactly what a magical holiday display and decorations will convey.
Holiday décors have this enviable position of attracting consumers to shopping centers, a power that is not to be undervalued, not to mention the tangible impact it has on the retail business. In fact, holiday décors offer a proven return on investment and have been known to:
- Substantially increase foot traffic
- Generate contagious word-of-mouth through social media (effective advertising from consumers, at a low investment)
- Increase visibility, PR exposure and high media coverage
- Deliver extra revenue (e.g. higher Santa photo sales)
- Boost Santa visits by 17% to 25% (when introducing a new décor)
- Offer an excellent opportunity to engage tenants in sponsoring certain areas of the center and share some of the marketing expenses
Significant budgets are spent annually to bring out the most magical décors in these retail environments. According to a recent survey, half of the total shopping center’s holiday budget is spent on decorations to heighten the shopping experience (“Atmosphere Brings Profit,” Christmasworld Study, 2014).
Given that shopping centers keep their décors for seven to 10 years on average, this represents a long-term investment. Therefore, for experiential marketing to be effective, it must be properly planned.
According to Valerie Yargeau, Senior Account Manager at Studio Artefact, large developers such as Simon Property Group start planning for their holiday décors as early as one year prior to the next holiday season. Having a well-established procedure for all their properties definitely helps the whole process to go smoothly. Budgets and needs are very clearly communicated, which greatly helps delivering a product that is suited for each property’s market. Aligning the décor program with a developer’s planning activities and being part of the discussion is therefore a key element for any designer providing décor services.
But as important as planning ahead may be for developers and their marketing managers, execution is even more crucial as far as designers are concerned. As stated by Alain Lauzon, President of Studio Artefact, “The holiday décor business is a seasonal one, filled with uncontrollable considerations, especially when developing custom creations like we do. One of our key assets is that we are experts at execution and project management in a short production and delivery time frame.”
Here are some other aspects to consider when selecting a holiday design firm:
✓ Being a trusted partner
✓ Reputation of the design firm and product quality
✓ Regular feedback
✓ Physical presence to the property
✓ Proven artistic approach.
“Experiential marketing can create magical possibilities and successes for shopping malls. By creating meaningful experiences, the marketing strategy goes beyond the shopping center entrance and can influence and inspire customers. Honing in on targeted experiential marketing tactics will ultimately translate to increased foot traffic, ‘brand love,’ and retailer leasing opportunities.” (Places, July 16, 2016). To sum it all up, creating impactful décors is more of a science than an art. And creating the magic of Christmas sometimes entails small miracles!
About Studio Artefact:
Studio Artefact is a dynamic and creative award-winning studio specializing in the custom design and creation of holiday décors as well as a variety of thematic venues geared towards shopping and lifestyle centers, hotels, cities, museums, and entertainment events worldwide. For more than 30 years, Studio Artefact has built a reputation based on original designs, an innovative approach, and durable décors. All these memorable moments are built under one roof by an experienced, dedicated, passionate team of professionals. For more information, please visit: www.studioartefact.com