The North Face Tests Geo-Fencing

Fashion brand, The North Face, are to test geo-fencing in an attempt to promote offers and tailored information to opted in customers.

31 of the their stores have been selected for the test which will identify people who have previously opted in to receive these messages via SMS, once they enter a 1.5 mile radius of a selected location. People will effectively check and check out when they enter or leave a location.

As customers will have been profiled by the brand previously, the potential to promote relevant offers directly to people near a store is a tempting thought. Of course opting out is easy – a customer simply has to text ‘STOP’ and they’ll stop receiving these messages.

This seems like a great example of a brand grabbing the bull by the horns and capitalising on the increased usage of Facebook’s Places and Four Square by becoming an early adopter of the technology.

I can imagine a shopping trip in the not too distant future, simply being a case of turning up at the mall, grabbing a coffee at at the shop offering you the best deal on coffee that day and then just waiting for the offers to roll in.

Mirror Mirror

Stan Rapp said recently, “This generation of consumers are the most narcissistic in history.”

Boy was he right. We all sit and polish our ‘Me’ brands with huge care and attention. Shall I change my profile picture (logo) for the umpteenth time? Sure we do.

It’s not a bad thing. That narcissism was always there, it’s just that now we all have channels through which to promote our ‘Me’ brands.

Firstly, isn’t it interesting what some people do with them? How many times do you see oblique status updates or tweets that are just begging for comments or re-tweets? I’ve been astonished how many times I’ve read a sad status update only to followed by “Aww hun. I’m here if you need to talk xxx”

Meaning, “I’d rather you kept it to yourself, but I want my brand to appear caring and concerned and I want to comment before the competition (I mean our other friends) do.”

Secondly, what does this narcissism mean for business?

Well, I believe it means that people (British people) are no longer shy about complaining. That quaint British trait. Their brands are protected by their screens and they no longer have to actually speak to people. Think about the work environment and that most poisonous development – cc’ing on email. A cowards charter to broadcast vitriol and blame! Screens insulate us and give us a shield behind which we can hide.

But, it’s not going away. To be successful in the future, businesses and organisations are going to have to accept the new reality and respond immediately to publicly broadcast complaints as well as positivity.