3 retail branding tips to connect with your customers

Fleur Elise Muller
May 20, 2019

Creating a connection between your brand and your customers is crucial for retail. So the big question is: How do you ensure that customers stay satisfied and return to purchase more?

As a retailer, you have to be open to change and adapt easily to stay relevant. Be close to your customers, listen to them and fulfil their needs.

But how do you achieve that? Let’s have a look at the 10 fastest growing companies in The Netherlands in 2019. According to the research done by the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship, those companies are:

  1. Picnic
  2. Takeaway
  3. Rituals
  4. Action
  5. Young Capital
  6. Elastic
  7. Coolblue
  8. Calco
  9. Adyen
  10. BasicFit

What makes those companies so successful and why are they a great example of building a strong connection between a brand and its customers?

Customer Experience

They focus on customer experience. How do you ensure that customers have a positive experience during their visit to your shop, or during other interactions with your brand? A positive experience will lead to higher customer retention, and thereby more sales.

Action strongly focuses on surprising their customer. For example, when a customer goes to their store looking for bicycle lights, they often end up buying more than they had anticipated. Action surprises their customers with new products, things that can come in handy, for an attractive price. Action’s in-store experience is designed to increase impulse buying.

Another company that knows a thing or two about customer experience is Rituals. When a customer enters their shop, they are welcomed with a warm cup of tea and friendly shop assistants offering to demonstrate the newest scrubs, or creams. Rituals creates a unique customer experience which is consistent in every store. Rituals' customers know what to expect. Rituals is attentive and ensures that everyone who walks through the door experiences a moment of relaxation. They are also known to regularly introduce new scrubs, creams and incenses, which ensures that their customers don’t get bored and are curious every time they walk past a Rituals store.

However, the real champion of creating a positive customer experience is Coolblue; ‘Everything for a smile’. Their service desk is open until midnight. Their customers have the opportunity to try the products at home and send them back, in case they are not 100% satisfied.  If a customer is looking for comprehensive, personal advice, they are welcome to call the service desk. Alternatively, they could seek advice in one of the stores, where the employees are well-trained to assist customers with all sorts of questions. Customers can share their real Coolblue experience with others on the website of Coolblue which creates brand trust.

Love Brand

Have you ever heard of the term Love Brand? This new term is used quite frequently these days. Love Brand is a company that invests in their relationship with their customers. A Love Brand translates its unique values into their customer experience. It embraces its customers with love and enthusiasm and inspires their customers to share their love for the brand. A Love Brand is a brand that also creates a connection between its customers.  

Rituals is a real Love Brand. Rituals has such a strong brand identity, that one feels instantly connected with their brand vision. Their message empowers people to take a moment for themselves, because every little moment contributes to their happiness. When one enters a Rituals store, they are instantly embraced with a feeling of relaxation and calmness. Rituals tries to fully understand their customers’ needs and does a great job at seeing things from their customers’ point of view. They want their customers to  take a step back from the daily hustle.

Another example of a strong Love Brand is Dille & Kamille. Dille & Kamille customers prefer shopping in the physical store instead of the website, because it provides a better brand experience. The smell, the surprising range of products, the new seasonal inspiration attracts them to the store. From the moment they walk into the store, they feel connected with the core values of the brand, a feeling of happiness and positivity.

Last, but not least, Marco Aarnink, with his company Print.com, knows how to give his customers the attention they deserve. His team takes the time to talk with their customers, understand them, and relate to them in order to establish a true relationship. Ordering a printed notebook has never been such a personalized experience. Print.com customers feel as a part of the Print.com community.

BE your customer

The fastest growing companies at the moment are Picnic and Takeaway.com. They both have something in common, namely that they do something that a customer would otherwise do themselves. They simplify their customers’ lives by providing a convenient service. Food on-demand, without the need to leave your house. This allows their customers to have more time for themselves.  

In short, make sure that your customer experience is consistent throughout, independent whether your customers are seeing an advertisement, passing your store, or being greeted by an employee. Make sure that these experiences are all intertwined, similarly to Coolblue. This will strengthen your brand identity.

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