Tag Archives: Dubai Mall

Ding Dong, push it

This is the stage, it is not exactly ding dong ditch, but the stage is not that far off. Some would state kiddingly “How do you tell the difference between a male door from a female door ? One’s got a ding dong and the other knockers.” Yet the larger truth is hidden here. It is a combination of anticipation and expectation. In market research it is about engagement that engagement is depending on Business Intelligence and most brands have been slacking off, they can no longer tell the difference between what the party lines tells THEM and what the consumers expect. There is a misalignment (not some Miss Alignment). The ITP (at https://www.itp.net/business/uae-consumers-expect-brands-to-get-them-report) gives us ‘UAE consumers expect brands to ‘get’ them: Report’ in this I am referring to places like the Dubai Mall. They are doing a much better job, but they are also vying for attention. That place has more than 1200 outlets and places like Louis Vuitton are vying for the attention of people also seeing Burberry, Armani, Dior, Cartier, Hermes and Prada , all in the same mall. A place that is over 12,100,000 square ft in size, so they need to get it right the first time. You see these places aren’t really competitive for people with a misers purse. When you see a person walking with a shopping bag that might not fit a sandwich, that person is likely to have spend $5000, as such he or she is done for the day. And that mall has 200,000 of visitors a day, as such they need to get on point to get their fair share. Business Intelligence is the currency that assists and here we see “According to the study, a staggering 92 percent of respondents claimed that it’s important for brands to “get” them. These findings come at a time when brand loyalty is plummeting, with 91 percent of consumers surveyed in the UAE (15 percentage points higher than the EMEA average) claiming to be less loyal to brands compared to two years ago. Nearly one in four individuals (23 percent) attribute this decline in loyalty to disappointing experiences.” I personally believe that it comes from the people expecting some kind of engagement, and to be honest, outside of the videos on the Dubai Kids Zone, I have not seen to much engagement. One of My IP solves that, but it is not mean for one shop, it is meant for the entire mall. It is the brands that require to create some level of engagement and to be honest. In all the mall walkthrough videos I have not seen any. You might wonder what that means. You see, the video walker will call attention and thus far, apart from the sensational views that the mall offers, I have not seen any. And my personal view is seen with “When asked about specific expectations, the researchers discovered that 79 percent of the UAE sample population emphasised the importance of brands consistently being aware of their purchasing habits. Furthermore, 86 percent of respondents insisted that companies should remember their preferred communication channel. A staggering 91 percent called for personalised discounts, while 86 percent urged brands to offer tailored recommendations during engagement sessions.” And consider this ‘86 percent urged brands to offer tailored recommendations during engagement’ Now there is debate on how to go about it and I reckon that this is on their marketing groups, but when we get a number like 86% it matter, it matters a great deal. I myself am on the fence, not on what is done, but how it is done.How to do cater to a Muslim population? In New York you set the Victory Secrets line in the open and the people come gushing, that will not work in Dubai. In other versions I prefer to have fun, as such the Mall could do something like below. 

Not real people of course, but the heads do not fall into a number, but into a slot with a brand and the ‘winner’ gets a small token from that brand. Perhaps to add a factor, the numbers 5,10,8,5 will be replaced by “Diesel, Adidas, Nike”, “Burberry, Dior, Hermes”, “Prada, Chanel, Cartier” and “Virgin, Sony and Nespresso” the (animated) head falls down the ramp and falls into one slot, then the visitor gets to grab one present from a barrel. An element of surprise and one of excitement. I reckon that line will fill up massively and fast. This is not the only way, some companies have their own way of engagement and they need to dig deep to create engagement, because when a place that rocks 200,000 visitors a day state that 86% of them had a less than great experience, it is time to evaluate what you are doing and the images below show great views, but it is lacking engagement. So why is that? And don’t think it is one shop, Louis Vuitton and Virgin both rock the view, and lack the engagement as far as I can tell.

So how to get the attention?
This is a much harder question, it is how to get them and that has been a life long struggle right from the bat. Customer engagement starts at one point and goes around towards what grabs them and Market Research is about masses, engagement is about that person, as such BI needs to evolve into new areas of engagement and that is the rub, how to go about it? The study gives us “The study revealed that 86 percent of respondents (15 percentage points higher than the EMEA average) considered it important for brands to provide a customer experience supported by the latest technology. Similarly, 85 percent (21 percentage points higher than the EMEA average) expressed their likelihood of being more loyal to a brand that invests in technology to enhance the customer experience.” And yes a TV screen creates more engagement, but at the Virgin Megastore, where were the gaming corners? 

