So I'd be willing to bet that if I said the words "Old Navy"... one of the last things you'd probably be thinking of... is a company you'd want to model your own business against. Maybe platform heels, psychedelic t-shirts and over-sized active wear aren't your thing.
But I found myself there over the weekend looking for toddler shoes... and let me tell you – Old Navy has got it going on when it comes to customer experience and instore marketing.
First let's look at their target market.
Busy Moms with kids under the age of 10.
The store has a gum ball machine(!), a light display for kids to dance on, walls filled with brightly colored clothing, wide aisles, and activities galore to keep pint sized tag-alongs happy so Mom can shop.
The shopping carts are oversized and comfortable for kids to sit in. There are changing "spots" scattered throughout the store – forget having to trudge back into the bowels of a store to try and ferret out a changing room. Just stand in one of the central change spots, pull the curtain around you and your brood and wa-la.
No more guessing if clothes fit and no more returns.
So simple yet genius. And shows Old Navy has a deep understanding of the needs of their target market.
Now it's time to check out. Hold onto your wallet because there's a long line to stand in that's covered with some of the most well thought out upsells I've ever seen.
Everything from booga wipes and bottles of water, to squishy water bombs, whoopee cushions and granola bars.
Of course all in easy reach of little hands to grab (I had to extricate more than 1 soft toy and set of neon bracelets from the clutches of my eager 1 year old).
So you finally arrive at the counter, probably by now feeling a little worse for wear.
You unpack your cart, hand over the credit card, and count yourself lucky that you managed to escape relatively unscathed having spent maybe $100 on useless junk and clothes that will be lucky to last the season.
Except you're not out of the woods yet. Oh no.
The sales clerk joyfully gives you 2 discount COUPONS to encourage you back within 2 weeks for a hefty 30% savings and a special event where you can bring your pet to "play dress up."
I tell you - these guys are marketing geniuses.
Go take a marketing field trip to an Old Navy store, (leave your kids at home), and see what I mean for yourself.
Better yet, take their great ideas and apply them in your business!