Myer puts its purpose on ice

Myer is a purpose led brand, everything they do is considered in light of their purpose. From the little one percenters to the larger, more overt initiatives. One of these larger initiatives is their commitment to the Wonderland space at their flagship Sydney City store. In retail, every square metre of shop real estate is considered and quantified.  So, for Myer to have the 250 sqm Wonderland space, on the top floor of their iconic Sydney building, reserved for experiences first-and-foremost is a big deal. Their latest experience in Wonderland is the creation of a department store first – an indoor ice skating rink! This follows on the back of other experiences such as the Tesla immersion and a Thomas the Tank Engine Easter event.

Wonderland, and the ice skating experience, is a great manifestation of the Myer brand purpose to create future memories. From a brand building perspective, it’s a smart purpose… Memories are what ultimately define a brand, not the 7 or 8 “P’s” that used to constitute what made up a brand (read more on brand memories here). And memories are created by experiences – experiences that elicit an emotional response. So, when you think about the novelty, joy and excitement people will experience on the Wonderland ice rink, you can see how powerful memories will be formed for the brand.

In a world where retailers are under constant scrutiny in relation to the threat of digital e-tailer’s entering the market, Myer recognise that x-tailing is crucial to thriving (Yep, we just coined a new phrase – experiential-retailing). There is no way an e-tailer can deliver anything close to the real, sensory, tangible experience offered by bricks-and-mortar retailers who focus on the customer experience.  Harvey Nicols in the UK have also applied a resolute focus on the retail experience (see recent Marketing Week article here). This isn’t to say retailers should stop thinking about omni-channeling, but let’s not be so quick to write-off the physical shopping experience. When done well and, importantly, congruently with the brands purpose, x-tailing creates strong memories and the kind of human behaviour brands want to encourage – curiosity, loyalty, joy and generosity.