At a time when well-known storefronts are reinventing themselves to bolster market share and ecommerce businesses are opening storefronts to complement online sales, the world of brick and mortar is evolving. Bookstores are part of that evolution. Barnes & Noble (B&N) has more than 630 locations nationwide and is known as much for congregating, study sessions and hosting playdates as it is a place to buy books, resulting in a mixed impact on their business. With the dominance of Amazon and the resurrection of independent bookstores, B&N has faced stiff competition over the last several years. But with a new holiday ad campaign aimed at centering their booksellers as experts, B&N hopes to position themselves as a book industry thought leader and reinvigorate sales.
Clever Commercials Highlight Niche Knowledge of B&N Booksellers
The “Nobody Knows Books Like We Do” ad campaign comically taps into the customer service role their associates play, including sharing knowledge on everything from Harry Potter to the best family game or cookbook. In the short 15-second spots, a customer needs advice on the perfect something-or-other, prompting the chipper sales associate to pepper them with questions, narrowing their once vague request to the perfect gift, game or book — delighting the customer and proud associate alike.
The notion of soulless big box stores has extended to B&N over the years, even not so subtly in the indie vs. megastore classic You’ve Got Mail. The positioning of B&N associates as knowledgeable and passionate, like their indie counterparts, could translate to an advantage over Amazon’s human-free interactions while aligning B&N with the independent store surge in popularity.
A Charming Combination of Brand & Promotion Can Boost Holiday Sales
The new B&N commercials utilize niche marketing, targeting book and game buyers, to drive brand awareness and in-store traffic during the busy holiday season. The campaign is also part of a larger reorganization effort to boost Barnes & Noble sales in the midst of a shifting market, which includes more emphasis on community and smaller streamlined stores for the book retailer.