With a constant stream of retail company voluntary arrangements (CVA’s) we have been witnessing recently, changes in leadership goes with the territory which we’re seeing as a wider trend too. There is clearly an uncertainty from retailers in terms of how to drive forward a clear brand strategy.

How do you develop an agile brand strategy?

With dynamics of retail changing, we all know that it is important to have the right people in place with the leadership skills and innovation to drive forward a business – a clear understanding of the target customer and their brand expectations. Customers demand a constant stream of brand updates creating newness and excitement.

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Retailers are experiencing lower footfall as customers have more choice and can dip in and out of brands. Online retailers are exploiting this with innovative ways to give customers the products they want through superior customer insights.  Having the right leaders at the helm, ensuring their teams are on the journey – listening and implementing  their ideas will undoubtably bring success and build solid foundations for any brand. Customers are no longer loyal based on perception of the brand and crave more in terms of personalization so it is vital that brands offer what they want – here are our insights on the areas that brands should revisit to develop an agile strategy going forward:

Use Customer Insights

To stay ahead in an evolving market Bricks and Mortar retailers need to use customer insights wisely including the data on customer behaviour, social media and their pricing strategy. It is only by measuring and reacting to such insights that retailers can remain relevant in an increasingly digital retail world.

Brand Awareness

Consumers no longer stay loyal to one brand and it is apparent that retailers who are able to create and deliver an exciting offer both online and offline are currently seeing the benefits. Therefore brands should be focussing on the following –

  • Product (in terms of newness and frequency)
  • Fulfilment
  • Using new insights to target customers with timely marketing campaigns and social media content
  • Brand stories and updates

Customer Experience

Customers expectations have radically changed  in the recent past with so many new innovative retailers purely online there is a sense of choice and with this consumers have moved away from brand perception as the number one factor when deciding to make a purchase or visit a store. The new customer wants to be wowed and excited with new product and delivery options that reflect the way we live today. Responding to trends is vital to encourage buying decisions and more frequency. Retailers with stores need to capitalise on the locality of their customers inviting them to product launches and new experiences making them feel special and giving them a reason to visit a store or shop with them online.

There are a few examples of multiple retailers that currently do this very well and create a sense of urgency for their customers, this could be a special targeted offer or simply a product preview, creating an inviting fun environment and ultimately increased spend. We will explore some of these retailers in future blogs, as they appear to be developing an agile internal culture and brand identity – gaining vital customer feedback to areas of their business including branding, advertising and business development functions.

In our next blog we will explore the recent store closures announced by House of Fraser, Marks and Spencer, Mothercare and New Look –  the pressure this will have on our high streets and more importantly the impact on the retailers in those towns where these stores are currently the anchor tenant. All retailers must invest in improving customer experience at the remaining stores as these will be challenging times and Local authorities will be required to have a greater involvement with their towns, understanding the future of the high street. We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on our blogs, simply comment below.

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