National companies are increasingly thinking about their brand image and recognise the importance in investing more of their budget on creating an engaging and visual environment in shopping centres. Recently, some of the larger charity organisations have been looking for ways to change the way in which consumers and promoters interact, looking at what would make a shopper stop of their own accord and engage. This can be achieved through visual merchandising and interactive offers.
Experiential marketing is one of the fastest-growing forms of marketing. A recent study done by the Event Marketing Institute showed that respondents were more likely to purchase a product or service after participating in a live branded event and 74% will have a more positive perception of the company. One key area which motivates customer participation is ‘if the event looks interesting’. Visual content is therefore key as shoppers are increasingly demanding and expectant of a visually stimulating environment in a world where people’s attention spans are shorter and shorter.
It seems that World Vision has led the way to the fundraising future. At the beginning of 2015 World Visions’ experiential marketing team made it their aim to have a presence in the large UK shopping centres, where charity canvasing has previously been excluded. To change general opinion, World Vision needed to design an aesthetically pleasing, self-engaging platform from which minimal ‘chugging’ is required for customers to stop and donate. The Story Shop’s unusual set up intrigues the customer and as they approach the kiosk, they are invited to engage with a child they could potentially sponsor at the interactive screen.
This creative thinking and new approach could be the answer for charities to invoke positive responses from passers-by and this is progressive for Shopping Centre owners who are able to offer a more engaging shopping experience. More recently other charities have followed this trend with eye catching, educational and interactive stands, giving shoppers a more memorable experience. We have seen this approach from Barnardo’s who set up educational workshops about internet safety for children and with WWF who bring the jungle to the shopping concourse, giving consumers a walk-through educational tour, showing them the valuable work that they do.
Forum Centrespace are excited to see how other charities respond to this big step forward in the industry and what new creative ideas will come forward in the months to come!