Macy’s Takes An Experiential Approach with its Beauty Suite
Macy’s Herald Square is not just a department store, it is a national landmark. When anyone visits New York City for the first time, this store is a must-see destination on their list. Earlier this year, the brand’s CEO, Terry Lundgren, expressed that the brand was going to expand its in-store events and drive personalized experiences in order to encourage the purchasing process. Hence, the launch of one of its latest experiences: Macy’s Beauty Suite.
As a longstanding client, Macy’s invited us to discover its new in-store experience, which is designed to transform its theme, each month. During our visit, the suite was focused on flattering and easy-to-duplicate lip looks. A wide variety of beauty brands were showcased, enabling customers to choose the products liked and wanted in order to complete one of the four suggested looks: the Red Lip, the Nude Lip, the Ombre Lip, and the New Romantic. In our experience, we tested the Nude Lip, and like Macy’s customers, were encouraged to share our look using the hashtag #MacysLove to receive a complimentary deluxe sample related to the experience. Macy’s just changed its theme this month to feature ‘Eyes’ (available 2/27-3/26) and next month it will feature ‘Skin Care’ looks (from 3/27-4/15).
Needless to say, we were very impressed by the suite and think that Macy’s did a phenomenal job of creating an engaging experience, complimented by its customer incentives to drive organic beauty content for the brand to extend across channels. For more information on the strategy behind this activation, we interviewed Paige Zeitz and Justine Santa Cruz, both members of the Macy’s Enhancements Team, about their innovative in-store experience and the importance of personalization in engaging and creating loyal customers.
1. What is the main goal of the Macy’s Beauty Suite?
The goal of Macy’s Beauty Suite is to make shopping beauty at Macy’s fun and less intimidating. We know that our core customer knows what brands she wants and knows where to go. For a less experienced shopper who is new to makeup, we want to offer an exciting place for them to discover the fun of beauty! We did this by creating an interactive and entertaining shop where customers can enjoy a face-to-face beauty session with a makeup professional, learn personalized beauty tips & tricks, and test drive the trending look of their choice — all while snacking on tasty treats from Sugarfina. We wanted to mimic the feeling of being a kid in a candy store and what better way to do that than with some candy!
2. How are you incorporating your evergreen campaign #macyslove into this in-store experience?
We have created a fun interactive Instagram wall with magnetic plexiglass candy and makeup. When customers post an image of the shop using the hashtag #macyslove, they receive a token to the giant lipstick gumball machine for a free makeup or Sugarfina sample.
3. How does Macy’s go about creating a consistent and personalized experience on and offline?
We remain consistent by creating multiple touch points with the same message. In this instance, we have the shop, which is primarily an in-store experience, but we also have the #macyslove hashtag, which brings in the digital world into the store. Additionally, we created a destination online for customers coming into the suite to learn more about the trends before or after their visit. Lastly, we have our group of digital influencers who we partnered with to bring this in-store vision to their followers across their social media profiles and blogs.
4. What are a few ways in which brands can get started to better involve their consumers in marketing programs?
It’s really about putting the customer first when we’re building any experience. As we were conceptualizing the shop, we knew we had to have a place for our customer to take photos, pose with her friends, and be comfortable sharing that content without it being too branded. We incorporate this into the shop with the, “But first candy” neon sign, magnetic Plexiglass makeup and candy, a giant lipstick gumball machine, and our rock candy-like shop structure. We wanted to make everything around the customer something they want to capture and take with them.
5. How does Macy’s work to engage millennials? Has the brand started to address Gen-Z with specific strategies?
The pop-up shop is one way in which Macy’s is currently working to engage millennials. Our strategy here is to focus on social media as well as the in-store experience. We want Gen-Z to come into the shop, to play around, and explore by trend, instead of by brand. Many millennials are not loyal to one specific brand and enjoy browsing by trend as a less intimidating experience.
6. How do you see the role of beauty changing in broader society? What values do you aim for to align with your audience?
It’s interesting to see how beauty has now become an avenue for people – young and old – to express different versions of themselves. Makeover videos on Instagram are all the rage, and Macy’s wants to support that diversity. The Beauty Suite is set up for customers to try new things – maybe a bold purple lip or a metallic eye – and we want our customer to be comfortable doing that in our stores. Our brand always strives for inclusion and freedom of expression. Makeup is supposed to be fun and personal — we love that!
7. Favorite UGC photos from the campaign? Why are they your favorite?
These are a few of our favorites because they show the beautiful shop design as well as people having fun and interacting within the suite.
Macy’s has done a phenomenal job at not only creating a memorable and innovative experience for consumers, but also at building a shop that encourages the integration of customers into their marketing experiences. For those in the New York City area, be sure to stop by Macy’s Beauty Suite in the iconic Herald Square location. As aforementioned, there is a different theme every month and you can pick up eyes and skin care beauty tips, in-store, until April 2017. If you can’t make it to NYC, you can always explore the Beauty Suite experience online.