trip to the mall
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Did someone say “shopping?”

the mall shopping centerphoto credit: Hans van de Bruggen

The holidays are coming up on us rather quickly, frankly I’m not sure where this whole year has gone but that is another topic. So today we are going to take a little “trip” away from our computer, yup, that means we all have to get dressed and head outside. I’m sure the fresh air will do us some good too!

The mall is an inspirational place; just as a magazine gave us lots of ideas for our blogs the mall does similarly.

Now here is the exercise:

  1. As I said to do this exercise you must first leave your computer and head out to the mall.
  2. Don’t forget to bring a notebook and pen if you are like me and if you are like everyone else in my family your iPad. (I still am a pen and paper kinda gal, I love looking back on my filled notebooks!)
  3. I live just outside of DC where there are a number of malls at my finger tips, but I realize this might be a little harder for those of you in rural areas but there has to be something near you, I hope… maybe even a Wal-Mart.
  4. When you get inside the mall or shop take a half hour to walk around and just observe…
  • Who is there? Who are they with?
  • What are they doing?
  • What are they buying?
  • How does it look like shoppers are make their buying decisions?
  • What are the retailers doing to get people’s attention and stand out?
  • What messages are the stores using in their marketing?
  • What colors are in at the moment? (other than the holiday decorations which have already gone up here!)
  • What other things are ‘chic’ or in fashion?
  • What type of sales techniques is the staff using?
  • What are retail outlets doing well? What are they doing poorly?

5.  As you watch, jot down some notes.

6.  Once you’ve spent half an hour or so on ‘observation mode’ find a spot to sit down with a coffee (perhaps a pumpkin spice late, or gingerbread late) and go over the things that you’ve noticed and see if there’s any lessons there that you might be able to apply to your blogging.

This process might seem a little random – but it’s something that I’ve done on a few times over the last few years and each time that I’ve done it I’ve come away with at least one new idea that I want to apply in my blogging and I am sure you will too.

Now do tell, what happened on your trip to the mall, and I don’t mean the new shoes that caught your eye…. However I am sure they are very nice!