By Wooga Yoo - Existential pacifist and aesthete…with bad knees
Our VP of Operations has a wild imagination and has great joy for the little things in life. Enjoy “Monthly Musings” where you can get an inside look on Wooga’s thoughts, ramblings, and perspectives. Check back each month to see what Wooga’s been thinking about. Thoughts are his own.
A Word About Airport Retail
Recently, PlaceWise was contracted to roll out a customer engagement solution for Marketplace Logan, the retail arm of Logan International Airport.
An interesting exercise for sure…but why PlaceWise?
Our first airport retail project was in 2004, when we brought a content-based customer engagement strategy to Philamarketplace within Philadelphia International Airport. And why not? Our DNA was (and still is) built on leveraging content to create great digital experiences in retail and commercial real estate.
Content - driving identity.
Interestingly, job based content was the most highly sought after information in the Philamarketplace website. It spoke to the importance of the airport within the local economy. And in a time of commercial globalization, the transit hub represented (and still represents) a sense of local identity in terms of both economic viability and opportunity.
It is important to remember that the identity of the physical structure is more than what’s perceived by the traveler. Its representation is also an economic brand. Its meaning to the surrounding population is inextricably connected to their lives and well-being.
Expressions of voice.
Still, as within shopping center websites, retail content was critically important for engagement with a digital visitor. The occupants within the airport needed representation. And that representation within a digital voice was critical to self-promotion and audience attraction. The total retail expression of the aggregate then contributes to retail vibrancy and sustainability, if represented well. And though marketing to generate revenue was important, the often unspoken impact of digital voice was identity.
The captive audience.
…And then you have the traveler. In the PlaceWise world, our core services include editorial content around and about products. Inspiration, aspiration and idea generation are marbled into this mix. In the world of airport retail, we saw this type of content consumed at around 10X the rates of shopping center websites. This type of content in the world of the captive traveler seemed to enhance the overall human experience. And what can be viewed as highly topical in subject matter can also prove to be effectively timely, both in alleviating boredom and inspiring movement.
What we aspire to.
In a dry sense, we might describe our key drivers or objectives as 1) fulfilling lease-required marketing efforts 2) promoting the retail experience to optimize non-carrier based revenue and 3) collecting and understanding passenger data in a global transportation hub. However, to put it in more human terms, we might describe our marketing aspirations in terms of great digital experience to create place-sustaining identity in the world of airport retail.
Interested in hearing more of our thoughts on airport retail? Check out this episode of the Retail Therapy podcast.