I've never thought much about getting married... until I met the owner of Elite Pour La Vie in Atlanta. She shared her vision with me on why she was building Atlanta's most exclusive wedding and evening gown dress boutique. 

I didn't quite understand what could be so exciting about a wedding dress shop, other than the fact that she is a person with exquisite taste and style, who simply knows what is "in" and what is not. 

But now I do. She is bringing to a city of more than 6 million people, designers that brides-to-be and women wanting to make a statement or just look elegant at an black tie event or prom. 

It's what you don't have or perhaps have not yet experienced that makes you want to form a bond with a retail brand that is out of your core brand associations. Most consumers are now looking for something new. Something exciting. Something that takes them to a place that reminds them that they are who they want to be - in that moment.

But that's not new.
What new retailers are doing differently

Or is it? When was the last time you went into a retail store and you felt like you were Cinderella? The moment you look at the showroom, lit to perfection, with a stage made for you. The perfect "selfie" extravaganza or had a stylist help you with your dress, then ask you "how does it make you feel"?

Retail has become too commercial, and especially in the brides to be market, everyone looks the same. How can you find a look that isn't the same as everyone else? 

Women of all ages are tired of looking the same, and retailers like Elite Pour La Vie know that. But mostly, they know that women want to look beautiful and feel beautiful and that goes beyond putting on a dress. It is more about the experience, than the dress itself. Everyone wants to be special and at Elite Pour La Vie, everyone is. They are so special in fact, that they have a condo sized dressing room and sitting area, just for every single bride-to-be and woman wishing for that special designer gown. There is two, not one person who will look after your every whim. They will have the room at the perfect temperature, the lighting just right. The mirrors give you a full view from every angle, so you don't miss a thing. When you try on your dress, you will stand on a stage, your very own stage, and if in that moment you don't feel like the star, then I don't know when you ever will.

There are 3 key things that Elite Pour La Vie is doing:

  1. They have spent a lot of time finding the world's best designers, to provide exclusive dresses from bridal to evening wear, just for their customers. They are pieces that you won't get anywhere else. There will be no-one else at the ball with your dress on, or a friend with the same wedding dress from the designer. They are EXCLUSIVE.
  2. They have provided all their customers with space to privately experience their large range of designer wear, without interference from others or people watching you dress. Each dressing quarter is literally the size of a condo, and it comes with its very own stage.
  3. They understand experience like no other. I am talking about treating you like you are important. Too often dress shops forget how important the customer is and they are busy with all the other customers in the store. When you are making a big purchase, you want for the stylist to be there for you when you have a question to ask, or need help. You also want for the experience to be memorable and that's really the secret sauce that Elite Pour La Vie is providing for its customers.

For me, I find that going to a store to buy an evening gown is arduous. There is nothing fun about it unless I am heading to Giorgio Armani, who also understand what it takes to make a customer feel special.

Note: Marketing Eye has retail marketing specialists in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Atlanta offices.

Mellissah Smith is a serial entrepreneur and business leader with more than 20 years' experience in marketing.
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert, author, writer, public speaker and technology innovator. Having worked with more than 300 companies across technology, medical device, professional services, manufacturing, logistics, finance and health industries, Mellissah has a well-established reputation as an experienced marketing professional with more than 20 years experience. As the founder and managing director of Marketing Eye, she has taken the company from startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise with offices in Australia and the US. Mellissah is also the Editor in Chief of Marketing Eye Magazine, a quarterly magazine that cover marketing, entrepreneurship, travel, health and wellbeing. #mellissah #marketingeye


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