Consumer impression of your brand value is most often tied directly to your price and the retailer where it is sold. It's why you will never see certain products in Walmart. Even with the massive disruption technology has had on how people shop, sales and discounts still get people in the door leading to customer acquisition and repeat sales. Shoppers will always have a brand preference as long as brands differentiate and engage, but guaranteeing loyalty requires a consistency and engagement.
Many marketing guru’s are putting out false stories that brand loyalty isn’t possible with Gen Xers. They are also stating retail stores are passe, online will kill retail. I’m going to throw down my claim, based on history, experience and closely watching the industry… retail won’t die. Shoppers will always want to touch and see a product as part of the purchasing process. People will always want instant gratification and be able to walk out of a store with their purchase in had without waiting for shipping or a drone delivery.
It’s important that brands step up and innovate the shoppers experience and weave that experience from every marketing portal, mobile to store. Stores are struggling to stay profitable. In some categories the retailers have eliminated branding opportunities in store which accounts for some of their trouble, pushing house brands above the brands that draw consumers. Many are reducing floor staff which harms their reputation and store experience. I’ve heard comedians talk about the rarity of store personnel like spotting a rare white tiger.
Attracting loyal customers doesn’t mean slashing prices. Attracting with price depends a lot on the retailer promoting the price and if you are fortunate to have them promote your price in their advertising it will be only effective for the few days around the release of the ad.
How can you build a brand image that supersedes pricing?
Create an unsurpassed mobile experience. Design your website for mobile first and never think it is finished. You should be adding video and giving customers a reason to return. But, first provide the information a customer wants when shopping.
Offer a killer loyalty program. Yes! A loyalty program. This is not a new concept but it works! It could have rewards, it could be seasonal, it could just recognize customers like Coke's custom labels.
Design a financing alternative that makes your product more accessible. Be fiscally responsible, because the health of your company must stay your priority. Innovating affordability is not a new concept. You can tie it to the interests of your audience such as recycling, repurposing, etc. Partner with a financing company that which will offer convenience for your customer like Ford and GM do with their big ticket items.
These are just 3 ideas which I offer to get you thinking. Think bigger than these because as a brand we are on the cutting edge of shopping experience change. Call us if you want to hear more ideas on how brands can take a lead on retail shopping experience which will work to build brand loyalty -- resulting in more sales.