How can indie retailers build lasting brand equity?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from Retail Adventures, the blog of Kizer & Bender.
One of the best ways to describe a brand was coined by Adrienne Weiss, CEO of Adrienne Weiss Corp: “A brand is a country, complete with its own language, rituals, culture and customs.”
Using this definition, we’ve created a checklist of things to do to help you build your brand:
Step 1: Write your store’s story.
Why did you open a store? What’s unique about you and the store? How does the store make a difference in your customers’ lives? When finished, spread the story across in-store signage, your website, social media — anywhere and everywhere you can.
Step 2: Turn your story into a 60-second elevator commercial.
We used to reply, “We’re professional speakers,” when someone asked us what we do and then think of all the cool things we should have said. Now we say, “We are consumer anthropologists. We study consumers in their natural habitats and share what we find in our keynote and seminar presentations.”
If you’ve ever answered, “I own a store,” you know that feeling.
Commit a 60-second condensed version of your store’s story to memory and have everyone associated with your store, from associates to teachers contracted to do classes, memorize it as well. The best way to build solid brand equity is telling the same story over and over.
Step 3: Create a filter that’s unique to your brand.
Every, single detail — from bags to type fonts — need to properly tell your brand story. If an item or service you are considering is in alignment with your store’s story — and would easily pass through your brand filter — then go ahead and use it.
Final thoughts: You will likely get sick and tired of your brand before it begins to automatically register with your customers. The Marketing Rule of Seven says that a customer must see or hear your message at least seven times before they take action — or remember you. So resist the urge to change your logo, colors or tagline — anything that is considered part of your brand identity. Give it time to stick.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What tips would you have for independent retailers looking to build brand equity? What are some of the most often overlooked steps in the process?