BrainTrust Query: How to Create Brand-Led Shopping
Commentary by Joel Rubinson, president, Rubinson Partners Inc.
Through a special
arrangement, presented here for discussion is an excerpt from a current article
from the Joel Rubinson on the Marketing Research Consulting blog.
starts shopping, that is, when the desire to buy something awakens, it could
happen in one of three ways: needs-led, shopping-led, or brand-led. Needs-led
shopping occurs when you are running out of something or find yourself having
an episodic need. It is more functional as the need comes before the
brand and you probably won’t make a brand decision until you get to the
purchasing is when you are in a store for another purpose and you discover
something that creates an urge or are reminded to buy. This is where a retailer
can really differentiate themselves via shopping experience that leads to greater
Brand-led shopping is when interest in a brand is the initiator.
should want their bought, owned, and earned media to do four things:
brand-led shopping so you are not only in the consideration set, you start
in the pole position.
2. Guide people through the pre-shopping process to reinforce
your pole position as they move from pre-shopping to shopping.
3. Seal the deal
through smart shopper marketing (which now includes mobile) because most shoppers
are still considering options at point of purchase.
4. Reinforce and help shape
Here is a personal example of how advertising can create brand-led
shopping that will illustrate the concept.
I don’t NEED a new car. Then
I started seeing ads for the Lincoln MKX and, well, I got the itch. What
did I do next? I googled Lincoln to go to their website, and then went to MSN.com
to compare Lincoln MKX to Cadillac and, of course, BMW, since I still love
my X5. Behavioral Economists will be happy to note that I did NOT bother
to check out the other 10 or so brands that MSN told me were comparable.
advertising did not make this a done deal. If I don’t like the
driving experience, or if it just doesn’t feel like me, I will probably
buy something else.
But this view of media enables advertising to integrate
the shopper and consumer purpose. Touchpoints must be used strategically
as they are unlikely to be interchangeable. The special contribution of a mass
medium like TV is probably to create brand-led shopping while digital display,
search, and owned media probably influence the pre-shopping stage more. Shopper
marketing, including mobile, becomes essential to win the purchase irrespective
of how the shopping process got initiated. Social media create a post-purchase
Finally, the measurement guy inside me notes it really is time for
a new set of shopper-based brand metrics that reflect today’s shopping
Discussion Questions: How do marketers create brand-led shopping? What
changes does the traditional process driving brand-led shopping face with
the arrival of new media such as mobile, social media, search and other internet-based