Today I was reading an essay in the February edition of Monocle magazine on charm and it got me thinking about that elusive quality, that is so hard to quantify, yet can make all the difference to someones opinion of a place or service. As they pointed out, you will never hear someone say “I was I were less charming”. It’s a quality that can’t be easily replicated (bad news for competitors) and I believe really helps to give your business a special place in peoples minds. Take Depot Eatery pictured above, as soon as you arrive you feel the place has a character which is replicated in the unpretentious yet delicious food.
How can we as advertisers help to create content and instore experiences that help to cultivate this elusive trait? I believe it has to start at the ground level instore, where the customer is interacting with your business and you really have the opportunity to control a branded experience. Create a service experience that is friendly and warm, where the customer feels a personal touch. In a larger retail advertising sense this comes down to utilising CRM and Instore channels. Using CRM databases to customise content delivered to customers, you could send out personalised mailers to letterboxes, exclusive deals to mobile phones or deliver on screen prompts to sales staff of the customers favourite products when the customer is at the point of sale. Also consider the design space and fit out of the store carefully. No longer is it simply enough to erect some shelving and place products on it, expecting them to sell. When instore, this is a retail or service businesses big opporunity to sell the brand in an age when people roundly ignore a large portion of the advertising messages out there. Think on brand, engaging and personal, of course all the while remembering we are in the business of selling!
In terms of bringing the message above the line, as a brand you must be true and honest. This is nothing new in terms of branding strategy but I think now more then ever it is important for your busiess to have a clear value proposition. Be proud of the qualities of your business that can’t be faked or replicated. Are your products wholly sourced from quality producers or do you have the widest curated range of fashion available for convenient purchase? It is no longer simply enough to just decide what your product or service is about through mass market channels, people see through this. Brands must now constantly live their values, throughout all touch points with the consumer to truely deliver a memorable experience.
So next time when someone wanders in with a Powerpoint describing in detail the customer journey, take a minute to think about at what point you will be charming the pants off them!