Surprise!

Yes, January 2012.

Neiman Marcus  (NM) flagship retailer of  Neiman Marcus Group is synonymous with shopping bliss. Serving the 2%, the luxury retailer is also a retail innovator, creating the first customer loyalty program reports Barbara Farfan. They will go to every length and media to cultivate their best customer relationships, even Twitter.

But it’s already November 16th (as of this writing), and if you’re a retailer who dominates the shopping market and holiday season, you’ve got to do more — out of loyalty, customer experience, and branding. So no surprise to see in my Twitter stream.

Neiman Marcus tweet of resort shopping

Move over, Christmas!

The brand association and experience of this beyond-luxury retailer are synonymous with Holiday shopping excess. But then again, NM knows their market, the 2%.

100th Anniversary Edition Christmas catalog 2007

Christmas in September

So what’s the blissful ignorance? Neiman Marcus doesn’t need to advertise holiday shopping. Not in the traditional sense, of course. Their classic catalog is their biggest holiday brand ambassador. That and dedication to customer service.

NM’s yachters outdistance Santa’s reindeers.

Other retailers launched the 2011 Holiday shopping season within seconds of midnight Halloween 2011. Neiman Marcus has launched its resort collection shopping season with seemingly blissful ignorance of Holiday shopping noise and clutter — at least on Twitter.  Look again, there’s more to the bliss than you might expect.

If you’re a Neiman Marcus customer, you expect events or announcements like resort season in mid-November. The real news is in the payment method. Neiman Marcus has democratized its payment methods to accept Visa® and MasterCard®.

Creative customer ecology: Neiman Marcus sponsored Tweet.

Creative Customer Ecology_Engagement
Engage: +E for reaching out to their intended audience.

Enhance: +E for providing a complete, branded call to action.

Empower: +E by clearly capturing their 2% market within the blue ocean of average tweeters.

So why the #fail #brandchat?

Within its own customer environment, NM clearly knows how to cultivate relationships that cultivate the brand. The backlash may come in the push by marketers to move shopping seasons significantly ahead of the living season. What’s bad for one, i.e., retailer, could prove bad for all. Even when you’re catering to the 2% who now shop and buy with generic credit cards.