Embracing ‘En Route’ Experiences: The Emerging Trend in Immersive Retail
Traditional pop-up store events appear to have met their match. The evidence is showing that by replacing these events with En Route engagements, which is essentially bringing the products into the consumers’ everyday lives, companies are better able
Traditional pop-up store events appear to have met their match. The evidence is showing that by replacing these events with En Route engagements, which is essentially bringing the products into the consumers’ everyday lives, companies are better able to meet the needs of customers.
The limitation of pop-ups as we currently know them is that they offer no legitimate context for potential customers. Instead, the consumer can only imagine this product in the world of the pop-up store but the link between the product and its relevance for everyday life isn’t necessarily clear. The result is customers leaving disinterested and companies leaving money on the table.
En route engagements remedy this problem by understanding that consumers are more likely to appreciate and to want to implement a product if they see how it can actually play a role in their everyday lives.
Meal kit provider Hello Fresh opened a location in a London tube station as a response to customers’ desires for a ‘grab-n-go’ option. The strategy really demonstrated the fact that hungry commuters are much more likely to use the service when its on the route of their commute as opposed to having to wait for a delivery.
American fast food giants like McDonald’s and Wendy’s have also implemented en route engagements into their advertising regiments. Wendy’s now brings traveling tailgate centers to college football games while McDonald’s has a truck that gives out its food to drivers on the road. Each brand demonstrates that the strategy isn’t just for smaller companies trying to gain traction; international fast-food brands also see the benefit of in-stepping to make themselves even more of a natural part of the consumers day.
Cristina Diago, a planner for Proximity London, summed the requirements of an effective en route campaign up well when she said, “When we fit an experiential piece into their everyday lives, there has to be a value exchange. What are we as a brand offering them to improve their experience? It has to feel natural and it has to be seamlessly integrated into the context of the consumer.”