Build brand love with customers by injecting Old Navy’s signature 'fun' into the in-store experience.
Since 1994, 'fun' has been a part of Old Navy's DNA. The company's mission is to democratize fashion and to make shopping fun again.
The brand is known for offering fashionable clothing at an affordable price. Old Navy's 1,100+ brick-and-mortar locations account for the majority of its revenue. However, the company recognizes that there is a need to shift back to brand-building if they want to achieve their goal of doubling its footprint and increasing revenue. As mentioned by Old Navy's CFO, Teri List-Stoll, “We had frankly become too heavily dependent on messaging around discounting, as opposed to bigger picture brand messaging..."
Old Navy's future plan is to focus upon building its brand through the store experience.
What I Needed to Understand...
Despite concerns about the death of brick-and-mortar, retail isn't dead, it's changing. According to Forbes, 90% of shopping still occurs in stores. However, retail has become less about the product, and more about the experience.
Source: Forbes (2019)
77% of retail executives believe consumers are happy with today’s store experiences.
The truth? Only 57% are satisfied.
Brands are underdelivering on in-store experiences...
Consumers are over expecting.
“It’s just not one of the stores that gives me an experience that makes me want to return often.”
- Survey Respondent
“It’s the store equivalent of a pair of khakis: boring but at least you know what it is.”
- Instagram Respondent
“It’s just there. Nothing surprising. It’s a boring, neutral experience.”
- Survey Respondent
“In line waiting, waiting, waiting. Bought 10 items…Rang up wrong…Manager sent me back in line to get a refund…Another hour. Not worth the wait!”
- Teresa S., Facebook
“Doesn’t make me feel like I’m finding something specific to me. Feels like a warehouse of cheap clothes.”
- Survey Respondent
“[Cash experience] wasn’t personalized, more about doing the job.”
- Youtube User
Old Navy is not ahead of the curve.
While shoppers appreciate Old Navy for offering great clothes at affordable prices, they're expecting a more enjoyable experience. Old Navy's fun mission and purpose isn't translating well into the store experience.
I asked Recollective Participants to upload images and a write a few sentences about what fun means to them.
I learnt that what's fun for you may not be fun for me. Fun is subjective. However, there were some common themes around what people described as being fun:
Source: Recollective (2020)
Fun can be...
“Unplanned and adventurous.”
“I always have fun while I am travelling and exploring new places.”
“Fun to me, is being with friends, specifically my best friends.”
“I always find fun no matter where or what I am doing when I am with my partner.”
“Activities I like to enjoy — playing music, board games.”
“Shopping, Netflix, and coffee!”
While fun can be exploratory, social, and active. Play is exploratory, social, and active.
Fun is an outcome of play.
A basic human need.
Often associated with children, and dismissed as adults.
Something that has many health benefits and is just as pivotal for adults as it is for kids.
In today's world, due to health worries, financial stresses, and political uncertainty, play is needed more than ever.
Spend on play is growing. According to Mintel, the entertainment and leisure category experienced a 25% increase over the past 5 years.
More individuals are seeking out ways to play, which is evident in the come back of arcades in the form of barcades, game board cafes, and wine and paint night experiences.
Consumers need and are craving playful experiences.
Fun is an outcome of play, and there’s a serious need for play throughout our lives.
As evident in pop-up experiences and flagship stores, a lot of brands are treating play as a unique, or one-off experience.
“One-off fun experiences don’t stick.
Gimmicks won’t build brands.
Brands are built around consistency.”
- Kelly O’Keefe