Retail branding is cultural change
The success of Retail branding entirely depends on a strong vision and a practical translation of this vision from the top until the bottom of the organization: from the retail marketing director to all store employees. Successfully building a distinctive brand is not an exclusive activity of the marketing formula director and the advertising- or design agency. It is an integrated democratic process involving retail formula management and all the store employees. Every employee should be able to translate the brand (values) to his/her daily work. Retail branding is a cultural change, a change that continuous returns in behavior and (annual) planning.
CASE COOP Supermarkten
COOP’s Commercial Management Team guided by 4Growth elected their brand values, bases on many existing shopper surveys and their own vision, during a pressure cooker session. In general, retail organizations select about four distinctive and two conditional brand values. For retailers I always recommend to select the brand value PRICE as a preconditioned or distinctive value. The description of the retail PRICE value could be diverse e.g. lowest price, the best offers, the best price-value, every low prices and affordable. In my opinion retailers should always be price consciousness. After the strategic session all members of the COOP Commercial Management Team developed the practical translation of the brand values to their own department’s activities. A year later two members of the Coop Commercial Team and 4Growth developed a training program for the entire Commercial department. At first the Team members were trained as process facilitators for this culture change day. During the day for all participants the focus was: how can I increase my contribution to the increase the success of the COOP brand. COOP also works with a 4Growth’s developed brand value DASHBOARD, to monitor customer satisfaction and trends on an annual basis. Facts on national formula and local base. This monitor delivers positioning matrixes used for strategic and annual formula planning.
The retail branding for KARWEI (third DIY retailer in the Netherlands) started with developing a clear brand vision document including an extensive SWOT-analyses. This document had been established by the KARWEI Management Team, the Franchise Council and 4Growth. Also during this process a limited number of brand values were chosen. To start the cultural change all KARWEI formula managers had a two days’ workshop in a monastery. During the so-called PIKA-DAYS (Personal Identity KARWEI Action Plans) the formula management conceived the brand related activities for the KARWEI annual plan of 2016. We trained the rest of the formula organization a month later. They received the same knowledge about the KARWEI brand values as their supervisors. The goal of this workshop was to avoid a knowledge advantage at management level. The next step will be the translation of the brand values to the shop floor. I notice that more and more the marketing vision is evaluating in a customer story. An excellent development, because during shopping (online and offline) the customers must experience the KARWEI brand the most.
Inge Oeseburg | owner 4Growth retail formule & onderzoek | +31 (0)6 30 46 77 20