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Building Brands The Omnichannel Way: Sweets Anyone?

From pop-ups to exclusive web content, there are a number of tools available to brands that create compelling ways to engage consumers.  A number of these examples are on display during this Holiday season.

With a slight obsession with chocolates and sweets, here are some unusual ways that some brands are going to market, often bypassing traditional distribution methods:

  • Cailler, Nestle’s super premium brand of Swiss chocolate, has been previously unobtainable in the U.S.  The brand has chosen to create exposure to this upscale offering in a few different ways. There is an on-line Holiday store front on as well as two pop-up locations that really help bring the magic (and exclusivity) of the brand to life. The locations are designed as retail holiday pop-up shops in New York’s Meatpacking District (November 19th-26th) and San Francisco’s Union Square (at 117 Post Street through December 21st). These locations were designed to create brand buzz and drive traffic to the site.
  • Oreo has created an on-line holiday site that delivers White Fudge Oreos in a festive holiday tin. One of the more unique features is that a customer only has to input the email address or mobile phone number of the recipient, who is then notified of the gift. Shipping is also free.
  • Magnum is a longer standing example of using pop-up to build their brand and has been moving around its Make Your Own Magnum in key global cities around the world like London, Sydney, Singapore and New York. Customers can customize and co-create their own decadent Magnum bar.

Besides making you hungry, what’s the point of these efforts?  Brands can leverage new tools to launch a product, offer an exclusive product, allow customers to customize, give a gift and most importantly, build trial and awareness, all while by-passing more traditional retail distribution points.

While pop-up in retail has been around for some time, pop-up can also work on-line. The key will be to develop new forms of measurement that go beyond simple P&L’s. On-line offers easy ways to measure such engagement—traffic, conversion, etc. while retail offers trickier sets of measurements like halo effect that can track lift in a market or community.

Omni-channel brand building is still very much in its infancy but I expect to continue to see new creative uses of these forms of engagement that create excitement while building traffic and sales.

Neil Stern for Forbes


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