Kato (Isetan Mitsukoshi Ltd.):
When we discussed attracting tribes (groups of people who are connected through mutual interest in a particular thing), Loftwork Inc. proposed this riddle game project.
Their solution aligned with our way of thinking of wanting to go beyond market areas by appealing to customers who like X or Y, and because people in their 20s through 40s, who do not often go to department stores, would be targeted, we wondered, if such people went to a department store, what would they think of it? Would they show interest? We were particularly curious about these aspects, and wanted data on them.
However, we were also worried that this would turn out exactly like the stamp rallies. Would people just solve the riddles then go home? Would it really be able to create communication at the stores?
--So, what steps did you take to ensure there would be real communication?
Koshimoto (Loftwork Inc.):
The premise of this project was "Thinking from the customers' point of view," so we thought of ways people could communicate while enjoying the exchange. This time, solving the riddles involved more than just going to each store, because you could not get the hint cards without actually communicating with the store clerks. This way, customers were able to experience Mitsukoshi's customer service as part of a game.
Also, we cooperated with a riddle expert who gave us advice such as "You should give the hints like this," then Loftwork created a hint manual, and got together with Mitsukoshi's people to plan how it would actually be used.
It would have been difficult to get every one of the nearly 5000 salespeople who work in the stores to fully understand the aim and execution of this plan, so we started by first sharing the project with the sales department, which the sales staff is a part of. We brainstormed together about everything, including the flow, devising various strategies and incorporating them, which I think led to our success.