Loyalty Lives On With The Project, Not The Brands

  • Insights
by Jeff Pollak, Managing Principal

There is no longer any loyalty between brands and consumers. That emotional connection, the invisible handshake, no longer exists. Consumers are brand aware, but not brand loyal. In today’s world, what’s more important: the brands located at a project, or the environment of the project? Brands are replicable, they are rolled out prototypes — done the same repeatedly over and over again. But the environment of a project, the emotional connection to a place and community — both virtual, and in real life —is always unique…one of a kind, every time.


Great places possess activity, emotion, connectivity, and loyalty. They generate anticipation and excitement and host rich experiences that last in our memory. Their success is reflected in breadth of audience, frequency of repeat visits and the length of stay, whether for work or play; eating and drinking, or simply to live and to linger. This applies beyond the physical place, too: Strong content marketing strategies also create emotional connection, build engagement, drive conversion — whether purchase or visits — and inspire loyalty.


The most important part of a retail project is the spaces between the retailers: the connective tissue of the wider whole, where streets are for wandering and discovery, public spaces are the stages for community experience, and that community experience is reinforced in the marketing space. Creating great places is about providing different things for different people and encouraging each of those people to come for one thing and stay for another. Naturally choreographing a delicate and diverse ecosystem of overlapping rhythms across the day and week. Loyalty lives with the project, not the brands.


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