Think of your brand as the packaging that entices someone to open your offer. With time and consideration, your business is beautifully wrapped and captivating for your ideal customer. However, there are many aspects that go into developing your strong, detailed, and compelling presence. And your in-store experience is only part of it.
A strong brand is developed by considering the entire experience of engaging with your business. This includes interactions a customer may have with your brand: from your website to a networking event, your social media, and more.
Strong brands are required for creating a lasting business because customers are more likely to remember, trust, and buy from businesses they recognize. As people begin to recognize the brand, they begin to trust and like it. These brands command a higher price point, increased sales, and a higher number of loyal customers.
Your brand should be bold, genuine, and compelling to be effective. It should be clear about what it stands for and what it offers to its customers. It should be authentic to ensure people have an experience consistent with their perception. It should be compelling to draw people in and make them want to act.
Give the same time and consideration to your full presence.
Your in-store experience is only part of your brand. Spending time considering how you're perceived in every place you connect with customers is how you develop a consistent experience.
The average revenue increase attributed to always presenting the brand consistently is 23%. - Lucidpress
Consistency across your presence is key. It allows people to understand what you stand for and what it would be like to engage with you, no matter where they come across your business. You want your presence to be just as amazing as your in-store experience, whether it's on your website, social media, or tradeshow.
Don't shortchange yourself online.
If you've taken the time to develop your in-store experience to the most minute detail, then you need to spend the same time and consideration on your online presence. For example, for your in-store experience, you know how your potential customers should be greeted, how they are guided through shopping with you, and how your packaging is perfectly tied together.
When it comes to Millennials, 62 percent believe that online content drives their loyalty to a brand. Furthermore, if you want to gain brand loyalty from Millennials, it’s vital to share that content social media. - NewsCred Insights
We're in the digital age. People, and especially millennials, want to see your online presence and interact with your social media channels. A genuine connection using digital channels can go a long way to establishing loyalty and credibility.
Invest in yourself and your presence.
80% of consumers said “authenticity of content” is the most influential factor in their decision to become a follower of a brand. - NJIT
Your presence in-person or in-store should be just as captivating as your online presence, and vice versa. You want people who are arriving at your location or referring you new customers to have a good representation of your brand to share.
Without an accurate representation of yourself, and what people can expect by working with you, you are showing people that you have not invested in your own presence. So, how can you expect your customers to invest in you if you don't?
How do you know if your brand is living up to your in-store experience?
Think about how you would describe your store's shopping experience...
What adjectives would you use to describe your store?
Are those the adjectives you want to use to describe your store?
What do you wish people said when they walk in?
Then ask yourself: If someone encounters your website, social media channels, tradeshow events, email, digital books, stationery, digital advertising, packaging, signage, or brand photos - Do your answers to the above questions change?
If they do change, then it's time to consider how your brand may be falling short or not fully representing what you offer. If your answers don't change, then you should ask - How can you live up the brand you want to create even more?
To get even more effective at showcasing your in-store experience, here are my top tips:
Evaluate all of your channels and see if any are not consistent, genuine, or compelling.
Ask yourself for each channel: Would my ideal customer be interested in what I offer after seeing this?
Talk to your actual customers and gather their impressions of your brand.
Discuss ways you can add more value to each of the places that individuals interact with your business.
Ask yourself if you are committed and can add value to the place your brand is being seen. If you aren't committed or can't add value, then eliminate that point of engagement.
Some tools to improve the expression of your in-store experience include:
Brand photography can be a vital part of expressing your brand and conveying your in-store experience. Use it to show people exactly what they can expect when they arrive to your location and how amazing your experience is.
Your website shows what you do and social media proves that you do it. Developing an online presence that accurately shows what you offer and how you deliver it is essential. Out of date products, broken links, or unclear photos all hurt people’s initial impression of you.
Your brand messaging helps people understand what they will get when they walk through your door. It tells them what you’re about and why you do what you do, so they’re sold on you before you meet.
When it comes to making all of these decisions, remember:
It's better to find focus and deliver quality interactions. You don't need to be everywhere all the time. You can focus on what works for you and your business so you deliver quality content and engagement.
It's better to consider the entire brand than just a few pieces. Knocking it out of the park is great, just make sure you're doing it across the board so people always know how awesome your brand is.
Always be authentic in what you do. Be clear about who you are and what you can do for people, so they feel like they get to know you and your business before they even walk through the door.
Sophie Newman founded Florida Winter Marketing to help businesses connect with their ideal audience. Prior to the launch of Florida Winter Marketing, Sophie developed marketing content and solutions for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, small businesses, and universities. While putting herself through school, she managed two to three jobs at a time and graduated at the top of her class with a Master of Science in Marketing program from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor of Science in Advertising from University of Florida. Since launching, Sophie has created business presence that has increased sales and driven customer engagement. She can be found reading, ogling puppies, and hoping for sunny days.