Talbots Hosts 500+ In-Store Cocktail Parties

06 January 2009

I’m a big believer in ambassador marketing (a.k.a. influencer marketing, word-of-relevant-mouth marketing) and was thrilled to hear about a new initiative by Talbots in the US from my friends at MediaPost.  Talbots in a women’s clothing company that has great clothes that are affordable (and have great mom gifts as my mom has experienced over the past few years).  The company recently hosted mini cocktail events in each of its 500+ stores – attended by guests that were invited by a regular customer of each store that hosted the event.  These “Hostess Events” were held right before the holidays (and the stores remained open) and Talbots provided food and drinks and the identified hostess invited her friends, with more than 100 attendees on average at each event.

This is a solid example of the ongoing trend (and demand) for more personal and 1:1 relationships between companies and their customers.  It seems like such an obvious effort to implement, but one that definitely isn’t naturally included in the marketing mix for brands that could easily replicate this effort.  This effort builds natural buzz for the brand, provides something special to the companies more frequent shoppers, casually highlights the company’s products (can’t really miss them in the store where the party is held), builds and refreshes Talbot’s database and adds a bit of fun for employees as well.

So next time you are working with a company that has retail stores take some time to think if a kind of “open house” for top customers could work.  Finding new ways for more personal marketing efforts could do wonders during a challenging economy.

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