Only & Exactly My Sneakers

What can sneakers teach us about giving clients a great experience? As I found out recently, a lot.

I was in Las Vegas and visited one of the best themed retail experiences anywhere: the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace. I talk about why here.

But amid the luxury stores like Louis Vuitton and Gucci, a relatively new store caught my attention: Urban Necessities. I was drawn there by my daughter, who is a sneakerhead, and instantly saw that I was dealing with a different kind of retail experience.

Your eye is first drawn to the Nike shoe wall, with HUNDREDS of different Nikes. No matter what color and style of Nike you’re looking for, you can probably find it here.

But if you can’t, don’t worry, there’s a Customization Bar where you can design your own. The rest of the store is a paean to sneaker culture. Upstairs is a barber shop and tattoo parlor. Downstairs is an old-school Pac Man video game and Soda Fountain. An interview with the owner shows that they believe that experiences are key to retail in today’s economy.

What this experience told me about creating a great client experience is the importance of consistency in culture and customization in experience. There was a clear culture at UN. It was part of the urban, sneaker culture and was consistent across the store.

But the product of that consistent culture for the guest was limitless customization. They had only and exactly the sneaker for each guest. And needless to say, the customized shoes weren’t cheap. I didn’t find any less than $200 and the most expensive was $60,000 (yes, that’s five zeros after a six. As in, five figures. Not a typo. Proof here.)

The key for you is to have a consistent culture at your business that allows you to endlessly customize for your clients, giving them only and exactly the service and experience they want.

Do that and you’ll have a line waiting at your door. Just like they did at Urban Necessities.

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