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Enhancing Customer Experience (Part 1)

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As the marketplace (for pretty much everything) becomes more competitive, differentiation comes in many forms. In the case of organizations which deal with customer interaction, specifically retailers, differentiation through unique user experiences seem to be the solution in breaking free from the pack. In my last visit to Seoul, I witnessed a handful of retailers, brands and corporations who thought outside of the proverbial box and really experimented with new ways to enhance the experience for patrons.

MILLIMETER/MILLIGRAM

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Well if you’re wondering about the meaning behind this peculiar name, MILLIMETER/MILLIGRAM (MMMG for short) was used to underline the fact that the smallest of things make a difference. The smallest of things in life that really matter should be savoured. And from this philosophy, MMMG was created to sell products which help people jot down and record these important things. Their café in the hip district of Myeong Dong however, didn’t open until 2007 when they wanted to improve their relationship and increase interactions with their valued customers. The art of conversation goes a long way in building meaningful relationships with the customer and even more importantly, allows MMMG to attach friendly personalities to the brand itself. MMMG was astute enough to recognize the importance of opening themselves up to their clients and the community, getting to know the very people who purchase their stuff on a more personal level.

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Design Cafe

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Situated snugly in the lavish district of Apgujeong, Design Café is precisely the place a furniture shopper would like to be sitting while contemplating which pieces fit where in their homes. Design Café offers wood furniture for the house and the café is adorned with the same beautiful furniture that they’ve got for sale. Here, you get to enjoy the settings and sip on a cup of latte before making a decision on your purchase to minimize that case of post purchase dissonance.

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Nike WOWSAN107

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WOWSAN107 was concocted as a pop-up space that opened earlier this summer as a promotional vehicle for the actual Nike Sportswear t-shirt store which opened down the road shortly after. For the project, they’ve gotten together with skilled paper figurine designer MOMOT for a variety of paper characters decorated in Nike Sportswear gear. Two iPads are also present in the store space, allowing shoppers to ‘flip’ through the digital catalog and see all the t-shirts and MOMOT figurines available. Customers get a free figurine with the purchase of any t-shirt from the Nike Sportswear store.

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In addition to this, they’ve provided cameras, display projectors and a photo printer to encourage visitors to take pictures of themselves in the store. This is a great way for customers (current and potential) to interact with the brand, browse through the products and to really generate public buzz. Nike made a good choice in planting the shops in the artsy district of Hongdae, where it’s surrounded by dozens of art galleries, boutique fashion shops, bars and most importantly an abundance of young people that Nike Sportswear is targeting.

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Check back next week as we talk about other examples of brands and organizations that are looking to enhance the patron experience. If you have any examples which you’ve seen from anywhere around the world, we’d love to hear/see it from you.

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