The traditional retail industry, as well as its associated business models, have been significantly disrupted. The industry is still shaken by the quick rise of e-commerce and the expansion of social media platforms as digital storefronts. In the middle of all this change, retail branding has taken on a new meaning. The rise of online as a significantly influential channel, branded experiences gaining more importance than brands, and the blurring of the physical and digital worlds in the brand funnel journey have all redefined the concept and principles of retail branding.
Even five years ago, retail branding followed the usual concepts of building and establishing a differentiated brand strategy, bringing this perspective to life across all physical stores and making sure that the branding has a positive impact on brand equity. These concepts have not changed; rather, achieving the intended objectives has grown more difficult and sophisticated today.
What is Retail Branding?
Retail branding is a brand-based strategy in which a retailer’s “products” are his storefronts, which he can advertise similarly to a branded well. A retail brand is a collection of a retailer’s stores that all have a unique brand logo, name, symbol, icon, or combination that contributes to the company’s identity.
A variety of Retail Branding strategies to choose from such as:-
1. Brand integration
The retailer acts as an intermediary between the producer and the manufacturer, to provide thorough knowledge about the services or product, as well as future product or service developments. From the inception of an idea to the stage of branding, the merchant is involved. The retailer guarantees that the correct decision is made regarding the goods that will manufacture.
2. Contracts branding
The store has no direct participation in product manufacturing and will delegate work to a current or external vendor. The retailer’s involvement is limited to sharing quantity, quality, brand, and pricing characteristics. The retailer benefits from the supplier’s expertise, network, and reputation.
3. Independent branding
The merchant buys goods from the supplier at the lowest possible price; ultimately, he becomes the owner and owns the entire branding investment. The merchant bears full responsibility for the store’s performance and success. Such brands are known as “Private Labels” and the store acts as the brand owner with full responsibility for their performance.
Key challenges in Retail Branding
The industry has switched the focus of retail branding from physical stores to cross-channel consistency, thanks to the rapid rise of e-commerce and the expansion of social media platforms. The visual identity, creating perceptions, communicating positioning, and improving the consumer experience are all important aspects to consider.
Online vs offline brand expectations
Because of the risk of virus and excessive investment, most customers choose to sit at home and shop online, especially since the pandemic. Getting into an offline business has become a substantial problem. We normally stay at home and read internet reviews, ratings, and videos from people who have utilized the products. We make a purchase selection after going through all the feedback and comparisons. When it comes to offline stores, however, People are more likely to purchase a product if they can walk through it and feel and touch it in real-time. It increases their trust and confidence in making a purchase, but brand values, quality, and message must all be consistent so that customers are not confused.
Technology and Sensory-driven expectations
The electronic retail revolution has given merchants and service providers a significant boost in their operations and the sensory experiences they can provide customers. Consumers have high expectations for the functionality and ease of use of online channels, which necessitates the use of eye-catching graphics.
Convenience is achieved by minimizing the time and effort required by consumers to purchase or use items and services. The add-on of multimodal components to the shopping experience, thanks to technology, is enabling retailers and service providers to differentiate themselves. Nonetheless, they do not provide the client with increased convenience or a strong sense of social presence.
Best Techniques for Retail Branding success
1. Study and analyze the customer decision-making process
Consumers have so many options for hearing or learning about brands or items before making final buying decisions. Having a smartphone now allows you to obtain knowledge about any product from anywhere in the globe in seconds. As a result, one factor that might contribute to a brand’s distinct identity is the branding aspect. It must be consistent across all touchpoints, communicate and create unique brand positioning, and guarantee that you have a long relationship with your target consumer.
2. Keep up with global branding trends
Advertising, tone, strategy, brand personality, emotional aspect, and feel are all consistent from one country to the next in the global branding of a product or service. It’s critical to think about the benefits and drawbacks of such a plan, as well as the potential need for adaptation in international marketing. With tools like Google Trends at your disposal, you can catch on to changes early and find trends before they become popular.
3. The “Hero” product window
When it comes to retail branding, the ‘Product is Always Hero’ concept is on seasonal variations, traffic window changes, and the need to convey a distinct marketing message. Strong creative brand messages are great at the start of the season, but they’re a waste of money as the season progresses when 80% of window footfall is seeking special discounts.
4. Creative and real storytelling
Many great retail companies tell their customers an honest story, and this is how they set themselves apart from others. Iconic products, internet platforms, movies, wall tattoos, signage, and other factors aid in the sharing of fantastic stories that increase consumer trust and interest.
During the pandemic, more than half of your retail visitors may have no precise understanding of a relationship with your brand. As a result, now is the greatest moment to make a good first impression by telling a distinctive brand story.
5. Personalisation is important
As per the polls, 90% of consumers value personalized service, and 80% say they will buy from a company that provides them. Only 12% of people believe their customization techniques are extremely effective; hence, the difficulty is much greater.
Customization in retail refers to the use of personal data to deliver personalized experiences to product shoppers in a store. Personalization will benefit each person based on their needs and behaviors. Because of so many places and ways for a customer to shop, customization might be difficult. Many companies that provide customization only have a few products and sell them primarily online.
For example, If your visitor has never ordered from you before, give them a discount on their first transaction or offer a discount on the bag if they’ve added it to their cart
Now you know how important it is for every retail store to align its retail branding with its performance; as a result, it must give both physical and intangible benefits immediately. Having a “retail brand” at every point of contact between the target customers and the store is how the “total branding view” is developed. The essence of this concept is that branding is more than just a synonym for product marketing. Nonetheless, a shopping experience is defined and delivered by a slew of tasks.