Focus 03: The New Purpose: Brand Communication

In our final week of daily bite sized snippets, we explore THE NEW PURPOSE.

Today’s topic is: BRAND COMMUNICATION

Every brand and retailer needs something different from physical retail. What they need and the extent to which they need it will depend on the brand, the sector and the size of store portfolio. But one thing that all brands and retailers have in common is that changes are required to meet a new purpose.

For every multichannel business maintaining a presence in physical retail is a key element of the overall brand marketing mix. Beyond servicing existing consumers it allows brands to raise awareness, attract new consumers and promote ranges and services, alongside collating invaluable data.

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The amount of digital marketing online across all channels has reached a point where it can easily become just noise. Without the support of physical retail, pure players are spending considerable sums on customer acquisition through this method, and then having to fight to retain consumers they win. This has left an overcrowded market and brands can quickly exhaust opportunities to win new consumers. Subsequently, the role physical retail plays to tell meaningful brand stories and acquire new consumers has increased in importance.

  • Although digital communication of brand stories can create a powerful impact through strong footage, it often doesn’t provide the confidence and reassurance in product detail that many consumers need to move from hovering over the ‘buy’ button to clicking it. Many consumers still want to touch, feel and see product in the flesh – something only physical retail can provide.
  • For pure players, the option to expand into physical retail as a marketing tool to reach new consumers and markets is becoming more viable versus cost of effective digital marketing, based on attractive property deals such as rent free periods, short leases and temporary space.
  • Pure players who have a physical presence also creates a more trusted and ‘real’ marketing story. Physical space reinforces credibility and provides reassurance, not only through having space that consumers can go to, but also for human touchpoints of the brand.
  • Storefronts and windows have always been a billboard for brands and retailers, but the role and importance of windows post pandemic is likely to increase as a brand marketing tool rather than reduce in importance, as has been the recent trend. The role of windows may become more focused on brand stories rather than actual products.

Communication of brand stories has always been important, but the narrative and mechanics used need to evolve with a new focus.

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Every brand and retailer will face different challenges based on the sector, their product offer and physical space, but there are a number of things that brands and retailers can do now to maximise the opportunities physical retail presents for brand communications that inspire trust and respect from consumers.

  • While managing inevitable budget cuts, recognize that creativity is needed more than ever to produce high impact, effective marketing communications in store that will stimulate sales.
  • Initially instructional POS relating to safety in store is likely to be prominent while stores need to be clean and clutter free, but ensure this is implemented aligned with your brand personality and values.
  • As there becomes less of a requirement for coronavirus related communications, take the opportunity to take a fresh look at in store communications and review what needs to change based on understanding your consumers needs, communicating your brands values and reacting to the changing environment.
  • Continue to evolve the way you talk to your consumers, staying one step ahead of their acceptance and embracing of change, so that you are prepared to react in a considered, creative and appropriate way.
  • Consider if store windows are an underused asset – with reduced capacity in stores based on social distancing and potential queues outside, there is the opportunity to reinvent windows with creative and high-impact displays that project brand personality and messages.
  • Window display doesn’t have to be costly, but with the right message and appropriate implementation they can capture attention, raise awareness and connect with new and existing consumers within the local area.

We can help you to develop a strategy for powerful in store brand communications that are flexible to adapt to an evolving market, and target the right consumer with the right message at the right time to raise awareness and stimulate sales.

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As brands and retailers open their doors again and consumers return to stores, what can you do now to identify and implement both the subtle and more far-reaching changes that are needed to fulfil the new purpose of your physical retail.

Get in touch if you would like to arrange a virtual workshop with our founding Directors Adrian & Jenny to see how can help you work through your opportunities, or download the full document HERE

Lucy

Lucy Moore

16th July 2020