During a recent flight in Australia, I found a Uniqlo magazine strategically placed in the seat pocket.
I witnessed first hand the metoric rise of Uniqlo from the time I lived in Tokyo umpteen years ago and I’ve been a Uniqlo fan (brand and products) ever since. So I was excited to see this ‘ageless’ feature in “The LifeWear book. Autumn Winter 2016“.
There are two chapters that deal with the older consumer. One titled The Iconoclast, a feature about 61 year-old professor and Uniqlo-earing fashionista and the other called Generations. The preface explains the concept in a way that is music to my ears; “……. two families, seven individuals, and many generations between them. Life is a journey and for Uniqlo it requires clothes that can move with us through all its various stages ………..”
This is precisely what we mean by Lifetime Customer Experience – enabling people of all ages to fully engage with a brand.
But before getting too excited, we must remember that this wonderful example of ‘age-neutral’ messaging and the suggestion that the clothes have been designed to meet the needs of our changing bodies, are just two aspects of the customer journey. Lifetime CX must also consider how well the online experience, retail design and the service components are adapted to the needs of customers of all ages, particularly the important and often overlooked, older folks. In our experience, over 250 touch-points need to be evaluated to determine whether a brand has delivered Lifetime CX.
As a global brand, one would expect such a powerful, ‘ageless’ message to be reflected in all materials in all countries. However, although the LifeWear catalogue in Australia featured the Generations concept, it is not visible on the Australian Uniqlo website, resorting instead to the tired ‘only young people buy clothes’, ageist stereotypes. Yet the Generations concept appears here on the website for Uniqlo France!
We would love to do an AF Brand audit for Uniqlo to see if it really is a ground-breaking brand that appeals across generations and across nations. In the meantime we’re hoping that Uniqlo can become the “Apple of the fashion industry” by demonstrating how to respond to the need of older customers in an appropriate and profitable way across their entire customer journey.