Glade’s Social Media Pop-Up Store Strategy

My son and I were walking on 14th street in Manhattan and saw a store front that had a sign reading “What Will You Feel?” There were blue velvet ropes outside, but I suspected it was a pop up store with a purpose.  Here is a mock up of the store front from Glade’s website:

glade store front

Inside the store we were greeted by a young woman who told us that the scent experience was really cool and we would enjoy it, so we entered. The inside of the store looked like this:

glade store inside

There were screens for signing up with our email addresses and comfortable chairs.  In the back of this space was a series of rooms with “feelings” such as energized, fresh, flirty and relaxed. One room had sand and a beach scene, another was air-conditioned with a snow scene, a third had puffy clouds, bubbles and a bed and another had a photo shoot with a ball gown (flirty).  The energize room had egg shape chairs with a virtual reality experience.  We photographed ourselves in most rooms and later were able to retrieve the photos online.

When we left we were given free gifts of sample products such as wax melts, which I learned are meant to go with a special device that melts the wax and releases the scent in your room over 12 hours.  One sample looked like this:

Glade sample

From a marketing standpoint I had to ask myself is this worth it?  I spoke to one of the young women who was working there and she indicated that Glade had a target market of people over the age of 60 and the company, SC Johnson, wanted to attract younger customers.  As such, they embarked on a social sharing strategy with a pop up store.  It would be hard to imagine that a store like this could significantly reduce the age of the target given the reach is pretty limited on a store in this location. In addition, the store front was not clearly marked as a place that one should enter without knowing its purpose. It looked like an exclusive club. Even if all those who entered shared with someone the reach would still be pretty limited and these days breaking through the social media clutter is tough.  Not only that, but the store, staffing and concepts were expensive to run.  What is the ROI on this?  If I were a brand manager at S.C. Johnson, I would want to know.

In the meantime if you are looking for some inexpensive entertainment in the meat packing district of New York City, head to 14th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues across the street from the Apple store and find the signs that read What Will You Feel? Go ahead and walk right in.

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