Mark Plant is a digital marketing guru who knows exactly what a company needs to do in order to put their best foot forward in the exciting world of social media. As Marketing Operations Director at Micro Focus, a multinational software and information technology firm, Mark is well placed to offer advice and the team at Jenny Blanc are so lucky to have him consult with us on all things digital.
We always look forward to Mark’s visits and recently took him for a spin around our London showroom which is the perfect place to start to get a glimpse into the world of interior design. Not only does the showroom act as a showcase for some of the wonderful home accessories that Jenny and the team travel the world to source, it’s also the ideal setting for showroom director Chrissie Cocks to meet with clients for our Just Rooms service and reps from all the major fabric houses who routinely drop by to present the latest exclusive collections.
What did Mark make of it all? In his own words, here’s what he thought…
‘Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping’. Bo Derek
Words of wisdom from Bo Derek – and you know what? I tend to agree. Shops these days are usually so bereft of expertise and personality that I only ever walk voluntarily into most of them to make the actual transaction. Prior to crossing a retail threshold I’ve typically done all my research online. I know precisely which shop sells whatever it is I am after, for the best price or with the easiest ‘returns’ policy. I’ve always phoned beforehand to ensure that the inevitable battle with traffic and parking wardens will be worthwhile.
Just for the record I don’t think shopping online is really any easier! Before you begin to play cat and mouse with courier companies and delivery slots you have to read all those product reviews and fine-tune Google searches. Unfortunately this is usually a much more productive way forward than asking the average retail worker for purchasing advice these days which is why I go to Google first!
But Bo Derek knows something that all of us know too. There are shops that offer the experience that puts the ‘therapy’ in retail and Jenny Blanc’s Teddington show-room is a fine example if you ask me. I know absolutely nothing about interior design except that what I like is what I like by my own admission. But I do know that everyone in that showroom is an expert. For starters the showroom itself is a masterpiece in interior design that forces you into a relaxed submission. Inspiring, beautiful design ideas entice even the most retail averse shopper to investigate and browse! I make my way towards the tableware and an amazing chicken-jug that’s caught my eye……
I do always feel like a bit of an ignoramus walking around the showroom because it’s obvious that everyone employed by Jenny is intent on you walking away happy. Hearing snippets of conversation reassures you that the design team here are only interested in selling anything if it will really work for you.
Regardless of whether it’s a lowly scented candle or a lofty chandelier you’re after, you will be treated with the dignity and professionalism that creates raving fans. And it really doesn’t matter that I don’t know anything about interior design at all – I’d happily come back here to find out and learn.
If you spend more than 15 minutes in the shop you’ll see Jenny’s design team listening, advising and consulting with confident product knowledge. That’s the difference that a store like Jenny Blanc delivers. Trying to extend that amazing experience digitally isn’t easy but follow Jenny Blanc on Twitter and Facebook and let her know what you think of your online experience! She’s intent on providing the same levels of retail therapy online as experienced by the many visitors to her physical shop!
After my last trip to Teddington my advice is very simple: if you need Interior Design expertise at any point or want to see how a retail business should be running make sure you drop in! You’ll pick up incredible ideas for your home, a great gift or two. If you play your cards right you might even enjoy an amazing cup of coffee too!