There is a rule in storytelling – show don’t tell. If you tell an audience what is going on, the impact of your story is not as powerful, not as memorable. Don’t say – it was raining. Instead, writers are educated to describe street lights flickering in the growing puddles on the sidewalk. This idea can work incredibly well with your brand, with your business. When you identify your target customers and align your brand values then you can represent this through your products and visual merchandising. Customers will understand your offer and immediately feel a connection to your brand from the alignment through product. They will feel the story you are trying to tell.
When the products and their presentation reflect your brand, then magic happens. Our experience is that sales increase. Customer satisfaction and loyalty all evolve to a higher understanding.
However, when these two key ideas don’t align, chaos and confusion happens.
When you have that synergy of company and brand values coupled with your product assortment and presentation, the whole organisation, the entire supply chain can feel it. From the manufacturing and distribution channels, onto the retail floor and into the customer’s hands. They can all feel what your passion is, the WHY you are in business.
A great example of this is Crate and Barrel, an American furniture and lifestyle store which came to life in Chicago, 1962 when Gordon and Carole Segal returned from their honeymoon in Europe. They were amazed at all the gorgeous handmade glassware and practical dinnerware they found while travelling through the continent. Nothing in the Midwest of America had such beautiful things. So, being the entrepreneurial spirits they were, Gordon and Carole opened a store. Crate and Barrel has become the global benchmark for home lifestyle retailers.
When you enter a store or visit their website (www.crateandbarrel.com), the feel and their corporate values are immediately visible.
- High quality and a care about what they sell.
- There is a feeling of trustworthiness, of consistent value and quality of products.
- They are knowledgeable in the field of homewares and lifestyle.
- They are fashionable and yet they are also enduring.
How do they express this? Through a common and understandable style, a design and colour aesthetic which resonates with their customer. Crate and Barrel show care in every product they develop, produce and sell. Their offer speaks volumes about WHO they are and WHAT they believe.
This all creates a ‘product journey’ which is an experience from concept to design, production and finally through their instore/online presentation. It is consistent, solid and memorable. Their customers just ‘get it’. It is a powerful and profitable way of showing brand values.
If you want to see the other side of what I am talking about, visit your local bargain furniture store, the big warehouse stores. You know the ones I am talking about. All they want to do is ‘sell furniture’, and that’s it. They place very little focus on aligning brand values with product and a specific target audience. Typically, their target audience is ‘anyone willing to spend’. Whilst this approach may attract them some business, customers often leave the store thinking- I just got a good deal on a couch, or I just bought some dinnerware. There is limited emotional connection to a products style or how it fits with their personality and their home. Those customers typically will not think about how wonderful that dinner set matches their entire living space. And without this emotional connection to the product or the buying experience, there is far fewer reasons driving the customer to return and shop again.
In short, with no alignment of values to product or instore experience, there is less to remember you by. You are simply a shop selling stuff, and when that happens… Discounting becomes king.
MC&Co. can help you create a leading product journey. We can work with you to alignz your company’s brand values with product design, creating a symphony of exceptional products presented in extraordinary ways. If you’re a manufacturer looking to design a product line to show off your passion or if you are a retailer who wants an offering which matches with your WHY, we would love to work with you.
Contact Us now and let’s begin the conversation.