Marketing in 2012: Differentiation by lifestyle immersion

The reports are in: consumer spending is up.

Online shopping has finally overtaken traditional shopping according to a study by American Express Publishing and Harrison Group, and 2012 will be the year of reaffirming traditional retail. To be able to draw shoppers from online retail back into the real world, brands must up their game. Quite simply, people want to experience more.

British label Alfred Dunhill championed a branded lifestyle world by recreating the namesake’s home into a store housing numerous artifacts and pieces of his earliest collections. The three-storey ‘Home’ immerses consumers in a full shopping, dining and grooming experience with a branded bar and café, a movie viewing room, a bespoke tailoring room, a leather goods area, a spa, a barber and old-fashioned gentleman’s club.

Hotels will need to ratchet up offerings that entertain, educate and transform for special interest groups. Some of the more original offerings include The Dorchester’s Niemierko Wedding Academy for those aspiring to a career in wedding planning. Because the décor by famed designer Dorothy Draper is so much a part of The Greenbrier’s identity, those keen on interior design can enroll in its new Dorothy Draper School of Decorating. We’ve created a Mommy Bloggers Camp at Mexican client Velas Vallarta, a mini-conference/  getaway for professional and aspiring parent bloggers to learn and get professional blogging tips and advice from expert speakers.

Look for more innovative lifestyle hotels that cater to those passionate about micro-niche lifestyle interests. Some good examples: The Food Hotel in Neuwied, Germany is a supermarket themed hotel that is furnished with stools made of beer crates, cushions that look like biscuits and chairs that resemble shopping carts. They teamed up with thirty-six of Germany’s biggest household food brands to each design a unique guestroom. Guests can then choose which snacks, beverages and marketing campaigns they would like to spend the night with. And as couples can get hitched quickly in Vegas, there’s a hotel to help you get unhitched – the Divorce Hotel in the Netherlands offers single rooms, mediators, notaries, even psychologists and other specialists to help couples getting divorced at a fraction of the time and cost.

Museums are also evolving into the lifestyle space by adding to their retail and dining offerings with cultural education programs such as painting, culinary, glassblowing, ring making, silk screening and letter press printing workshops.

For more marketing trends that we foresee dominating 2012, click here

The Food Hotel

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