The retail industry has fully entered a phase of transformation. The huge growth of online channels and the change in customer habits have shaken the fundamental principles that have governed our shopping for so long. Retail branding as a discipline follows the fundamental rules of branding, but it also has some differences to consider. In general It converges with branding in the desire to create and establish a clear and differential positioning in the minds of customers, capable in this case of placing the brand as a preferred shopping destination compared to competitors. What happens is that the customer’s experience with the brand is often diluted across multiple stores, spread across the geography and sometimes with a variety of designs, and dozens of different employees with different behaviors and emotions.

The Key to Retail Branding Success

Building a strong brand is once again the key to medium and long-term success in retail, providing a series of advantages such as: Increasing differentiation and preference, building a meaning that facilitates the identification and expansion of markets, providing coherence to all communication, generating pride on the part of employees, enabling the application of higher prices…

Despite this, the main weakness of retail lies in the inadequacy of many of the brands that offer only convenience and that could be easily replaced by dozens of other brands. Considering the complexity of the retail environment and ensuring convergence between all the elements of brand building is an exciting challenge.

5 Fundamental Aspects for Retail Branding

The new complexity for retail branding is defined by 5 fundamental aspects:

  1. Empowering employees from customer service to advice, they are the true visible face of the brand. This will involve immersion in a truly customer-oriented brand culture that transforms them from salespeople (from the brand) to consumer mentors (from the customer). A point of view diametrically opposed to the usual one.
  2. Understand the evolution of consumer journeys. Nowadays these are non-linear processes that make traceability difficult, with multiple points of contact through which customers can enter the different stages (information, consideration, purchase, retention…) at any time and not always in the same way.
  3. Achieve convergence between the real and digital worlds to generate coherent experiences. Meeting customer expectations on both channels can mean a different vision. From a digital perspective, the customer’s needs can be more convenient (to be informed, compare, contrast… before deciding) and ease of access and use will be necessary. From an offline point of view, their needs are mainly to physically experience, to touch, to feel, to satisfy a specific shopping experience. In addition, the possibility of applying technology at the point of sale is an opportunity not only to align with the online world, but also to provide very valuable information for the brand.
  4. Create integrated communication campaigns capable of first answering the fundamental question “why should someone care?”, and incorporating an appropriate segmentation to the different profiles and demands of customers, relating the online and offline environments. Bring the point of sale to life to attract the attention of customers and get their engagement, whether they are in the store or not, for example, by informing in real time of what is happening in the store and should not be missed.
  5. Achieve personalization by investing in the creation of individual brand experiences that truly add value at any of the touchpoints. Big data has already arrived in retail and can facilitate personalization, it is also an opportunity to redesign loyalty programs. Personalization is the new mantra and consistency in levels of engagement generation is the new trigger mechanism for it.

Retail brands need to consider all of the above if they want to continue to have a place in customers’ minds. The levers to generate Engagement They are constantly evolving, influenced by technology and the need to find a balance with the human factor, but the basic principles of brand building are not altered: clear positioning, differential and coherent image, establishing dialogue with customers… And above all, to remain authentic.

 

Carlos Puig Falcó

President of Branward®

Photos: Shutterstock


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