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Three Key Trends For Retail Marketing from CRMC – Part 2

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Three Key Trends For Retail Marketing from CRMC – Part 2
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The three key trends identified by Parissa Behnia while attending the Customer Relationship Management Conference (CRMC) on behalf of Hanifin Loyalty LLC are listed below. We share more about Trend #2 today.

  1. The Promise of Customer Data: Collecting and accessing customer data isn’t just for marketing purposes anymore – it serves to inform the structure and strategy of the overall business
  2. Have the Courage to Be Bold: To achieve full business potential, retailers need to become “bold” and walk out their brand promise through the delivery of customer experiences that differentiate and excel
  3. Brick and Mortar retail is not dead!: Offline and online worlds are colliding and retailers need to identify and leverage “why” their physical location exists to understand how it can win over pure online commerce

Have the Courage to Be Bold

Is your company bold? Does your company have the courage to be bold? The answer to these questions may be the difference between the success of Audi the last few years and the difficult tale of GM during the same time period.

Shaun Smith, Author & Partner, Smith & Co. spent an energizing morning talking to CRMC attendees about what defines a bold organization and how its boldness manifests itself in how it relates to customers, prospects and employees alike.

Bold firms share these characteristics:

  1. Stand Up – They know what it is they believe in
  2. Stand Out – They are remarkable and different
  3. Stand Firm – The build communities for employees and customers to create sustainability around their brand

Why is it so important to be bold in either one of these three ways? It’s because “Purpose” is to be considered the fifth P of marketing. Now more than ever, companies need a raison d’etre to stand out and be compelling for their customers and prospects.

Mr. Smith shared an example to illustrate each point:

Stand Up Example

The Six Senses resort in Maldives is a prime example of an organization that stands up. In this case, it’s protecting the environment as much as possible. Their main value is concern: for the environment and for an exquisite customer experience.

Every part of this resort reinforces the value. When guests arrive by seaplane, they are given a bag for their shoes in keeping with the “no news and no shoes” policy. There is no television or any sort of outside access because the purpose of this resort is luxurious relaxation. In respecting the environment, they are vigorously devoted to a recycling and reuse program. 50% of profits they’ve made from their own purified water go directly to parts of the world where there is no access to fresh water.

All of this reinforces the brand message of “intelligent luxury”.

Stand Out Example

Unlike many luxury brands, Burberry has seen tremendous profits of late. Instead of going into a protective mode, Burberry took the time, effort and energy required to differentiate the brand and its quality vis a vis the competition. The company invested heavily in mapping the customer journey such that they identified and understood all angles of opportunity when a customer evaluates Burberry product.

Burberry has mastered the art of democratic luxury and, In as many ways as possible, they try to attract people to the brand and to interact with the brand. Burberry stands out because it engages in infectious communication.

They create “wow” in as many ways as possible in their customer experience. Their artofthetrench.com has 400K loyal customers who uploaded pictures of themselves onto the site. Also, they brought the masses to the runway by having 3D fashion show screening events, showing these same fashion shows real time on the internet and added the ability to order Burberry product from an iPad app.

Stand Firm

Zappos is a perfect example of a company that “stands firm” in that they walk their talk. Though it appears the sell bags, clothes, shoes, etc., what they actually sell is service and what they deliver is happiness.

They are committed to their culture not only with how they interact with their customers but also how they engage with each other inside the company. Culture is so important to Zappos that if it appears during training that a new hire will not be a good cultural fit, they will give that person $2K and terminate the relationship.

By standing firm, Zappos creates rites and customs that are guideposts for its values. These rites and rituals ranging from real time engagement with customers on social platforms to quirky office meetings and recognition activities within headquarters.

Taken together, Zappo’s is able to continually reaffirm its corporate identity and stand firm as it recommits to its values.

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