How can retailers achieve consistent branding across touchpoints?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from Commerce Lens, the blog of Radial, a provider of omnichannel solutions.
High-end retailers such as Neiman Marcus and Harrods have long enjoyed dedicated brand affinity with consumers, but now (arguably thanks to Target) merchants across every tier of retail, from mass to class, identify as brands — not just as places that sell others’ brands.
But with retailers’ brand impressions proliferating across multiple store formats, dedicated websites, mobile, social media — and even competitors’ stores and online marketplaces — presenting a consistent brand across locations and touchpoints presents a new challenge. A few are stepping out to do just that in three less-than-obvious ways.
- Ad Shop Consolidation: Walmart’s recent move to partner with Publicis Groupe promises to consolidate a large portion of its U.S. advertising and creative work under a newly created entity within the agency. The new entity will provide additional assurance that Walmart’s brand voice won’t quaver, particularly as it doubles down on expanding its digital presence.
- Seamless Solutions: As the race to digital domination accelerates, retailers are embracing outside partnerships as never before. They realize they can’t create every solution in-house (but that doesn’t mean it can’t look like they did). In the past, Curbside provided its own-branded pick-up solutions to retailers such as Best Buy and Sephora. CVS went a step further by not only investing in Curbside but also branding the solution CVSExpress and integrating Curbside’s technology into the CVS Pharmacy app. Eons ago, private brands brought a new dimension of brand identity to retailers. Own-branded solutions are the next wave as retailers seek to present a seamless and consistent brand across locations.
- Content Connection: Publix is one of a handful of retailers that can confidently claim to not just be a brand but also to have rabid brand fans. Its recently launched blog, The Publix Checkout, fans the flames by turning employees into digital brand ambassadors. A recent post from 10-year Publix veteran Chris M. highlighted tailgating tips. Another from Kandi S. delineated the differences between fondant and buttercream. While user-generated content (UGC) has been the rage for a while, employee-generated content adds a layer of authentic outreach, one that leverages retailers’ existing assets while driving employee engagement.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as the primary obstacles to delivering consistent brand messages for retailers? What are some ways retailers can foster consistent brand messages across touchpoints?