There has always been a significant disruption in the traditional retail format and the business models. The growth of e-commerce and the appearance of digital shops via social media platforms is a massive development in the industry.
Retail brand marketing has grown to get a new meaning in the light of these advances. The traditional method of achieving unique brand positioning and employing this across stores to positively impact brand equity remains the primary focus even in today’s digital era. However, the process of accomplishing this has become more complex today.
Retail branding is attributed to the existence of two layers of objectives: the first one is building a differential positioning of the brand, its store, and the goods it produces. The second one is ensuring this positioning is appealing enough to effectively compete with other brands in the market.
The focus has shifted from only physical stores to a cross-channel approach with the development of the e-commerce industry. Brands compensate for equal attention to their visual identity, customer perceptions, brand positioning and enhancing customer experience.
Today the decision-making journey of consumers interlinks the physical and online worlds. Brands must maintain consistency and quality across various channels.
There are two key challenges that retail brand marketing needs to address in today’s setting.
The experience and expectations of engaging with brands vary extremely online and offline.
When it comes to offline shopping, buying decisions are influenced by touch, look, and feel. The customer expects to have a comfortable and extensive shopping experience.
When customers research and buy products online, they look for easy access to information, convenience, verified reviews and feedback to help them decide.
Overall, brands need to design their marketing approach to satisfy the wide variety of expectations uniformly across all channels.
With an increasing number of consumers engaging with brands via online mediums, the need for seamless transition across platforms is the need of the hour. Friendly user interfaces across various devices such as mobiles, laptops and tablets are vital.
Improved functionality and simplicity of use of online channels is a crucial customer expectation, which necessitates the employment of eye-catching graphic elements.
Consumers expect to be captivated by entire brand engagements in the real world. This seems to be the catalyst for retail establishments to transform into experience centres. These many and often contradictory demands have shaped the growth of retail branding overall.
Effective branding in the retail business, whether single-brand or multi-brand, necessitates a thorough grasp and awareness of the following essential aspects:
- Recognising the development of consumer decision-making journeys
- Staying modern with global and local trends
- Embracing technologically based capacities
- Realising that geographical boundaries are no longer a limitation
- Catering to personalisation which is the new strategic touchpoint
The process of retail branding in today’s digital era must be based on a thorough understanding of consumer behaviour and buying patterns. It also requires marketers and brands to recognise the actual disruptive trends rather than temporary fads.
Consumer involvement with retail is ever-changing and heavily influenced by technology. Brands have survived and will continue to withstand the disruptive shifts as they continue to evolve that remains constant.