The Cold Room
While the headline sounds a little novelish (yes, I know it’s not a word), this post is actually the next installment in my Experience Commerce series. If you haven’t caught up on the first 2 posts, you would enjoy reading them. Here they go for your ready reference: “The New ECG and E-Commerce” and “Investing in Technology versus Digital Transformation.”
Let’s get back to this one now.
The winter in Boston is pretty harsh. So, you need to dress appropriately with multiple layers of clothes to be comfortable. One of the most important investments to be prepared for such weather is a good warm jacket.
There are many stores now that are selling winter jackets. We have been looking out for a comfortable jacket for my daughter Reet. During our jacket hunt, I see many students and their parents trying on winter jackets in different stores.
This is how the process goes in any typical store (I know you know this but there is an interesting insight that I like to share).
a. You walk into the store. The salesperson greets you. She/He shows you the kind of jackets you are looking out for (generally the most protective one).
b. You try out the jacket. You see how it looks. You see how it fits you.
c. You then look at the price if you have not before trying this out.
d. Finally you compare it to the other jackets you have seen and then make your choice.
During this purchase process, you never get to experience or feel how the jacket you are trying truly is (unless you have worn a particular brand of jacket in the same weather before). Even if you are buying the jacket during winter times, the stores are pretty warm and cosy. You will still not be able to experience how the protective gear feels. You also can’t take the jacket out in the cold (unless you buy it first) to see how it feels and then buy it.
However, one brand has turned this entire concept around.
Canada Goose is the brand.
They have introduced “The Cold Room”. This is a room where you can set Arctic temperatures (-15-30 degree Celsius) and try out different jackets.
Look at the very short video of this experience along with a couple of photos.
There is a concept of a Thermal Experience Index that they have introduced. It basically categorizes the right Canada Goose jacket for your body, activities and lifestyle depending on the weather.
I simply loved the way they have introduced this key element and changed the client experience during the purchase process. Instead of second guessing whether the jacket will work, you can figure it out in a few minutes. You can try different ones and finalize things that make you feel super comfortable.
Some of the benefits of this simple yet powerful change in client experience are clear.
- Like I mentioned above, customers are able to experience Arctic level temperatures in the store all year around. Thus, they get to experience how a jacket feels. Though there were several other brands offering jackets in and around this store, the traffic in this store was fairly higher. People make decisions faster and buy instead of shopping around in multiple stores (though this is purely anecdotal and based on my observations). Needless to say, your overall product/service has to be super good, otherwise an experience like this can come across as a gimmick.
- Customers were spending more time trying different things and products.
- The Cold Room is a unique place and many ‘just like my younger daughter featured in the above video’ like to go in there to experience it. It also sparks a great conversation of the experience and people end up talking about it. It’s fantastic for the brand when people talk about their unique experiences with the brand. Thus, an investment in client experience is also a solid investment in marketing.
- Finally, Salespeople don’t have to sell. All they have to do is make people feel welcome and get them to try their gear into the Cold Room. In short, they have to get people to experience their products and then let them make their decisions. It’s as simple as that.
A critical thing to remember in all of this is the placement of the Cold Room. It’s simply spot on. You cannot miss it even from outside the store. It’s evident even when you are casually passing the store. The name “The Cold Room” creates a certain level of intrigue while at the same time making the purpose of the room clear.
The salesperson does not have to actually tell you to try your jacket there. You are all set to experience “The Cold Room”, as you set your foot in the store.
Now think about “The Cold Room” experience and how can you apply it to your business. Actually, we don’t need to think Cold; we need to think Warm. We are in the business of dealing with real people with real emotions about their Life and Money. Remember, Personal Finance is more about Personal than it is about Finance.
The key question then is “How can we create that Wow or Warm (delightful/friendly) experience for our clients?”