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Keeping the Spark Alive With Retail Activations

By March 15, 2016 May 22nd, 2020 No Comments

Back in the day, old school marketers believed “brand relationship” simply meant “brand loyalty”. It was a one-sided relationship where brands were concerned with what people thought about them…

…but that’s not much of a “relationship,” is it?

Max Blackston’s breakthrough 1992 piece, “Observations: Building Brand Equity by Managing the Brand’s Relationships”, highlighted for the first time that customers care just as much about what the brands think about them and how they are interacted with. And just like any long-term personal relationship, bonds must be formed and nurtured or eventually the relationship risks losing that “spark”. The lights go out and the magic is gone.

At NEXT/NOW we consider ourselves relationship gurus when it comes to retail activations. And just like passive gestures can feel empty to a relationship, we find one of the best times to strengthen the connection is when it matters most: when the customer is purchasing and interacting with the product itself.

If you want to tune-up your brand’s relationships, we’d be happy to schedule an appointment with you. In the meantime you can start working on the tips below:

  1. Wow them at first sight. Just like dating, the best way to form an instant connection with someone is to share a unique experience with them. Exciting and stimulating activities engender an instant emotional relationship. For Persol, we created an installation where users chose a path of either detective or gangster and navigated through a slick film noir landscape while exploring Persol’s catalog. Users were able to walk away with an impressive brand experience.
  2. Keep the relationship novel. After some time, all relationships risk a slump when the mystery is gone. You want to keep someone excited in a relationship? Surprise them with something new. For Kraft, we created an interactive retail experience that had customers kicking and pushing around digitally projected macaroni right at the shelves. Kids and parents enjoyed the fun and fresh way to interact with an old favorite. Kraft went out of their way to prove that they aren’t the same ‘ol Mac N’ Cheese.
  3. Show them your worth. Over time, it can become easy to take someone or a brand for granted. Sometimes people just need a little reminder of how great your brand really is. For the NBA Flagship store in NYC, we installed a 30-foot LED basket, 10 overhead monitors, and a fully integrated, wrap-around digital screen that immerses fans fully in active and customizable NBA content. When you go to the NBA store, you don’t for a second believe that you are getting anything but the best in professional basketball merchandise.

Come down to our showroom to see what other magic we create with our retail activations. Write us at or explore our website at

Next/Now Agency

1200 West Lake Street
Suite 2
Chicago, IL 60607

T: 312.945.6222