A world beyond retail

In 2016 3.7bn* of the worlds inhabitants took to the skies, in 7.4bn trips through that haven of duty-free known as the airport. Big numbers, broad demographics, and data-driven profiling:a marketers dream!

But despite the obvious benefits of this channel, too many brands fall into the trap of not just retail first, but retail only. And yes,it doesn’t matter how high-end you go; luxury retail is still just that. For those of you inclined to a window display, this piece is for you! The “experience economy” is our industry’s latest and favourite buzz phrase, and is one that we’ve dealt in for years. It essentially “reveals” this: that a brand cannot expect to be relevant if they don’t create an experience that generates social currency. It’s also allowed us to identify the channels in which this emotional transaction takes place. And this: the underused, undervalued departure trail is one of them. Why? Well, funny you ask...

1. Time

In many channels, as marketers, we try to interrupt our audience to deliver a message when they have little or no time. The airport environment turns this on its head. You might be chronically early for fear of security queues, sat waiting for a delayed flight or simply have a 10-minute window in which to browse through duty free. The point is, if you have the time, a brand can offer you the  experience in which to spend it. What is crucial here is to create an experience that disrupts, not interrupts. That is worth a photo even if they’re just running past on their way to the gate.

2. Audience breadth

Use airport data correctly, and you can get unprecedented access to a microcosm of your desired consumer.

3. Mindset

A consumer on holiday is a totally different animal to the same consumer at home. Forget about leaving inhibitions behind, they also tend to leave the scepticism, tunnel vision and aversion to the unknown somewhere between the clothes-strewn bedroom and the airport transfer. They are  primed, not just primped. Open to new experiences and open to the brands that facilitate them. So why not be one of those experiences?

4. Footfall

Year-round guaranteed footfall of a targeted and primed audience.

5. Retail

The same mindset that allows them to approach an out of the ordinary experience is the same that will allow them to purchase an out of the ordinary brand. Travel retail offers you the opportunity to do both.

If this has piqued your interest but you’re not quite sure how to do it right, we’ve identified the key principles that will guide you towards a successful activation. We’ve even created a snazzy little infographic, why not! It is by measuring your travel retail activity against this that you can create truly effective experiences. And beyond that, experiences that stick. Experiences that are just as worth remembering as that first instabrag from the hotel balcony. For more info on our guiding principles, how we do things or just a chat, drop a line to andy@ignis.co.uk.