With the relaunch, the company isn’t going back to its roots. Rather, it’s taking a page from other major brands and deciding to use its first new brick and mortar location not as a store — but as an experience.
According to AdWeek writer Kathryn Lundstrom.“Instead of boasting the biggest onsite toy selection, the new stores are built on an experiential model featuring interactive toy displays, play spaces and room for brand demonstrations and events.”
The shift away from the “box on the shelf” model has been largely successful for other brands like Lego, Nerf, Nintendo, and others.
Think about the last time you went to the Apple store. I’m sure you played with some of the display products while you were waiting.
Toys-R-Us is taking a similar approach with play areas — complete with toys kids can try — even going as far as to include permanent installations in their building plans, such as treehouses and other places kids can play.
The company is truly looking to change the physical toy store shopping experience and give shoppers something to remember.
What we can learn
In today’s marketplace, whether buying toys or anything else, consumers want to interact with brands in a more experiential way. The question for all marketers should be, “How are you making your brand experiential?”
There’s a variety of ways you can start to move in that direction without building a treehouse in your office or retail locations.
Client meetups, workshops, and virtual peer groups are a great way to bring your audience together to learn and have fun. Here at IMPACT, we started hosting events with clients in mind about five years ago — the first one was called "Brewing Marketing and Sales Success" and was held at a brewery.
It was a day of learning, games, food, and fun — which gave attendees (clients and newcomers alike) a great experience.
That has since transformed into our annual event Digital Sales & Marketing World that draws clients and attendees from all over the world. It’s really changed how folks interact with us — and given them something memorable to reflect on long after they head home.
Other ways you can create unique experiences, without as much of a commitment, are through your website. Think about the experience you have when you want to buy a brand new car.