Mind share generation for the modern consumer
Competition is fierce in the retail sector, with merchants fighting over everything from prices to service features. Of course, the end goal is to generate as many sales as possible. However, Power Retail contributor Johnny noted that truly successful retailers shouldn’t just be looking to garner sales, they should also be after mind share.
For retailers, mind share refers to the development of consumer awareness or popularity. Generally speaking, this is done through advertising and promotion but can also be accomplished by providing exquisite customer service, offering a broad inventory selection, creating a unique shopping experience or otherwise doing something few other merchants are doing.
Retailers that win mind share tend to be the most successful companies in the retail sector. People know these companies as being reliable or having something that few other merchants possess. Citing Millward Brown’s annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands survey, Panagiotidis noted that some of the fastest growing brands in the world are those finding new ways to absorb people’s attention and imagination.
These brands tend to go beyond simply selling a product or service and enrich the very lives of their customers. For example, Nike sells athletic clothing and gear, but the company is also a major lifestyle brand. The firm recently rolled out a series of apps and technology that customers can use to track and motivate a more healthy life style, which makes Nike more than simply another clothing company in the eyes of customers.
Capturing mind share in the retail sector
Retailers can engage their customers in similar ways. For example, Amazon established itself into the lives of many customers by simply being their shopping destination of choice, regardless of what they needed. Apparel, health and beauty, movies and games, groceries – all those items and more can be purchased via Amazon’s digital shelves. Amazon gained mind share because of the convenience factor. Amazon was able to identify the ways technology would empower customers to shop and catered to those individuals.
“The change in consumer attitudes in the retail sector is driving major transformations that mean companies have to leverage the meaning and difference in their brand more than ever before to create a premium proposition,” Panagiotidis explained. “Some are doing this with innovative, convenient and seamless service delivery to insinuate themselves into consumer lives, whilst others are seeking to become more meaningful to the lives of their consumers by creating a real and perceived purpose beyond profit.”
According to the BrandZ report, the three biggest elements that contribute to brand equity are being meaningful, different and salient. A meaningful brand is one that generates appeal and meets expectations, a different brand is unique in a positive way and sets trends while a salient brand is one that pops into mind spontaneously whenever customers think of a specific product.
For many merchants, gaining mind share will rely on a mix of both improving service while also identifying customer needs and satisfying them. A brick-and-mortar store can no longer be a place people go to shop, a middle man in between the product manufacturer and the customer. They must be more than that, entrenching themselves in the lives of customers.
With the holidays on the not-so-distant horizon, now is the time to begin improving brand messaging if it wasn’t already a priority. Although the many in the retail sector have focused on the use of eCommerce solutions to service and operations, it’s critical they also remember the importance of their consumer-facing presence as well.