Where is your brand? – Tim Jeffrey 26th July 2011

Where is your brand? In the physical or the virtual? Or both?

It’s good at last to see more column inches (in addition of course to gigabytes of bloggage) being devoted to the shift from old branding to new branding.

In-touch marketers are already working away on orchestrating their complete brand experiences, and today’s big challenge is harmonising physical encounters with virtual ones.

This was highlighted in Gideon Spanier’s article ‘At the point of sale is… the last great marketing opportunity’Evening Standard, July 25thGideon discusses the ‘Shopper Journey’ concept (a notion we have our own take on here at I-AM) which, if executed correctly, can help to define the key moments in a great brand experience.

The article describes the commercial benefit of shifting focus, energy and creativity from ‘the promise’ of a brand (advertising, PR etc) to the ‘brand reality’ in the moment of truth when a shopper makes their ‘buy’ decision.  Through this, engaging and innovative point of sale moments can ensure the customer leaves the store with an enhanced attachment to the brand.

Some of our clients we’ve recently helped to create these ‘moments of truth’ whether physical or virtual, include:

T.box – this young, innovative & fun fashion store, thanks to us now presents customers with enhanced POS moments including a conveyor, full with music and gadget products just in front of the cash desk; dry-cleaner style moving hangers or the interactive mirrors that allow you to instantly connect to the designers of T.box or Facebook, so that you can ask for some fashion advice.

Itsu – we identified the importance of strategic product placement when working with Julian Metcalf of Itsu. By giving personality to a new range of products, and creating versatile eye-catching packaging, the proposition connects on an emotional level, building the brand in the moment of selection.

Banks – financial retailers, for us, should focus effort on the concept that Gideon highlights of ‘From store back’. With more and more people switching their daily banking needs to online, the high street bank branch would appear to be in decline. However, we don’t agree. It’s role in a multi-channel customer journey just needs re-appraisal as the human face of these brands, a place to discover the benefits of new technology, and a warm, conducive environment to talk to specialists about our complicated financial lives.  Brand building through advertising media no matter how ‘digital’, is no longer enough.