Four Mistakes That Could Tarnish Your Store Brand

In the retail industry, image is everything. From the moment someone walks in the front door until she reaches the checkout line, retailers strategically plan signage and merchandise to appeal to shoppers. Yet, these well-crafted brands can be quickly dismantled by a situation that ultimately leaves shoppers with a negative perception of the store. To help retailers better prepare for the unexpected in 2015, Cintas Corporation identified four scenarios that could damage your brand.

"Too often, it's the seemingly insignificant issues—like a clogged drain or a dirty restroom — that escalates into a major problem," said Dave Mesko, senior director of marketing, Cintas Corporation. "Just as there's a plan in place to cover staffing issues, retailers need to have a program to address unexpected issues. These issues will not only impact the image of your brand, but they can force you to temporarily close your doors and lose revenue."

Cintas identifies the following four scenarios that could damage your store's brand:
  • There's a clog in the pipe or toilet. One of the most common situations on our list, a sewage backup can result in restroom closure – an annoyance to any shopper that could result in lost business. While most backups are isolated to restroom areas, a backup in another part of the store can ruin merchandise and force store closure. To reduce this risk, consider solutions that keep drain lines clear and other emergency repair providers who know your business and can resolve backup issues immediately.
  • Your front windows become so dirty no one can see inside the store. Glass facades are an effective way to draw shoppers into a store, but only if the windows are clean. If you operate a jewelry store or similar business that displays merchandise in the front window or relies on foot traffic, dirty windows may actually prevent shoppers from entering your store. Windows require a cleaning schedule similar to hard surfaces inside your building, so have a program and provider in place that can regularly clean and deep clean windows. If windows become dirty between cleanings either from a storm or another issue, the provider should be available to clean windows at a moment's notice so they always look their best.
  • An employee shows up to work in a stained and/or wrinkled shirt. Your employees are the face of your brand, so you want them to always project the best possible image. Unlaundered uniforms that are left in the back of an employee's car before his or her shift won't likely project the best brand image. By partnering with a uniform provider, you can define an apparel program that matches the right type of fabric, style and service to your business and brand.
  • Floors are dirty and show traffic patterns. A recent study revealed 86 percent of U.S. adults have a negative perception of a store with dirty floors. You spend so much time carefully curating displays and other aspects of the customer experience that a clean floor is an easy brand standard to carry across locations. Enhance your image and your floors with a program that protects, maintains and deep cleans hard and soft floor surfaces.
"No retailer wants to lose customers following a situation that could have been easily prevented," added Mesko. "By proactively identifying the scenarios and solutions to these issues, you can help ensure there's brand consistency throughout multiple locations and that customers have a positive brand experience."