In the age of omni-channel retailing, it is critical to ensure that your brand vision is well defined and part of an integrated retail marketing strategy that delivers a consistent experience to your customers. An integrated retail marketing strategy gives customers confidence in your brand, because they know what to expect at every turn. Here are the pillars of every successful integrated retail marketing strategy.
Your Brand Promise Is Your Marketing Blueprint
Your brand promise is a clear statement that identifies what you commit to deliver to your customers. To define your brand promise, you first need to summarize your brand essence and brand personality. Your brand essence captures the core of what you are, and should be focused enough to be captured in six words or less. Your brand personality contains the human traits you want people to associate with your brand, and hints to customers what they can expect from your store.
Apple’s brand essence is about technology, connectedness and innovation. Its brand personality is fun and hip. Their brand promise may very well be ‘Apple allows their customers to easily and intuitively unlock creativity in a fun way using technology.’ This sentence captures the essence of Apple and serves as the blueprint for all customer touchpoints such as product design, store and website experience, advertising and customer service. People know exactly what to expect of Apple, and that is a great customer experience.
Deliver A Consistent Customer Experience
Today, there are many different touchpoints for consumers to discover and experience your retail brand: a bricks-and-mortar store front, an online store or website, social media pages, advertising, events and sponsorships, loyalty offerings, apps, and gift cards.
A successful integrated retail marketing strategy brings the retailer’s brand essence to life and delivers the same brand experience regardless of customer touchpoint. If your brand is about high-end fashion, your store, website and social media feeds should emphasize new arrivals and exclusive products instead of heavy discounts, which would detract from your brand essence and send an inconsistent message to your customers.
A Successful Integrated Retail Marketing Strategy
Target—second on Interbrand’s list of Best Retail Brands 2013—uses its iconic bullseye to integrate all their consumer touchpoints. It is front and centre on all communications, in-store, on branded product, on store uniforms, even on their mascot. The bullseye represents being on the mark with what consumers want: trendy but inexpensive, cheap chic.
Target’s merchandise, store design, website, social media feeds, flyers and advertising all deliver on this brand essence and reinforce each other to optimize traffic and sales regardless of where they happen. Customers never question what they’re going to get when they walk into a Target store, and that is the true nature of integrated marketing.
Does your branding reflect what you want to communicate to customers? Are your customer touchpoints integrated online and in-store? Adopting an integrated retail marketing strategy will be the first step to delivering a consistent message that maximizes sales.