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Three Ways to Make Your POP Pop!

It’s no secret to anyone that as retail marketing technology has begun to transform in-store displays, it is also changing how retailers leverage those displays. According to an Inc.com report, 40 percent of shoppers still make in-store purchases at least once a week. And with so much revenue still flowing through brick-and-mortar retail spaces, one of the biggest ways marketers are seeking to capitalize this business is point-of-purchase (POP) displays.

That’s according to the experts at ThomasNet.com, who explain that POP displays are on the cutting edge of creating new, compelling customer experiences that encourage brand loyalty and drive greater in-store revenue. So, what does a truly exceptional POP display need to have?

three female shoppers-retail

Good POP Displays Are Interactive

Interactive experiences are not only the key to an effective POP display but the secret to a winning in-store retail experience in general. As we’ve discussed on this blog before, brick-and-mortar retailers are embracing the move towards transforming their stores into “experience centers,” where customers can interact with and experience a brand’s products in a way that online shopping just can’t match.

“The option to touch, feel, or test products when applicable is paramount to purchasing decisions,” ThomasNet says. In fact, 61 percent of consumers like trying on the item or actually seeing it in person before committing to an item, according to an Inc.com report. So whatever else your POP displays accomplish, make sure they give your shoppers something to physically interact with.

POP Displays Should Showcase Your Brand Identity

Your retail space is a brand’s world. Everything in it represents what your brand stands for, from the signage colors and materials to the music. And that includes your POP display.

“POP displays should give consumers a taste of the brand the product represents. Consumers in younger generations, especially, are looking to feel a connection with the products they buy—they want to feel good about the purchases they make,” ThomasNet explains.

You should use your POP displays to further your brand’s identity. What does your brand stand for in the minds of consumers? By customizing your POP displays, you can project whatever values represent your brand, from minimalism to environmentalism to outrageousness.

commercial printing

POP Displays Create Personal Connections

Especially among Millennial shoppers – who make up a larger and larger percentage of the buying public every day – personal connections can lead to long-lasting brand loyalty.

And POP displays are an excellent way to foster those connections. Maybe your POP display showcases “how Brand X shoppers have removed 10,000 tons of plastic waste from the oceans” by buying your recycled fashion products. Or perhaps you use it to show “real people enjoying Brand Y’s products at concerts and music festivals,” in order to let shoppers personally imagine their lives with your product.

“They want to have a medium to connect with the world around them and the causes they care about when they make purchasing decisions. Through showcasing aspects of a business that highlight these things, a retailer or marketer can anticipate a positive consumer response,” ThomasNet explains.

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By understanding the changing role of brick-and-mortar retail spaces as customer experience centers, brand marketers can start to leverage the true power of POP displays. And by working with a trusted partner who can deliver highly customized and unique POP displays, on-time and on-budget, your brand can compete and win on the quality of your retail customer experiences.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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Top Brand Marketing Trends for 2019

people looking up-crowd

2019 is set to be a game-changing year for brand marketers. Between a rapidly shifting political landscape and fast increases in marketing technology, the way marketers do their jobs – and how brands connect with their customers – is likely to witness some major new trends that they’ll need to be prepared for to capitalize on.

That’s according to an article by Michael Stone, published in Forbes that while “we live in a time of radical transformation” of the retail space, savvy marketers can still prepare themselves for success.

So, what significant trends are set to shape the marketing landscape in 2019?

broadway street view with storefront signs

Merging Online and In-Store Customer Journeys

One of the biggest marketing trends set to continue well beyond 2019 is the merging of an online and in-store customer retail journeys.

As Stone says, “the blurring of online and offline retail will continue at an increased pace.” This is made possible in large part due to advances in customer data tracking and analysis. Thanks to a multi-channel understanding of a customer’s interactions with your brand, you can drive them either to your brick-and-mortar space or your e-commerce website by offering personalized deals through either channel.

At any rate, brands will need to ensure both their digital and in-store marketing are in healthy, fighting shape, as competition continues to grow from retailers moving from one space into the other (like Amazon’s move into brick-and-mortar, and Walmart’s robust online shopping platform). Stone explains: “Retailers will not [be able to] sit still as they continue to up their game.”

