Before we can create a new brand, breathe renewed life into an old brand, or add a new product to an existing line to utilize brand equity, we must understand the definition and value of a brand as well as the issues brands face in a highly competitive and volatile marketplace.
At best, it’s difficult if not impossible to compete on price alone. The market is inundated with inexpensive imports and we’re asked as a company to retain the quality characteristics that helped build our brand but still provide a product that competes on price with less expensive products. The only salvation we have is the value of our brand and our ability to convince the consumer that “quality lingers long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten”. True, this may buy us some time, but what happens when our competitor’s quality starts to improve? Welcome to today. Turn over a pot, a pan or coffee maker and you’ll see they all come for the same place. Read full article
What has happened to the state of retail? Who decided that cutting staff (due to cost constraints) meant we should eliminate salespeople completely and replace them with order-takers, greeters or cash register operators?
Where is customer service in retail? When did we come to realize that there is no value in having an individual actually knowing about the product they sold? Where was it said that there is no value in teaching an individual to “sell up”, “sell through” or “close a sale”? Read full article
We all know how important brand-building advertising is to our marketing strategies. But share of voice seldom correlates with share of SKU’s. The retailer is the “Keeper of All Brands”, but agencies often do not satisfy the retailer’s need to maintain the store’s brand integrity, while still maintaining their client’s. The message of the national campaign often disappears in the store. Co-op advertising is popular, but pleases neither party; I’ve often seen expensive POP material stacked behind the store manager’s office door. Is this conflict resolvable? And is it worth the effort to resolve? Read full article
When was the last time you walked down an aisle of a department store and didn’t bump into something or someone? Am I the only person who sees the shelves closing in and the aisles getting tighter? Then there’s the obstacle course of brown corrugate displays, cunningly scattered by hopeful manufacturers to literally stop shoppers in their tracks.
I believe that both retailers and manufacturers must take responsibility in finding ways to make the shopping experience more pleasant and profitable. It is no wonder why more and more stores are implementing a “Clean Floor” policy. Consumers want an uncluttered shopping environment, and this more enjoyable experience will keep them coming back. So a Clean Floor policy is good for the retailer’s business. Read full article
The Christmas season is approaching and I’m sure you’re looking forward (as I am) to the whole shopping experience of finding that special something for that special someone. Sure, year after year we tell ourselves that we’ll shop early, shop on a weekday, won’t bring the kids, will have a list and know exactly what we want and where to get it. That’s all great in principle, but when you have a 30-minute window between your daughter’s karate class and your son’s swimming lesson, all the planning, all the lists and all the rules just don’t seem to apply anymore.
It’s great when the store provides free gift wrapping, free coat checking, free delivery, a free gift with purchase, great prices, great service, a great return policy and a great selection of merchandise up until one hour before the store closes on December 24th. But this type of “Value-add” (effective as it might be) only tells a consumer Where to buy a product, not What to buy once they arrive. POP (Point of Purchase) material/displays not only bring attention to your product but also provide the consumer with a better understanding and appreciation of it. Read full article