The relationship between brands and retailing has always been a complicated one, and the evolving retail landscape promises both new opportunities and fresh challengers for brands in their quest to get their image, proposition and product in front of the final customer in the most visible and attractive way possible.
The opportunity side of the brand coin is that the route from the brand to the final customer can be more direct than ever.
The route can be physical with direct brand flagship stores or eye-catching temporary pop-up shops, traditional wholesale and multi-brand partners, e-commerce platforms and at a promotional level through the many avenues of social media & traditional marketing.
However, the challenging side of the coin is that brands now need to plan, design and manage the delivery of their image and their product across all of these diverse channels, requiring functions and expertise that were traditionally just to be found in the realms of their retail clients.
Brands more than ever, and in more ways than ever, need to become retailers!
It’s a simple fact of modern retail life that in the time-pressed, results-stressed retail environment any brand who is ready armed with commercially researched and analysed collections, finalised planograms with density display criteria, customer demographic analysis and projected sales plans will be welcomed with open-arms by their retail clients, adored by their grateful retail teams and ultimately loved by their customer everywhere…happy to pay for the privilege of wearing their particular logo.
To get ahead and stay ahead, brands need to be professional, customer focused, visually aware, commercially astute and data literate in their dealings with their retail partners, their stores and with the final customer.
Whether dealing through retail clients or managing directly owned-stores brands need to be “ready-for-market” at every stage of the product journey?
Is your brand professional, commercially astute and data literate?
Is your brand ready for the “product journey” and the “customer journey?”
What’s involved in the evolution of a brand to retailer?
assortment structure…commercially constructed ranges with category balance and profitable size, colour and price architectures.
product stories…grouping of product conceived as ready-made visual blocks including powerful categories, inspirational themes and coordinated collections.
space planning…calculating and delivering the most commercial option & unit capacities into stores, with correct conversion of square metres into fixtures and linear metres.
retail calendars…strategically and commercially planned seasonal dynamics with prepared product phasing, promotional messages, events and activities for omni-channel delivery
in-season management…predicting selling patterns, rates of sale, product sell-throughs with contingency plans for replenishment, refreshment, renewal and actions to sell.
promotions and events…defining a strategic and brand position on the use of promotions to add product value to add margin, and stimulate rates of sale to protect margin
visual merchandising…developing appropriate display principles and techniques supported by visual guidelines and planograms for display delivery and to facilitate “buying for space!”
store operations…introducing processes, activities , roles and responsibilities into stores from first delivery to cashing-up to increase efficiency, customer experience and reduce costs.
store compliance…traditional and technological communication with store personnel to instruct, monitor & correct guidelines and for dynamic training and information delivery.
store disciplines…daily, weekly and monthly rules, regimes and tools to assist retailers in housekeeping and the display and commercial maintenance of store displays.
store selling…remote training and dynamic communication to educate and inspire retail associates in product and service to deliver higher conversion through display and sales.
store layouts…operational and shop-floor allocation of space delivering physical customer journeys for “ease-of-shop” navigation and sightlines for product inspiration.
store environment…cost-effective store designs combining brand-box furniture, lighting and materials with dynamic displays, product interaction and lifestyle events
location planning…expansion & consolidation of store portfolios bringing together locations with target customer demographics, high traffic and low competitor densities.
brand proposition…a clear, consistent and attractive proposition delivered through product, store experience, communication and service to transform a retail business from “just-another name” into a “must-have brand!”
VM-unleashed helps brands evolve into retailers…
We identify opportunities to introduce professionalism and retail-thinking into brand organisations and retail client relationships
We change the brand mind-set to a retail one through workshops & exercises
We work to add commercial best practice into assortment structure
We directly introduce new processes and responsibilities
We help to deliver new store elements, visuals, displays & brand materials
We develop training and communication tools to manage both direct and retail client stores
We evolve the “brand proposition” to build value and loyalty with retail clients, final customers and brand employees.
So now, what about you?
How does your retail planning & management feel?
Are you in need of some retail evolution in your brand?