experience doesn’t stop at the storefront door—or at
least it shouldn’t.
Yet for all the advertising and marketing that brands engage
in to entice shoppers to open their wallets, more often than
not, actually buying the product is lackluster at best—often
disconnected from the brand experiences that got shoppers
into the store in the first place.
In the digital age, brand marketers—both physical world
retailers and their product marketer partners—are beginning
to understand that personal connectivity is now pervasive. Just
as consumers want to be able to buy from you on demand,
wherever they may be, they also want access to their digital
lives when they actually do make it into your physical store.
And they want experiences that bridge the gap from the vir-
tual to the physical, from clicks to bricks, that can make all the
difference in whether—and how much—they spend there.
Always Keep
Surprises In-Store
Already, advertising networks that display brand messages on seem-
ingly every available wall, kiosk, and monitor account for 10 percent
of the revenues U.S. malls generate for themselves. In the Middle East
and Latin America, malls can derive over 30 percent of their income
from ads from product marketers, according to Cincinnati-based
research firm Marketing Developments.
In other words, the interruption advertising so loathed and ignored
elsewhere is now invading the actual shopping experience to an
unprecedented degree.
But there’s a better way.
Today, a growing number of store brands and their product-marketing
partners are recognizing, acknowledging, and acting on trends ignited
by the on-demand revolution.
Look no further than Nike. Remember the Nike PhotoiD digital
experience we discussed in the last chapter—the one in which you can
take a photograph with your mobile phone, send it to a short code, and
receive an image of a customized sneaker that uses the two most promi-
nent colors from your photograph?
Nike has long run an expanded online version of this experience at, where consumers can select the materials, choose the
colors, and customize the fit of Nike shoes and sportswear—and then
place a purchase.
In a twist, Nike has taken this idea and put it into reverse—enabling
in-store customers to design and customize shoes and products at
Niketown stores in New York and London.
Interactive kiosks and displays immerse shoppers in the brand,
providing a high-resolution visual of their custom shoe design, and
then deliver the shoes to the shopper’s home or to the store. What’s
key here is that the in-store experience offers exclusive design and
material options not available in the online version.
At Polo Ralph Lauren’s Madison Avenue store in Manhattan,
passersby attracted to new fashions shown in window displays can tap
on the window, which is outfitted with a thin touch foil material
mounted on the glass that turns it into a touchscreen interface.
Window shoppers can then live up to their name—calling up a pro-
jected image of different clothes, displayed on the actual window. If
they really like what they see, they can use a conveniently located
credit card swiper mounted on the outside of the window.
“I really wanted to find a way to make that amazing technology a
retail reality,” says company senior vice president David Lauren.
Even individual product brands are getting into the act.
Procter & Gamble’s CoverGirl brand, for instance, created a
mobile application, ColorMatch, that recommends shades of makeup
based on complexion, clothing, and accessories colors. The idea is to
provide a tool when women are at the makeup counter, where they
wouldn’t have access to a computer.
Look for several brands to begin leveraging the mobile-to-store
channel to influence purchase decisions. In recent tests, Visa created
mobile apps that enable shoppers at nineteen Safeway and eight
Mollie Stones stores to text short codes to Visa for advice on wine and
food pairings (see Figure 9–1).
In another initiative, diners at local restaurants can text Visa to
receive voice messages from the establishment’s chef about that
evening’s menu.
One could easily imagine such offerings as branded services from
Zagat’s and other guide brands.
Spectator Mobile, on the other hand, is a mobile-optimized version
of, tailored specifically for wine-buying informa-
tion on the go, especially when at a restaurant or in a store.
With Spectator Mobile, members of can
search for scores and tasting notes in Wine Spectators database of more
than 200,000 wine ratings, view vintage charts of all the major wine

Get The On-Demand Brand: 10 Rules for Digital Marketing Success in an Anytime, Everywhere World now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.