Creating Compelling In-Store Experiences

As we’ve discussed on the NVISION blog before, one of the most interesting retail marketing trends is the growing appeal of transforming retail stores into “experience centers.”

With online shopping and e-commerce becoming easier and faster every day (especially with services that offer next-day or even same-day delivery), brands must find new ways to draw customers into their brick-and-mortar stores. To do so, they are creating experience centers, where customers can physically touch, try, handle, and use the company’s products, and even test them in a real-world environment.

“Brands will continue to look for ways to ‘pull’ customers into the brand rather than ‘pushing’ the brand at them,” Stone explains, “such as creatively driven pop-up stores; new, permanent mono-branded stores; malls featuring spa services, tailoring, and personal stylists; branded hotels; themed restaurants; and themed exhibits. Brands and consumers will become more ‘entangled.’”

And as the popularity of these brick-and-mortar experiences grows, so too will the need for brands to create, produce, and deliver their physical marketing materials on-time, on-budget, and with empowered flexibility.

woman holding shopping bags walking

Brands Taking Positions in a Shifting Political Landscape

For years, brands were told to “stay in your lane” and athletes were told to “stick to sports.” But 2019 promises to be a year where much of the rules around marketing and politics change.

As Stone points out, many brands have been “forced” to take a stand politically, citing the example of many brands pulling their support (and advertising dollars) and “abandoning the NRA following the shooting last February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.”

Other have chosen to take a stand and roll the dice both financially and politically, such as Nike did in 2018 when it made former NFL quarterback and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick its spokesperson.

“Brands are increasingly aware that younger consumers want their brands to take a position and to have a purpose,” Stone writes. And whether that position is something fairly uncontroversial – like using sustainable manufacturing processes or promoting female executives to leadership roles – or whether it is a new hot-button issue for 2019 (like the widespread legalization of the marijuana industry in the U.S. and Canada), customers want their brands to stand for something.

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2019 will be a year of new trends and changes for marketers everywhere. Between a shifting political landscape and the continued blurring of the online and in-store retail spaces, having flexible and reliable marketing operations will allow many brands to capitalize on these changing trends and post record-breaking years. And that’s a trend we can all hope for.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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Top Ways ABM Is Creating Opportunities for CMOs

Think of traditional marketing as fishing with a net – designed to reach as broad and wide as possible to snare any potential deals of all sizes. This works well if your goal is not to miss any opportunities but ultimately leads to significant waste.

Then there is ABM or account-based marketing. Compared to traditional marketing, ABM is like spearfishing – targeting only the ideal accounts that are most likely to close and/or generate the most revenue. That’s why, according to a recent report by ITSMA, 87 percent of companies state that ABM delivers a higher ROI than traditional marketing.

So, why should CMOs care about ABM in 2019? Jon Miller of Engagio explains some of the best reasons.

professional meeting - ABM

Better Alignment With Sales

One of the most common frustrations CMOs face is a lack of alignment with sales teams. With different goals, KPIs, and responsibilities, marketing teams often find themselves pursuing one thing while sales is actively pursuing another.

The result? Your prospects receive mixed messages and inconsistent marketing materials. That weakens your brand. But with ABM, marketing and sales are more fully aligned. With a small selection of specific, hand-picked accounts, CMOs can produce marketing materials that are more personalized, targeted, and branded just for those accounts. Marketing and sales are now working in tandem, sharing the same goal of landing those identified accounts.

And that means better ROI for CMOs. In fact, according to SiriusDecisions, sales and marketing alignment can drive up to 36 percent more business growth and 27 percent faster profit growth.

Stronger Brand Recognition

Related to the “waste” associated with traditional marketing methods mentioned above, even the strength of your brand can get lost in the shuffle. For every mass email blast that reaches an audience it wasn’t intended for, your brand is seen as inaccurate, irrelevant, or – worst of all – pitching a message that you did not intend for that customer to hear.