Where are the places that interacts with people? It is not merely the best TV or the best screen size, it is what grabs a persons attention and there places like Adidas could benefit by adding a sport element in the store, it could benefit by having a place like Hermes open a creative corner. 

Consider buying a pyjama. One of the dreariest acts I ever face, but what happens when you can create your favourite pyjama (optionally in a more privacy setting)? It seems that the Arabic world is all about sports, as such what happens when you get to create your next polo-shirt based on YOUR favourite team? The Dubai Mall sports two Hockey teams, so why aren’t brands using that for more interaction? They might, but I never saw it. If the world of consumers is about engagement, the lack of attempts is equally staggering. You see, one of these walk throughs would have shown something. And it wouldn’t need to be ‘horrific’ like feeding a mermaid to the sharks, but between doing nothing and doing something horrific is quite literally an ocean of sand. So when this all starts with data, how is it captured? How are people engaged in this stream? That is equally important a side to manage correctly and even as I like the article, we see nothing on that. Especially in the UAE where tourism is at an all time high. What separates the local shopper from the tourist? It is not always clear and I believe that Harrods had its own set of problems in the 90’s. And when you have a study that boasts “21 percentage points higher than the EMEA average” I personally believe it matters a great deal, but the first observation is clear, there is seemingly a lack of engagement in the UAE (specifically the Dubai Mall). Oh, and this is not all me, places like the TRO group have been rocking the  Omni-Channel Advertising for well over a decade and they have been showing that there is power in engagement. So it is not just me, there are expert voices all over the place, but the larger Market Research and marketing community doesn’t know how to interact in an engaging sphere, as such they do not touch it. Yet that might merely be my view on the matter.

Enjoy the day and take the time to smell your cup of coffee, because that too is engagement. 


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From bad to worse

This happens, things are not great and at that point someone states ‘watch this’ and opens the floodgates of disaster. This happened in part when Governor DeSantis decided to ‘douse the mouse’ an intensely stupid action if ever there was one. And now the CBC gives us (at https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/florida-travel-warnings-naacp-lgbtq-1.6850920) the simple headline ‘NAACP among civil rights groups warning tourists about Florida in wake of ‘hostile’ laws’. For those not aware, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People) has set out a travel warning (at https://naacp.org/articles/naacp-issues-travel-advisory-florida) there we see “Florida is openly hostile toward African Americans, people of colour and LGBTQ+ individuals. Before traveling to Florida, please understand that the state of Florida devalues and marginalises the contributions of, and the challenges faced by African Americans and other communities of colour.” As such the one state that relies on its annual tourism revenue (2021) gives us “Florida visitors contributed $101.9 billion to Florida’s economy and supported over 1.7 million Florida jobs” that comes with “According to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, for every $1 the state invests in VISIT FLORIDA, $3.27 in state tax revenue is generated”, if only 10% is lost, how much damage will Florida endure as this governor is vying for the seat of presidency and does this on a national level? In addition to what I wrote over the last week, we will see national revenues dwindle down with DeSantis in control of whatever get gets control of. It is even less interesting for the Republican Party as they are enduring two losers in their ranks in power in a decade and it could be a lot worse. And they are in turn empowering China and enabling Saudi Arabia in their own ways. Because in that setting there could be a massive push to grow a sort of Disney world in the United Arab Emirates, but founded much more on the Arabian nights and all kinds of Middle Eastern fairy tales. A setting that is not make believe. The existence of the Boulevard Riyadh City is evidence enough that a theme park a blended theme park could push tourism and revenue in the UAE to a decent amount and no matter how hetero sexual that cluster is, the actions by DeSantis is making them uneasy. The hostilities and the ‘Karen’s of America’ are making the people unwilling to visit the US, unwilling to chance disruptive activities and they are seeking it somewhere else and yes Disney-world Paris would be their first choice, but that place will fill up fast and too many people is a negative impact as well. No matter how we see it, to book for tickets for a place that is too often at 110% is no easy choice. The UAE already has the Dubai mall and from there growth becomes easier (not to mention the Ferrari park in Abu Dhabi) and as such the UAE will have a few options all over the land. And when they consider that this could open a market for millions on Indonesians as well (and depriving the US of even more) they have choices to consider. 

