Creating A 360º Brand Experience
Patricia Pencheff, Director of Communications
Let’s face it. To compete, you need to offer customers more than a product.
You need to give them something they can’t find anywhere else – a unique and valuable experience.
And that experience is basically another way of thinking about your brand.
As a retailer, your brand is what is known as an experience brand. It’s not just a constellation of impressions; it’s an interactive, emotional, sensual, physical experience. If you’ve ever been in an Apple or Nike store, you get the idea. The retail environment is an expression of the brand, as is every interaction that takes place inside and outside the environment.
Starting with your retail space. Does the physical plan — the lighting, the presentation of the product, the colors, sounds, fragrance — reflect and reinforce your brand?
Say you’re an estate and antique jewelry specialist. What better location than a turn of the century historic building, complete with brick walls, high tin ceilings, and hardwood floors?
What if you’re a very high end or private jeweler? Does your store measure up? The Biltmore hotel lobby in Coral Gables overflows with the kind of aristocratic embellishments their elite brand demands, including live birds in oversized gilded cages. You know the brand is about luxury the minute you walk in the door. Wouldn’t a boutique-like, intimate space with plush seating, fresh flowers and original artwork on the walls be a perfect backdrop for your concierge-like service?
What if you specialize in custom? Does your retail space reflect that fact? Because literally every wall, display case, piece of artwork, point of sale piece, even the music you play offers an opportunity for you to reinforce the fact that you are a one-of-a-kind, utterly unique brand, offering an experience that cannot be duplicated. Don’t just say you do things differently, do things differently.
Of course, the retail environment is only part of your brand experience. In fact, that experience can be defined as every encounter your customer has with your brand, both inside and outside your store. How do sales professionals greet customers, follow-up after the sale, cultivate the relationship? Do the boxes and bags that leave with your customers mirror your brand? What about your advertising?
How does your website extend your store experience? It’s just as important as your brick and mortar space.
The point is the most effective way to differentiate yourself and build and sustain customer loyalty is to provide your customers with a total experience that is relevant, unique and consistent. And that demands focus, discipline, and integration.
You need to identify your brand value, articulate your brand promise and then deliver on it at every opportunity.
Want to learn more about the power of an integrated brand experience? Give us a call. We’d love to talk.