The traditional retail industry has gone through a major phase of transition with the rapid emergence of e-commerce sector and multi-brand store concept. Digital media has now become one of the preferred channels for retail businesses to reach out to their prospects. Amid digital transformation, the concept of retail branding has also been redefined. For generating brand awareness, companies are now relying on the influential channel of social media and SEO techniques, along with adopting the advanced enterprise technology in the form of retail ERP software.
To establish a differentiated brand identity, retailers need to pay equal attention on making the online positioning attractive. Brand positioning is strongly influenced by the permutation and combination of major value propositions like price, value, quality, specialty, exclusivity, legacy and expertise. The branding funnel now increasingly include customer expectations from online channels, making it complex to ensure high quality brand experiences.
Key Challenges in Retail Branding
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Customers have different expectations when they engage with a brand online and offline. While in an offline channel, the major preference of customers is to touch and feel a product and have an in-depth evaluation of its quality, online retail channels are more about convenience in product research. A brand needs to establish a tangible identity that caters to the expectations of customers across both the channels. Overall, customers are looking for holistic brand experiences where they can shop conveniently with the assurance of quality.
Best Practices for Successful Retail Branding
Whether you are managing a single-brand or a multiple-brand retail, you need to have an in-depth understanding of these key aspects for successful brand positioning.
#1 Understanding Customer Decision Journey
The way customers engage with a brand has witnessed a fundamental shift over the time. The decision journey of consumers has become highly non-linear in the digital era, as they consider multiple brands before making the final buying decision. For effective retail branding, a comprehensive understanding of the decision journey of consumers is important. Only after analysing the reasons for your brand not making it to the final list of particular customers, you can take robust steps towards promoting your unique value propositions among them.
#2 Staying on Top of Global Trends
To qualify as the preferred shopping destination for your prospects and exiting customers, you need to stay on top of the latest global trends. People in the era of digitalization tend to be influenced more by what others are doing thousands of miles away from them. By staying acquainted with global retail trends, you can offer unique values to your customers. Take for instance the designer-fashion retailer Gilt in the USA. According to a McKinsey report, it gets about 50 percent of the daily traffic and 30 percent of total sales through mobile. Similarly, digital shoppers in India can also benefit from the mobile technology to enhance in-store and online shopping experience of customers.
#3 Personalization of Customer Services
In today’s time, customers are spoilt for choices. They can pick the brand of their choice or push it down the consideration line, depending upon their preferences. In this scenario, businesses need to create personalized experiences for consumers at every touch point to win their loyalty. Retailers can embrace the process of big data analytics to understand customer buying patterns and preferences, and provide them personalized services. They can further strengthen their brand equity by revamping customer loyalty programs according to the analytic results.
#4 Enabling Technology Driven Capabilities
The retail industry also needs to acquire technology driven capabilities to drive higher customer satisfaction. Take for instance, Hermes. This luxury brand embraced technology to create an e-store where all its exquisite apparel collection can be showcased with panache. This had a positive impact on people, leading to a strong brand identity.
Further, by adopting the technology of retail ERP software, businesses can provide the benefits of quick checkout and integrated payment options to customers and ensure outstanding branded experiences.
“Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room” – Jeff Bezos. So, make sure your efforts towards establishing brand identity trigger positive emotional responses.