Today, where many consumers are bombarded by 20,000 branded messages a day, how can retail marketers drive sales and create shopper loyalty in this increasingly overcrowded space? In this world of "The Walking Dead" brand-overloaded consumer zombies, creating meaningful retail marketing and value is the only way brands succeed.
Smartphones gave rise to new trends in personalization, ubiquitous connectivity, constant reachability, and geo-location, all working to create utility-based retail marketing opportunities. If only AndrÉ and Édouard could see the world today.
5 Ways Utility-Based Marketing Will Add Value to Your Brand
1. Making Products Easier to Find and Use: In a case of driving consumer awareness of eating local food products, the We Heart Local app that connects consumers with participating restaurants, vendors, or markets that support the local food movement in British Columbia. Users can find places to get local food, recipes to make it, and in-season guides.
2. Branded Products to Drive Purchase: Based on data from your zip code, Kleenex's Achoo website helps people know when they are at risk of the flu and how to stay ahead of it. For consumers it's a helpful tool; for Kleenex it mobilizes their marketing efforts in the right locations. Smart, simple, and effective.
3. Maximizing Brand Value: If a shopper opens the Apple store app while in an Apple store (and only if opened in an Apple store), they can hold an iPhone at an item and purchase it in one click. You can literally just walk out with your item. Reinforcing Apple's brand promise of taking complexity and making it simple, everyone wins.
4. Leveraging Campaign Idea: Audi has a campaign around its start/stop technology which saves energy by automatically switching the engine off when the car comes to a standstill. Capitalizing on this idea, they built an app that saves smartphone battery life by shutting apps not in use.
5. Educate and Inform: In 2014, you are no longer just a retailer. Guess what? You are a publisher now too! Red Bull is a publishing empire that also happens to sell an energy drink. In this world, it's logical to send someone in space. No wonder Red Bull Media is now a profit center in its own right.
Any well-conceived and executed utility-based initiative needs to do a lot of things. It needs to serve as another proof point for what your brand stands for in the retail industry, increase meaningful connections between consumers and your brand, be more cost-effective than traditional advertising campaign ROI, drive foot traffic to your retail space, and ultimately drive sales.
Sandy Fleischer is managing partner and Jackson Murphy is creative director both for Pound & Grain digital creative agency.