When it comes to marketing retail spaces and creating engaging campaigns for shopping centers, outlet centers, and malls, we all want to find the so-called “sweet spot”, the perfect blend of activities and features that will deliver the results you want.
We’ve found that light can be a key part of a campaign planning. Not only can light be used to draw the eye and get people’s attention, but it can also become part of print and online marketing to create a consistent experience wherever people see your campaign.
But how can you tie light and design into the process of planning and executing a campaign?
Here are three ideas to get you thinking.
Think about light when you’re thinking about your objectives
At the start of your campaign planning, you’re defining objectives. This means defining your audience as well as outlining how you want to motivate them to act. Is your campaign all about reaching tenants, or is it about engaging your community, driving footfall, and encouraging unhurried stays?
This step might also include some information about “when”: is the objective a year-round objective or are you going to drill down and think about specific seasons like Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, spring, summer, Halloween, or Christmas? Perhaps you want to focus on something that’s happening in your center or community: plan a campaign around a trade fair, a live event series, or end-of-school celebrations.
Depending on the “who” and the “when”, this is a great time to think about how light literally connects with people (through their eyes, visual impact) and how it can be used to create the right atmosphere to help you audience make decisions.
A practical example: Väla Centrum
Väla Centrum, a popular shopping center in Sweden, wanted to turn a wedding fair into a year-long opportunity to connect the center with “love”. Their objectives? They wanted to raise the center’s profile, drive footfall, and challenge the idea that a shopping center is “just for shopping”. Their timeframe? A whole year.
They achieved their objectives and won an award for their campaign, which included print marketing in their center magazine, coverage in the traditional media, social media promotions, and a phenomenal competition that allowed one couple to win a wedding that took place in a custom-designed pavilion of light placed in the heart of their center.
Read the full story here.
Incorporate light into a creative campaign that will help you meet objectives
Once you know what you want to achieve, and have an idea of how much budget you have available, you’re ready for the next step: coming up with campaign ideas.
For creative marketing types, this is where the fun begins! It’s also when things become more tangible: you not only need to define the creative marketing concept, but you have to think about how you’ll implement the idea. What physical elements will you build into your shopping center or outlet? How will you capture people’s attention? What print assets do you need? How will digital channels and social media feature in your campaign? And of course: how will you measure it all?
If you’re a non-linear thinker, light and design may already have popped into you head during the objectives phase, but if not, now is the time to think about how lighting enhances mood, as well as how design combined with light can create themed experiences that support your campaign.
A practical example: Akropolis
In the Akropolis shopping center in Kaunas, Lithuania, the shopping management team wanted to create a feast for the eyes to put shoppers in a festive mood and give them a good reason to explore every inch of the center over the Christmas season. They decided to fill their center with light sculptures of bears and other woodland animals, all frolicking and having fun, which put a smile on people’s faces and generated significant interest from the local press online and in print.
An extra effort was made to engage children and families, with all the light sculptures being fully “climbable”, resulting in fun family photos throughout the center as well as on the lap of a giant bear. A Santa’s grotto was hidden in a wintery corner of the center and proved very popular with younger visitors.
Read the full story here.
Add light and design as you implement your campaign
Implementation is all about having the right suppliers and people who can help you turn your vision into a reality. And when it comes to bringing your idea to life with light and design, having a local team with global expertise is helpful.
Once everything is in place, it’s time to see if all of your hard work will pay off and the only way to do that is to use your KPIs and measurement criteria. How many visitors have passed through your doors? What have people said to you in person and online? What coverage have you had in the local media and online? Are your tenant profits up? And have you been acknowledge by the RRE industry? Only you know what’s best to measure.
A practical example: Rødovre Centrum
Denmark’s Rødovre Centrum’s “Bad Santa” campaign was designed to capture the interest of people wherever they were and encourage them to engage online or in-person with the center and its tenants over the Christmas season.
“Bad Santa” was an atypical Santa, a loveable but mischievous version of the man in red, and he featured extensively in their print and online media doing naughty things, much to the delight of shoppers! The backdrop to every interaction? Their center’s festive lighting and decoration. MK Illumination Denmark took the center’s design brief and produced a wonderland featuring animatronic elves, glitter-covered creatures in red and purple, sparkling light displays, and light point area where families could rest or take their annual holiday photos.
The result was an immersive, cross-channel, curated campaign that helped Rødovre Centrum create a consistent experience, stand out over the season and attract visitors in droves. It also won a prestigious ICSC award.
Read the full story here.
How do you think about light and design when you’re planning a campaign?
We’d love to know. And if you’re not sure or you’d like some help in working out how light and design can turn a good campaign into a campaign with “wow” factor, get in touch. We’re bursting at the seams with great ideas for you.