Thursday Buzz: Customize All the Things

How the clothing retailer American Eagle is encouraging people to buy customized jeans in a store where you can also do your laundry while you wait. Also: Why you shouldn't overstate your engagement target.

Your members don’t just want the same experience as everyone else—they want their own twist.

Which is why it might be a good time to keep an eye on what American Eagle is doing.

The clothing company is launching a new prototype store, called AE Studio, in which people can stop by and get their jeans. But rather than simply buying, the retailer will allow people to personalize their own pair as they see fit, directly on the premises. Additionally, the company is building the store so people will stick around for a while. Wanna get your laundry done? The new store will have onsite laundry, along with a spot for people to study.

Neil Saunders, the managing director of GlobalData Retail, told CNBC that this mix of offerings sounds strange, but it could attract audiences that may not have otherwise been interested in the brand.

“The integration of services like laundry and study spaces may seem a little wacky, but it’s exactly the type of thing that will drive footfall, especially among younger shoppers,” Saunders said.

Maybe it sounds crazy, but it might just be crazy enough to work.

Think Realistically About Metrics

The attraction of basing your data projections on your total number of subscribers is great, but community expert Richard Millington says it’s a trap.

Instead, he says, focus on what’s realistically there, and where you’re clearly seeing success.

“Your colleagues or boss might want to see big numbers comparable to existing communities,” he writes on FeverBee. “Push back with existing metrics and conversion rates. Making big projections to get internal support today will always cost you tomorrow.”

Sure, you may want to aim high, but it’s better to hit a lower target than badly miss a higher one.

Other Links of Note

If something big happens, be ready. At Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog, media relations pro Peter Panepento recommends creating a rapid response protocol for when things happen and your media team needs to respond.

Keep calm and carry on. VP Associations offers suggestions on how you should handle phone calls from irate members.

Design by committee isn’t just frustrating. For meeting planners, it’s often a fact of life. The Event Manager Blog has some suggestions on how to navigate planning an event with a lot of stakeholders.

(Handout photo)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!