Retailers who manage their own private brands strive to create strong brands. With strong brands, a retailer can sustain and increase revenue and profits, create a competitive advantage in their marketplace and gain leverage in their partnerships with suppliers. According to an article in My Private Brands: “In 2016, consumers will crave more authentic interactions with brands on every level. Whether it’s customers returning to brick-and-mortar stores for more personal engagement or wanting to experience brands through multichannel, multisensory experiences, consumers are responding to storytelling and incorporating products and services into their lives in unprecedented ways.”
Here are some of the trends to watch in 2016 to create a memorable and sharable experience with your private brands.
Link between offline and online
Both need to have their place in your 2016 private label growth strategy. According to Landor, customers still want face-to-face interactions in the real world, allowing them to connect with brands on a personal level. For those who manage private brands, the key to helping customers feel this connection is to combine excellent in-store customer service with the information, flexibility, and customization provided by digital. In-store starts with packaging that is engaging and resonates with the customer. Packaging also provides an opportunity to build trust by being transparent about issues important to the customer and linking the package to your online platforms to enhance this experience. Managing the content online is essential to providing the best experience. It must be engaging, relevant, and up-to-date.
According to Landor and My Private Brands (MPB), retailers will need to think about the entire customer experience as they craft brands. In addition to logo design and look and feel, companies will explore using all the senses to create unique worlds for consumers. Private brand owners must capture a single view of the customer, across all touch points, to develop and maintain a sustainable customer relationship while providing a seamless shopping experience across multiple channels. It is vital to understand the customer journey, from where they get their information to how they’re influenced to make decisions. Listening to customers across all touchpoints, placing all of this information on one platform (eliminating fragmentation) and creating one view is necessary to derive inferences from this data.
Employees as brand ambassadors
Catchy slogans and entertaining commercials used to be enough for brands to make an impact, according to Landor and MPB. Now, customers care as much about employees’ opinions as they do about how the brand is portrayed through advertising. In 2016, brands will place more emphasis on training their employees to be brand ambassadors. To build strong and sustainable private label brands, you need brand ambassadors – employees who are thoroughly engaged, connected and committed. Make private brand awareness a priority. Promote self-discovery (employee experiences with the private brands), and apply personal branding (a combination of individual traits alongside broader corporate objectives). Sharing customer feedback data with your suppliers and working together with them as one team to improve customer experience will inspire and transform them from behind-the-scenes resource to becoming brand ambassadors.
How to act on these trends?
To help you make sense of the challenges facing private brand retail in 2016, Solutions for Retail Brands has developed and deployed an array of solutions to assist you in taking advantage of and acting upon these trends. The nature of omni-channel retail means disparate information about products is collected from multiple sources such as in-store returns, call centers, panel testing and online. Our Unified Brand Experience platform consolidates this data across all channels to create a single view of the customer experience. This short video explains how this works. Our Supplier Engagement solutions provide the connection between you and your product suppliers, giving them the capability to execute the brand ambassador’s role.
Contact Steven Howell, Director of Business Development, to find out more about creating a memorable and sharable experience with your private brands.