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The retail landscape is constantly evolving, as style is redefined, and what constitutes cutting edge technology one day is obsolete the next. Katalyst has previously explored some of the more recent trends in retail and took a deeper dive into how brick and mortar stores can emphasize the value of coolness over commodity. But one of the underlying principles of modern branding practices was adopted by, of all things, a grunge band nearly 30 years ago.

When Pearl Jam released their triumphant debut album Ten in 1991, instant classic singles such as “Jeremy” and “Even Flow” made it clear that the band would leave a major footprint on the 90s rock scene. But what nobody could have predicted was how the group’s forward-thinking fan-friendly “Ten Club” would ultimately serve as a prime example for finessing customer relationships. Initially little more than an average fan club—think newsletters and Christmastime singles in the mail—the Ten Club morphed into something that transcended transaction. Determined to understand its fans’ needs and wishes, Pearl Jam refocused on direct interaction and rewarding fan loyalty with top-tier tickets at lower-deck prices. The strategy became a key factor in the band’s popularity and longevity, a lesson for retailers across all industries: the best way to build a brand is to know who you are selling to.

“Successful businesses understand their product or service is about more than the transaction; they are in the relationship business,” says Paige Arnof-Fenn, founder and CEO of global marketing and branding firm Mavens & Moguls. “People connect with brands they know, like, and trust.” Arnof-Fenn emphasizes the importance of winning customers over early, who will then be likely to stay loyal long-term, using the example of a teen looking for an acne cream. If that product works for her, she’s likely to turn to that brand when she needs moisturizer and other cosmetics. “Once you build a trusted relationship, you have a competitive advantage to keep them from looking elsewhere,” she says.

Building the Relationship with Data

Companies can access customer data through a variety of ways—sales, surveys, even coffee machines. They can subsequently use that data—and obtain more—to grow relationships with individual customers by offering personalized deals. This sort of quid pro quo is increasingly necessary, as consumers now have more power than ever in offering and rescinding their personal data, and they don’t want to give it without getting something in return.

“The job of data is to be a support point to accelerate the sales cycle,” says Arnof-Fenn. “It is all about your target audience and what motivates them to purchase.” Companies that use their data to enhance the customer experience will see surefire gains, as 70% of consumers say they are more likely to be loyal to brands that treat them with consistently high quality. (That same survey indicates that 59% of customers value personalization.)

Products like CeleroERP will help your organization manage its data and find solutions. Contact our experts for guidance on how you can enhance your enterprise with Katalyst services.

The Power of Social Media

Perhaps the biggest catalyst in creating a two-way conversation between consumers and retailers is the emergence of social media. This power shift has led to a sort of public customer service through Facebook and Twitter. Still, savvy brands have also taken advantage of the opportunity to earn loyalty and even establish “friendships” with their users. That could be more vital than ever during the pandemic.

“I predict the most trusted leaders and brands will have a big competitive advantage in the new normal that evolves in a post-corona world,” says Arnof-Fenn. “Employees, customers, and clients will remember who treated them well during the crisis, and they will be rewarded with loyalty from earning that trust during the bad times. The current crisis has provided a stage for brands and business leaders to rise to the occasion.”

However, while it may be the best option for companies, given the current circumstances, Arnof-Fenn warns that nothing will ever eclipse a more personal connection. “Technology helps advance the conversation, but it will never replace the human interaction that builds trust over time,” she says. “My tip is to disconnect from technology and focus on cultivating human, face-to-face relationships when social distancing is over.”

Whatever strategy your organization chooses to focus on, putting customers first is the key to growth and success.

Source Link - https://katalysttech.com/blog/reshaping-the-retail-experience/