Retail company marketing

Branding your retail store: what your customers secretly think

retail marketing

I’ve just moved to a new neighbourhood. While, I was already familiar with the area, living here, gave me an opportunity to explore Vancouver in a new light, to look at the surrounding parks and businesses from a fresh perspective. Naturally, I couldn’t help but analyze everything from a marketing or branding perspective. There’s a variety of offerings around, from a marijuana (sorry, medical cannabis) shops, to hair salons and convenience stores.

As I was exploring around for a few weeks, I thought I got to see all what is there, until one day, to my surprise I discovered a pretty neat little store offering natural household items, and all sorts of smelly things that I love. I was excited to walk in, announcing how happy I was to have found them, and wondered if they had just opened. The store owner (visibly disturbed by my note about them being a new store), confirmed that they’ve been around for a few years now. And since I was familiar with the area already I was even more surprised to learn, that such a lovely hidden gem existed close by this whole time.

The stores next to this one were easily recognizable and noticeable, I (couldn’t help it!) kindly mentioned to the owner that perhaps it would be helpful to make her store presentation a bit more obvious to the people walking by. To which her reply was: “oh well, they will eventually realize what we are all about.” I sincerely hope the lady’s shop is doing well, and she’s got enough business to sustain her store in the not-so-cheap real estate/retail market in Vancouver. On the other hand, how can a business go without realizing their own marketing fails?

Now, as I walk by the store every day, I always try to examine it even further, to see how on earth did I not notice it, and why. (Perhaps something is wrong with me, and not with their marketing?)

Branding as a first impression

The LOGO: it was clearly displayed, but the font and colours were more appropriate for a lawyer, rather than for a natural supplies company. Keep in mind, that people don’t always read what we have to say (including our branding – logos, brochures, etc.) but they always make up a story in their mind, what they feel the business is all about. (I honestly thought it was a lawyer, as I realized later.)

By matching our story with the fundamental psychology and human perception, we can shift our customers’ attention to not only where we would like it to go, but how we want to be remembered by.

Competition and branding

In this particular scenario, the shop had less signage than its neighbours. When marketing a retail business, signage is everything. Having prominently-displayed signage that speaks to your customers right away will most certainly make a huge difference. Of course, sometimes there are certain restrictions from the landlord, as to what you can do with your signage and windows. If so, think what you can do with what you have. In this particular example, the shop had vertical blinds across the window, again similarly to how a law firm or any corporate office would have it (at least in my mind). Now, perhaps the owner can’t change that, but how about opening the blinds? I bet that would add more transparency to what the shop is all about.

The future of #marketing is #branding. #FreshCoolGrow #yvr Share on X

How about you? Have you done a fresh analysis of your own brand recently? Try looking at your company’s brand as a newcomer. What do you see?

Did you get any fresh ideas while reading this post? Or perhaps you have something to add? I’d love to hear from you! Comment on our Facebook wall or stop by our (Marketing) Greenhouse on Robson Street in Vancouver.

P.S. We always have chocolate.