NEW YORK — What’s the ultimate challenge in building brand loyalty? Health care services, no doubt, says one marketing expert.
The reason, observed Ohio State marketing professor Neeli Bendapudi, is that “when someone visits a health care provider, it’s about the least fun they can have as a consumer.”
With that in mind, Bendapudi teamed up with Texas A&M marketing professor Leonard L. Berry to conduct an ethnographic study of the Mayo Clinics in Rochester, Minn., and Scottsdale, Ariz. (Ethnographic research aims to reveal how people use a service or product, in context.) The goal: to see which practices in those high-stress environments could be applied to make stores more pleasing to customers.
Sound like a stretch? Not so, said Bendapudi, who maintained stores, too, are stressful settings. Like a hospital, a store is a complex environment that thrives on giving visitors clues about what to expect of the experience, rather than leaving it entirely to chance. “If all the plants in a doctor’s waiting room were dying, it would make patients feel uncomfortable, if only subconsciously — even though it could mean nothing more than the doctor’s a poor gardener,” Bendapudi said, in arguing against the random approach.
At the Mayo Clinics, in contrast, doctors clue in patients by using personal pagers instead of stressful public address systems and by wearing business suits instead of hospital whites to foster communication. Similarly, at Chico’s stores, mirrorless dressing rooms compel shoppers to enter mirrored communal areas where they can get feedback from fellow shoppers and where salespeople can suggest additional items.
Such tactics are growing more important for all marketers, Bendapudi emphasized, as the 71 million Millennials, now ages 8 to 25, “are less moved by ads than by their experience of brands.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast