Cross-country road trips are still excellent marketing approaches, even when they’re taken on by leading online retailers. The “Friends with Benefits” tour, powered by live music, pet adoptions and food, reached half a dozen United States cities. It took off in Texas, starting the new year with a slew of footwear and apparel presentations.
The Backyard Party Activation
Technically, the party setup took place in midtown parking lots. The location wasn’t difficult to capitalize on, however, as brands were given numerous opportunities to meet, interact and connect with their customers. Zappos brought its brand to life, rewarding its most loyal customers. Focusing on the Zappos pillars of excellence—charity, retail, community and culture—the brand gave attendees something to remember.
Guests were given iPads to engage digital spaces in physical pop-up storefronts. Zappos.com, of course, was the landing page transmitted via Bluetooth beacons to every device. Guests could read reviews, make purchases, take home items or engage eCommerce deals right on the spot.
Charity and Soles4Souls
The tour wasn’t all about product promotion. Guests were invited to donate their shoes, clothing and accessories to Zappos—which shipped them to Soles4Souls. Soles4Souls, a nonprofit, helps individuals in need around the world. The Zappos approach extended beyond customer service, promoting an atmosphere of interconnectivity on the global stage.
This approach was smart, as the road trip’s existence served to connect nationwide fans and bring Internet-based business into the streets. Zappos celebrated culture in its host cities, hanging out with brand partners, local vendors and fans alike. Free food, beverages, local musicians and entertainment were plentiful. At every stop, Zappos took charge with picnic tables, games, inflatables and artificial turf.
eCommerce Marketing in the Physical World
Zappos is expected to continue its tour, visiting three more cities in upcoming months. It’ll eventually visit Las Vegas, paying homage to its hometown. Zappos’s approach to real-world marketing might be clear-cut, but it’s certainly unique. By using shipping crates as pop-up shopping venues, the brand was able to present a research-heavy environment which was conducive to purchasing.
It also hosted a pet adoption event. Over 150 pets were adopted in Austin, TX, alone, and Zappos intends to keep the strategy alive as it travels to Nashville. Its backyard party activations are constantly adapted to meet new adventures head-on. Where intuitive branding, promotion and experiences are considered, Zappos may very well be an industry leader.