“ABM allows [CMOs] to establish and cultivate trust with your customers, thereby building a strong brand over time,” Miller explains. “If you take the time to utilize the core tenants of ABM, and send a personal and relevant message to a targeted audience,” you are able to portray your brand as an authority, a trusted advisor, and an approachable resource. That specificity and intentionality strengthen your brand.

brand idea poster - onsite services

Marketing Guides the Customer Journey

ABM is a “land and expand” type of strategy. It involves identifying and targeting accounts that are not only ideal new customers but that present likely upselling and cross-selling opportunities as well. “ABM guides intelligent account expansion at existing customer accounts,” Miller says. “In ABM, all customer-facing teams work in harmony to ensure a buyer’s experience is positive, consistent, and in context with the rest of the account.”

This means that ABM uniquely puts CMOs in charge of creating the customer’s journey since CMOs are the best-qualified people in most organizations to safely steward the brand’s identity and value propositions across multiple channels.

“It is about providing a holistic view of each account, coordinating interactions across departments for every stage of the customer experience, and measuring results with an account-centric lens,” Miller continues. “The right person to own the coordination and orchestration of the relationships is [the CMO] because they have the technology and skills to do so.” ABM presents savvy CMOs with an opportunity to apply their strategic expertise to real-world account-based campaigns.

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Account-based marketing, or ABM, is changing how marketers generate leads for the better. With this new focused, granular outlook, ABM presents CMOs with several exciting opportunities to improve both the public perception of their brands and the operational effectiveness of their marketing departments. And that can lead to better ROI, more qualified leads, and stronger revenue forecasts.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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Belief-Driven Brands: Reshaping Retail Landscape in 2019

be the change - brand activism

Consumers today are more plugged into social issues and concerns than any group since the 1960s. And that impacts the way they shop, too. That’s according to a new Edelman’s report  “Brands Take A Stand,” which examines how belief-driven purchases are reshaping the retail landscape in 2019. So, how can brands take a stand in the new year, while also helping their bottom lines stand tall?

gen-z-holding arms together

Brands Can Drive Revenue by Standing for Something

For a long time, the prevailing logic was that a brand’s marketing should not ruffle any feathers. If there was political or social turmoil in the air, your branding should avoid it, and instead focus solely on the merits of your product. But as the name of the Edelman report suggests, the market is changing, and brand marketing is changing with it.

“Consumers’ purchases are becoming more and more belief-driven, particularly over the past year,” the report states. “In every market surveyed, more consumers were taking a brand’s mission and activism into account when making decisions about what to buy.” The report suggests that not only should brands not avoid social activism, but in fact should embrace it as a new driver of revenue in 2019.

“Taking a stand, no matter the cause is no longer something brands can shy away from if they want to be at the forefront of consumers’ minds,” the report says. And Edelman CEO Richard Edelman agrees, saying that “purchasing activism” is a simple and effective way for shoppers to feel like they’re making a difference.

“People go with their pocketbooks, in a way,” Edelman explains. “They want business to take the lead on change, and they want to feel as if they’re making an impact.”

green initiative-sustainability

The Bottom Line is The Bottom Line for Brand Activism

Brands used to steer away from activism because it would hurt their bottom lines. For each shopper who was happy with that brand’s stance, there were likely to be two or three more who either didn’t care or chose to boycott the brand for that same stance. The numbers didn’t pan out. It just didn’t make good business sense.

But all that has changed, as the cultural zeitgeist has shifted back towards activism, especially as Millennials and Generation Z make up more and more of the market (approximately 40% of all consumers and over $1.4 trillion in buying power by 2020). And, according to the Edelman report, businesses can now bolster their bottom lines by investing in brand activism.

The report reveals, 65% of global consumers are making belief-driven purchases. That’s a 50% increase over last year – an enormous shift. It also found that an estimated 57% of American consumers are currently buying or boycotting at least one brand because of its position on social issues. A similar study by Havas Media reports that belief-driven brands outperformed the overall stock market by 120% this year and that the top 50 belief-driven brands outperformed the overall S&P 500 index by more than 1200%. The bottom line is clear: for brands, the time is now to take a stand and bolster revenue with belief-driven marketing.

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The common marketing logic for brands used to be avoiding activism and belief-driven advertising. But not anymore. Today, brands must take a stand to win an ever-increasing portion of the consumer population. By doing so, they can not only improve their revenue but can win lasting, powerful brand loyalty that is built upon something greater than the color or quality of a product.

