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Dona Peters

VP, Strategic Partnerships Medallion Retail
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  • Posted on: 08/30/2018

    L’Occitane aims for a more immersive, more disruptive flagship

    After having read about L'Occitane's new store, I decided to go take a look myself, wanting to see how they translated VR and other experiential efforts. Happy to report that the visit did not disappoint. Being just a few blocks from Times Square, and in a busy mid-town Manhattan location, L'Occitane hit the nail squarely on the head with the photo opportunity with bicycles and other props in the form of hats and straw tote bags -- enticing patrons to post snapshots on social media. In the hour I was there, I witnessed non-stop customer engagement (many tourists) in this area of the store. By the way, customers could witness their posts real time on a digital board -- perfect for instant gratification. The VR experience was memorable. A hot air balloon ride over lavender fields in Provence at sunset -- remarkable. A hand massage with their signature lavender hand creme while experiencing it -- priceless (and yes I did). There was a line for this. And I witnessed more than a few customers (including myself) purchasing the creme after the experience. The "communal" rain shower hand bath was most interesting. Customers were like children, laughing delightedly at the fun here. People started talking to one another. It created lighthearted energy and interaction -- something inanimate or static displays simply cannot do. As another poster said here, it is likely that L'Occitane will measure their success with these experiential initiatives over time change out or upgrade -- but isn't that what it is all about? Far too many brands and retailers aren't nimble enough -- agile enough -- to recognize and respond to a growing trend to reach the consumer through multiple sensory touch points, trying, observing and upping their game. I think L'Occitane has the right idea and I would continue to watch how they build and deploy new ideas in the area of experiential marketing because they've really done a strong job with this venture.
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