So whatever DeSantis thought he was doing, he will have crushed the Florida economy being the first Floridan governor to do so and this economy after all the covid lockdowns was not that strong to begin with. Basically he becomes the straw that broke the Florida’s Panthers back.

So as one state goes from bad to worse, how many other states will suffer that level of income loss? 

Enjoy the first day towards the next weekend.

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The driven mind

I need to take you on a little journey. Last night I had to look up two teams. Dubai (of all places) has two hockey teams, the Dubai White bears and the Dubai Mighty Camels. That led me to the fact that they both have the Dubai Mall Ice Rink as their home rink. The important info like what makes someone from Dubai select one or the other was not revealed. Is it like a suburb, is it a north, south, east or west side selection? But that got me to the Dubai Mall Ice Rink and what I saw blew my mind. The rink is ACTUALLY part of the mall, you can stand a level higher, walk out of a shop and watch the game live at that location. Apart from the fact that I have never seen anything like that, the Dubai mall is as far as I have ever seen it the most beautiful mall in the world. I got that from the video ‘Dubai Mall | The World’s Largest Mall | Weekend Shopping’ (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvjyuMcCcdI) and that place is amazing, but that go me to the video. A video of a person fast walking through a palace. Straight view like the filmer was wearing blinders. We never see the windows of the shops. I saw the waterfall (which was awesome) and I saw a whole other range of things, but the real deal, the mall. I saw too little, no real view on the shop windows, no real view on the building interior. Like a rat running a maze, never wondering what the walls look like and this is not a simple cardboard wall, these are walls of marble and gold. The shopkeepers take every effort to make their place the best looking place on the planet and the filmer rushes by them like one attracted to the smell of cheese just a corner away, just the smell, never the sight. What a shame to show a mall, that mall of all places like that. 

If you want to see more of the actual mall there is ‘Inside Dubai’s $20 Billion Dollar Mall’ (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8ockpQebDA) more of an advertisement, but you get to see some of the real wonders in a mall and what a mind blowing experience it is. I took a look at a few more videos. The idea that my augmented reality solution is deployed there is awesome, but there is one consideration. This mall engages people, at that point the AR solution is mere advertisement. That is not bad or wrong, it merely is a consideration. On the upside there is a hockey rink, as such I see it the Dubai mall is as close to heaven as I am likely ever to see it.

But the driven mind seeks information. The chase video is nice, but watching a rat race will tire the mind soon enough, the filmer obviously never considered that part of the equation. I tend to over-consider these parts and of course (in light of my IP) looked for bookshops and found no information and more news then I wanted. Still, I got that information too. And what I found was an interesting part. This is the place where my IP has the least power, it actively engages audiences in many ways. It is clear that the people behind the Dubai Mall have figured out what creates an engaging environment, other malls should take notice. Not with the aquarium, 99.5% of the malls in the world do not have that kind of funding, but the options to engage with customers, a kids zone, the souk. Local solutions that could be transformed for people in Canada, the UK even French malls. And whether it is local culture, Arabian culture or both. Malls need to create engagement. My IP was designed for it and for me Dubai Mall was a revelation. You see, it is not when IP is maximised, it is when you s IP becomes less effective, that is when you see more, as such Dubai Mall was a revelation. My IP will still have value, not as much as in many other places and that is the cornerstone, the niche if you want to call it. As the borders of your niche are more clearly defined, you get the option to define new borders and optional new additions. It wasn’t given by a blank slate, it comes from seeing your limitations, the stage we face when others are already there and Dubai mall is clearly in the engagement phase. 

As such my mind is not trying to warp IP to fit their vision, it becomes a field to see what could be added to give the IP more value. This is what drove my 6G consideration to create a larger stage for Real estate a new propagation of real estate. As such I wonder if my AR solution will get new options to grow, new tentacles to grasp new opportunity, if we see the IP as a solution to grow, we need to test the IP in a place where it has little options to grow, because that is when we see what other directions become possible?

Have fun today, the first day after the weekend before.

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