Marmarapark Shopping Center - Company of the Year

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2016, Click to Enter The 2017 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer service

Company: Marmarapark Shopping Center, Istanbul, Turkey
Company Description: Marmara Park, which was Turkey’s first galaxy themed shopping center, was opened on October 18,2012. This concept of the Shopping Mall reveals itself in the design as well and offers a brand new shopping galaxy to its visitors with more than 200 shops and 4000 car capacity parking lot. Marmara Park, has a strong accessibility and very good visibility.
Nomination Category: Company / Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Company of the Year - Retail - Small

Nomination Title: Marmara Park Shopping Center

Tell the story about what this nominated organization has achieved since 1 January 2016 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

The Marmara Park Shopping Center, managed by ECE Turkey, invites visitors to a comfortable shopping experience as well as a fun life filled with surprises with its “much more than a shopping center” motto. The facility cheered visitors this year with quite an amazing surprise. As part of the “World’s Strangest Store Employee” project, Marmara Park led the way again in a fun way and hosted Cemil Ipekci, known as a fashion legend in Turkey and the first name that comes to mind when discussing all things fashion - and in disguise.

Preparations for the fun surprise to take place on October 7th began 2 weeks in advance. Once all staff and equipment were planned, on Saturday October 7th, Cemil Ipekci entered the shopping center while it was still closed. When greeting customers, Ipekci would pretend to be a sales person in a store. Wearing a specially designed costume and makeup which included a beard, hair pieces and other professional accessories, Ipekci took up a completely new identity and introduced himself as Remzi. While the surprise was underway, hidden cameras were placed in 8 different spots in the store to capture Cemil Ipekci and customers from different angles.

Cemil Ipekci greeted customers in his new identity and helped those who didn’t know what to buy or could not decide on a combination with his own sense of style. This was when the fun began because customers could not recognize the famous fashion legend in disguise. Yet, one thing had not changed: His sharp tongue. Cemil Ipekci shocked customers with his out-of-the-box and sarcastic responses to questions. For instance, to one female customer looking at an evening dress, he said: “You could not wear this after a bone surgery, let alone with control top pantyhose.” Some were obviously annoyed by this situation while some could only smile in shock. Pushing customers to their limits and frustrating them with his comments, Cemil Ipekci took his costumes off at the end of the surprise. When he did, visitors were shocked and amazed by the surprised as targeted. Getting the opportunity to meet Cemil Ipekci after this unforgettable surprise, visitors took pictures with the designer and immortalized the fun moments they had. Since the project included a surprise element, no publicity was made in advance but videos and photos shared following the project were bolstered with ad campaigns on the most popular social media platforms.

The dynamic and sincere videos and photos on social media drew a lot of attention and made viewers laugh. The images reached more than 3.850.371 viewers on Facebook and more than 121.969 people on YouTube. The surprise “Worlds Strangest Store Employee” project was a success on social media and allowed visitors to think of shopping centers as fun and genuine. Through this surprise, visitors had an unforgettable experience, which led to an organic connection between the shopping center and visitors at their most natural state. The fun surprise, which pushed 15 people’s limits during the day, was carried out with a budget of 58.750 €.

In comparison to the previous year, on the day of the surprise, a revenue increase as well as a 6.4 percent increase in the number of visitors were observed. This is a reflection that the shopping center’s fun surprises caught visitors’ attention and they acknowledge that it is much more than just a shopping center.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief accomplishments of this organization since the beginning of 2016 (up to 150 words)

-Through such a fun experience, Marmara Park Shopping Center carried visitors to a completely different world even for a brief moment and now has an exciting quality according to visitors.
-The videos and photos of the fun surprise reached out to millions of people through social media platforms and other media outlets. This created the image among Marmara Park’s target audience that a much more genuine and sincere experience is possible at this shopping center. The videos of the surprise also generated new visitors for the shopping center and made a significant impact on brand awareness.
-Since the project included a surprise element, no publicity was made in advance but videos and photos shared following the project were bolstered with ad campaigns on the most popular social media platforms.
-The dynamic and sincere videos and photos on social media drew a lot of attention and made viewers laugh.

Of the following measures of success, which ONE do you want the judges to most appreciate about your organization's story of achievement since the beginning of 2016?

Marketing Performance