16 observations: exploring marketing at upscale Cherry Creek Mall in Denver, Colorado
Photos from January 2020 (pre-pandemic)
"No marketing activity, including innovation, should be seen as a goal itself, its goal is to hold on to or improve mental or physical availability." -Byron Sharp, " How Brands Grow"
At business school, I am learning about the 4 P's of marketing strategy execution: product, price, place, and promotion. I noticed all of them in practice when I visited Denver's Cherry Creek Mall on January 10, 2020, so I took photos.
Please enjoy the 16 observations below, captured as photos with captions and memes, and reach me on
Twitter with any comments or questions. Apple is still promoting its new Apple Card along with Apple Pay. After years of making most of its money in hardware and software manufacturing and merchandising, Apple is moving strongly into services in order to increase its revenues. Here the Apple Store is clearly marketing the Apple Card to customers prominently, underscoring Apple's emphasis on its new strategy. At the other entrance, Apple is marketing its newest iPhone. Despite its slowing growth, the iPhone remains Apple's largest product line by revenue. The Wall Street Journal newspaper has found a clear niche among finance workers: it is North America's leading financial publication, with the possible exception of Bloomberg. Yet any publication today faces competition from free or low-cost alternatives, especially those provided by news aggregator services and in social feeds. In this marketing campaign entitled, "Read Yourself Better," frames the Wall Street Journal's journalism as higher quality and self-improving, an argument that is high value and resonant to the self-improving customer while also hard to negate. It appears to target "switcher" readers who may be getting some of their news from free or social media outlets. Is it a coincidence that Cellaris sells sports team-themed phone cases on the left and right next door Lids sells sports team-themed ball caps? The proximity adds convenience for the accessorizing sports fan. This suggests an important message for marketers: that placement matters not with respect to the store but with respect to the customer journey. Cherry Creek Mall could have listed any social media networks on this advertisement. They chose Facebook and Instagram. Made-to-order Oakley sunglasses, anyone? Given the rise of customizeable, make-your-own products such as ROAM Luggage, seeing this advertisement was surprising but not unexpected. It is impossible to miss the luxury cars parked in the middle of the mall: the Maserati, the McLaren (above, and the Aston Martin (further down the page). It seemed like a really smart marketing tactic to me. Tesla cars are a big draw, which is why Tesla's market capitalization is now greater than Ford's and General Motors' combined. Any mall with a Tesla showroom is likely to attract car fans. Parking three of the fanciest cars you can inside the mall not only borrows on that foot traffic but attracts those customers who are looking specifically for the fanciest possible car. This is the mall's Tesla showroom. Both the showroom and the Tesla look great, but after staring at a McLaren for 60 seconds the Tesla looked more like a Toyota Corolla than a small car on which a customer might want to spend $36-$90k. Still though, an amazing car. b8ta is a new retail electronics concepts store that I might describe as, "Crutchfield, Brookstone, and SkyMall meets the Apple Store." It is designed to get customers interacting with the coolest new electronic gadgets available. The store had been open for 1-2 months when I visited. Here's a demonstration of one of the items at b8ta when I visited: the Neo SmartPen N2. An optical sensor reads a lightly colored, barely-perceptible dot matrix from the pen to remember what and where you made a mark. Then the next time you sync the pen with your electronic device, your marks will appear on your screen. Or, as in this video you can do it all in real time. Just for fun, I took a photo of the mall directory's Books, Cards, & Gifts section. None of these stores are bookstores - a consequence of living in the age of Amazon bookstore and Kindle e-reader. I doubt it was planned - why would it be? - but I thought it was cute that Lucky Brand's clubs were right next door to Kate Spade's spade. If only Zales and Hallmark would move in and we would have every suit. How about this? Plop down carpet, and you have a seating area. Lay tile, and you have a walking area. That is all it takes to create a different type of space. Disney+ had been out for about two months by the day that I visited the mall, and yet the poster advertisements were still up. I imagine they will go down later this year, predicting that Disney+ will have enough personal relationships with subscribers and no longer need Verizon's co-marketing help. Gucci is fancy, right? Fancy yet fun. Next to some of the mall's best dressed employees was a particularly garish Santa, still standing watch with his apron and leis 16 days after Christmas. Is Brooks Brothers rebranding itself as a unisex business and fashion clothing outlet? Brooks Brothers is well known for its men's clothing but less so for its women's clothing, so I was surprised to see this advertisement for women's clothing in the window. Then again, maybe I should have been less surprised: in a store already so associated with men's clothing, another advertisement with a man on it may have been wasted space. And marketing to everyone, if successful, will certainly increase your market size and profits.
I had never noticed, but Aston Martin's logo looks a lot like Chrysler's logo, at least to an untrained person like me. (I am definitely not a car guy.)