For those who don’t follow my Twitter stream, I’ve been running a ‘bosewatch‘ hashtag campaign for the last couple of months. You see, my desk overlooks Regent Street and the Bose store is directly opposite. I tweet casual observations about what’s going on there, often passing comment on how empty it looks.
It’s all been a bit tongue-in-cheek. Casual brand stalking if you like. But everything changed at lunchtime today. I got a phone call which began…
“Hello, is that Simon?”
“Hi, I’m Martin from the Bose store on Regent Street.”
Oh. My. God.
A brief conversation followed where we discussed my tweets, their footfall and occasional quiet spells. To be honest I was absolutely dumbfounded that I’d been called. He asked if I would like to visit the store, get a tour and ‘expereince Bose’. I didn’t need asking twice and duly went along with Stuart.
I met Martin who turned out to be the Assistant Store Manager. We chatted about the difficulties of trying to convey the virtues of Bose products in a retail environment. We discussed the Apple approach (a few doors up the road). How they link all their products up to the web which effectively gives anyone free internet access and thus incredible footfall and how to translate this to Bose. But I can understand the potential problems of letting 50 teenagers into the store to charge iPods whilst listening to music and disrupting the sale of a £10k system. Whilst there I had the full-on Bose cinematic experience and left clutching a pair of headphones (that I paid for). Some say “sucker”. I say, “have you actually heard these things?”. I do like Bose products, I’ve had one of their stereos for nearly 10 years.
Anyway, back to my point. What I think is exceptional is the way Bose listened to and reacted to the social web.
Let’s take a look at what they could have done:
- Sent some inane, generic ‘can we help you’ message via Twitter from their @BoseService account.
- Tried to ‘shut me up’.
- Ignored the internet and pretended it didn’t exist.
It was, apparently, the MD in the US who emailed the Regent Street store asking if they knew anything about me? A very small amount of internet digging then lead them to my number.
So there we have it. A brand that engaged their stalker with finesse and in a very personal way. Their products exist in the real world and that is where they talked to me. “You know what, you talk about us a lot, why don’t you come and see what we have to offer.”