And that’s the bottom line.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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2019 Retail Trends: Transactional to Relational

female using interactive screen to customize shopping

As the world changes, so does customer behavior. And as customer behavior changes, the ways they want to shop do, too. And perhaps no industry needs to remain more on top of shifting customer trends and behaviors than retail.

Retail, which has already been turned upside-down by the advent of e-commerce, now must adapt to whatever 2019 has in store. With U.S. retail sales up 5.9% in 2018 from a record mark of $5.7 trillion in 2017, retail brands will need to stay sharp to keep growing. According to Daphne Leprince-Ringuet of WIRED, here are some key trends retailers should consider when looking towards the future.

Sustainability Will Be Important to Shoppers

From “hippies” to countercultural “hipsters,” environmental responsibility and sustainability have always been important to certain shopping demographics in society. But in 2019, ecological sustainability will become a major selling point for brands and retailers looking to see a little more “green” themselves. Leprince-Ringuet cites the example of British luxury fashion brand Elvis & Kresse, which reclaims thousands of tons of out-of-service fire hoses in London each year, repurposing and recycling the hose leather to create new premium goods.

“We live in the age of the circular economy, recycling materials instead of letting them go to waste at the end of their life,” Leprince-Ringuet says. “It’s [already] an upcoming trend in retail.” Brands that can position themselves as environmentally sustainable could bolster their profits, too.

shop with digital network graphics - retail continuity

Removing Friction with Strategic Partnerships

With competition stiffer than it’s ever been, and most markets increasingly saturated with choices, brands will need to continue to compete on the strength of their customer experiences – not just on price and product. In fact, a recent PwC study found that consumers will spend an average of 16% more for a better retail customer experience. And that may mean exploring new strategic partnerships for many brands. “Everything we do needs to be done for the customer, to remove friction – whether that means integrating Google Pay, or working with [partners] to develop technologies we don’t have the capacity to work on ourselves,” says Cliff Cohen, Chief Information Officer at ASOS.

What other sorts of “frictionless” experiences will customers expect?

  • “Invisible” payment. Look at Uber. With payment linked directly to customers’ credit cards, users never even think about paying for their ride. It’s taken care of automatically. And that removes part of the friction that makes Uber so attractive compared to, say, going to an ATM and calling a taxi.
  • Multichannel experiences. Today, customers expect brands to recall the entire history of that shopper’s interaction with them and be able to offer them promotions, coupons, and suggestions based on that personal history. And if your brand can’t do this today? Partner with someone who can. Citing one retailer’s strategic CX goals, Leprince-Ringuet says, “The technology is beyond the retailer’s technical capacity, so the company has teamed up with [a strategic partner] – all with the goal of making the customer experience better.”
  • Third-party payment. Not unlike “invisible” payment, millennial consumers are increasingly comfortable storing their payment information with a third-party and allowing that third party to provide that information when they “pay” for things, like Mint and Apple Wallet. This functionality can help make your brand stand out from the crowd.

Physical Stores Becoming Experience Centers with Innovation

With the online purchasing process faster by-and-large than in-store for many brands these days, brick-and-mortar stores are shifting to effectively occupy a new role: experience centers, where customers can touch, try, taste, and be tempted by your products in person. “Future retail is moving from transactional to relational,” says Emilie Colker, Executive Director at IDEO. “Brands will use the offline space to create more opportunities for people to connect with the products.”

For many brands that were once digital-only, like by-mail eyeglasses retailer Warby Parker or online mattress retailer Casper, creating physical spaces for shoppers to interact with their products adds authenticity to their brand’s perception, and is a clever way to create customer experiences that they just can’t replicate online. And to succeed with experience centers, retailers need to be agile, flexible, and ready to innovate. “In the current climate, speed matters,” says Kerry Liu, CEO of Rubikloud. “Tools that can give retailers insight into inventories, financial forecasts, technological skill,” anything that helps create a single point of visibility into marketing supply chains will be tremendously helpful.

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Yes, retail is changing.

But by understanding the most important retail trends before they happen, and by establishing partnerships that prepare your brand for success, companies of all sizes can make 2019 their most successful year yet.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE