Instagrammable Moments: 5 Reasons Why Your Stores Need Them This Holiday Season

By Alicia
, Content Strategist


Learn why stores need Instragrammable moments this holiday season. Retailers need to take cues from pop-up experiences and brand installations to create beautiful “Instagrammable moments” that connect consumers’ digital and physical worlds, according to Melissa Gonzalez, Founder and CEO of The Lion’esque Group.

This blog post has also appeared on the Salesforce blog.

If the pop-up phenomenon has
taught us anything, it’s that a great experience is just as critical as a great
product. More and more, we’re seeing experience exceeding — even replacing —
products. This holiday season, retailers must take cues from pop-up experiences
and brand installations to create beautiful “Instagrammable moments” that connect
consumers’ digital and physical worlds, according to Melissa Gonzalez, Founder and CEO of The Lion’esque


Melissa and her team have
helped numerous brands plan and implement pop-ups around the country. While the
pop-up trend shows no sign of slowing down, she said, “brands and retailers are
realizing the surprise and delight consumers get with pop-ups can also be
applied in stores.”

Brands are also seeing the success of limited-time installations and
experiences, such as The Museum
of Ice Cream

and 29Rooms from
, which have garnered multiple stops,
extensions, and significant media and consumer buzz. Sure, your stores may not
have the space for a ball pit, but according to Melissa, there are plenty of ways you
can get your creative juices flowing and spread a little joy as your shoppers
deck the halls. She shared her thoughts on this new experiential retail trend
during our first episode of the Holiday Insights Series podcast. If you need more proof that your stores
need to create Instagrammable moments this holiday season, here are five:

1. Your consumers want it

The reality is, consumers are
gravitating more towards experiences than shopping sprees. A specific study
from the Harris Group
found that this trend was especially prevalent among millennials — 72% of whom said they prefer to spend more money on doing things rather than buying things. Your consumers need to
cross off their shopping lists, so designing a fun and memorable experience in
your stores is creating the best of both worlds, while giving you a lot of
insight into what they want out of a brand experience.

2. It helps convey your unique brand story

While Melissa explained that
there’s no one-size-fits-all model for retailers, there are two common, and critical,
ingredients: a strategy and a story. She stated that with the right experience,
relevant merchandising, and beautiful visual elements, retailers can boost
holiday sales by tapping into consumers’ innate desire to share on social. The
key is finding what makes your brand unique, determining what story you’re
trying to tell in your experience, and finding the right design and technology
to support it.

3. It creates a social media ripple effect

Of all social networks,
Instagram has arguably had the most profound impact on consumer behaviors,
allowing them to piece together memories. Thanks to its new Stories feature,
the app has become the go-to platform for sharing brag-worthy moments and
events. By creating a beautiful, inspiring environment in your stores, or
creating events that engage your local community, you’re encouraging people to
snap and share. The more people visit, snap, and share, the more likely others
will follow suit. The end result is a social media ripple effect that drives
store traffic and sales. After all, 25% of Gen Z and millennials actively seek stories of products and
services they may buy. That’s a data point that’s too good to ignore.

4. It can evolve to your budget and priorities

In a creative realm like store
and experience design, it’s always a smart exercise to think big. Melissa noted
that her firm gets calls from executives claiming they want to create the next
Museum of Ice Cream.

“People underestimate the budgets that go into this [kind of experience],” she
said. “There are so many elements that go into making that work that may not be
in line with what you as a brand want to do.” But retailers can still be
inspired by these headline-grabbing installations. Use them as a jumping-off
point for ideas, and find ways to pull in elements and adapt them to your goals
and, most of all, your budget.

5. You can get it up and running quickly

already November, which means we’re gearing up for the peak holiday shopping
period. You may not have the time or bandwidth to implement a pop-up
experience, but it’s completely realistic for retailers to implement enjoyable
and shareable
experiences in their stores. Melissa pointed to pop-ins and shop-in-shops
hosted by brand partners as quick methods for shaking up the in-store
experience. Fun, out-of-the-box events, such as holiday card decorating
classes, also get everyone in the festive spirit without requiring a lot of
preliminary planning.

Brands of all sizes and across categories
are using longstanding stores, as well as pop-ups, to create immersive,
Instagrammable moments. To hear Melissa’s other tips and insights on this
exciting time in store design, listen to her Holiday Insights Series interview

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