Great article…read it!
For the average U.S. company, Gilmore and Pine have simple advice: think less about where to put ads—ubiquity is killing advertising’s power—and more about how to shape the places customers interact with their products. Example: REI, the outdoor-gear company. In 1996 REI opened a flagship location in Seattle with a climbing wall and a walking trail. The climbing wall isn’t some little display—in fact you have to pay to use it. The location also features a meeting space for local nonprofits. The store was more ambitious than any other the company had built, but it has become the city’s No. 2 tourist attraction after Pike Place Market. Consumers bond with REI’s goods in a way they never will with an ad. True, only 1.6 million people a year visit the REI store, but Gilmore and Pine reason that creating 1.6 million knowledgeable customers will be more lucrative than reaching 5 million with an ad campaign: “Stop saying what your offerings are through advertising and start creating places—permanent or temporary, physical or virtual—where people can experience what those offerings, as well as your enterprise, actually are.”