Reaching far beyond your own marketing assets, your brand goes everywhere your products go. When a consumer experiences one of your products in an ad, in a store, or at home after the purchase, their perception of your brand continues to evolve. It is important that any potential customer, in any retail market, experience your messaging in a way that’s meaningful to them — yet consistent across all channels.
When you rely on a channel marketing strategy, in which individual local retailers must communicate your brand, there are risks and rewards. The primary risk is that retailers will inadvertently erode your brand consistency. The reward is that you will expand your reach to localized audiences while supporting your retailers and improving visibility for you both. When developing or refining your brand strategy, keep in mind how it supports local retailers.
Empowering retailers to communicate your brand
Retailers take on a great responsibility as ambassadors for your brand. They need the knowledge and the tools to communicate it effectively in everything from their social media feeds to their merchandising. Their role is complex in that they are positioning your products among competitor products, as well. Their ability to differentiate your brand — to describe your unique value proposition — will make or break how well they sell your products.
As a brand, you cannot expect a retailer to proactively take on this responsibility. You need to equip them with the information and assets to succeed. After all, that’s probably what your competitors are doing. Retailers who are strapped for time and resources will likely direct the most attention to the brands who give them the most to work with.
How to develop a retail brand strategy
The retailers who carry your products play a role in your brand strategy, actively or passively. Their purpose and audience are perhaps more narrowly focused than yours. They have direct contact with customers in their local markets, which you can use to your benefit. Let’s look at how to create a retail brand strategy for local audiences.
Tailor personas to local markets
As you refine your personas, their location may influence how you communicate with them. You might actually create personas built around physical location or the size and type of retailers where they tend to shop — for example, big box retailers vs. neighborhood stores. Understanding those communities and retail locations can help you design more effective marketing campaigns.
Localize social media posts
Localized social media posts and pages are typically more successful than their non-localized counterparts. A study by Nieman Journalism lab found that geo-targeted social media posts were six times more successful than posts shared globally. Localizing your content goes beyond translating content into different languages. It means connecting with retailers to build customer loyalty and trust. Facebook is a safe choice as one of the best channels for businesses. As a consumer-focused social platform, Facebook can be used to build a loyal following, interact with brand fans, and use targeted ads to grow sales.
Expand your audience through retail partnerships
If your social media content doesn’t perform as well as you want, develop a strategy for supplying high quality brand content to your retailers. They are likely to welcome the help, especially small businesses struggling to make time for marketing. Great content using quality visuals and your brand standards, distributed through the channels of local retailers, benefits you both. It has a better chance of engaging customers, and it strengthens your brand reputation.
Consider all potential partners in your channel marketing strategy
A channel marketing strategy lets you distribute branded content across a broad network, including retailers. You can create a successful retail brand strategy by working with local retailers, but don’t discount other possible marketing partners at your disposal. Other partners in a channel marketing strategy may include affiliates, who promote your brand and earn a commission from each sale; and distributors, who spread the word about your products to retailers or resellers. Consider joining efforts with channel marketing partners to increase sales, boost traffic, expand brand reach, and pool marketing resources.
Tailor your website to specific locations
To help drive traffic to brick-and-mortar stores and provide an excellent customer service experience, create location-based landing pages on your website. Landing pages tailored by location can help customers find your products in an area where you work with a local retailer. This hyper-local marketing tactic boosts your brand visibility as well as the visibility of local shops that carry your products. Include relevant keywords, metadata, physical address, hours, and the contact information of the retailer. Make each landing page unique for that location; for example, if one location is running a special sale or hosting a special event, include that on its page.
Use ThumbStopper for effective local marketing
Once you have your brand strategy and local target audience defined, let ThumbStopper automatically deploy your content across social networks and retailers. ThumbStopper’s segmentation services manage content flow to hundreds, even thousands, of retailers that carry your inventory. Content gets delivered straight to the feeds of potential customers, expertly timed for the greatest visibility. You and your retailers both win.
Now that you know more about how to create a brand strategy for local retail marketing, learn more about ThumbStopper’s services for brands today.