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, describe street lights flickering in the growing puddles on the sidewalk. This idea can work incredibly well with your brand, with your business. If you can identify your key target customers, if you are able to understand what your brand values are then you can display this, show the world, through the products you stock and sell. People will see your store and immediately feel a connection to you from the feel the look and the ambiance. They will feel the story you are trying to tell.
It can be a very thin line to walk. When the products you have for sale reflect who you are, your business and your brand, then magic happens. Sales increase, customer satisfaction and loyalty all go up. You feel good about yourself and your team and your business.
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 range, the whole organisation, the entire supply chain can feel it. From the manufacturers through distribution channels, onto the retail front 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 began life in Chicago back in 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 traveling 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.
When you 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 you, with their image and values. Crate and Barrel show care in every product they produce and sell. Their stock speaks volumes about WHO they are and WHAT they believe.
This all creates a ‘product journey’ which is an experience from concept through design, production and finally when you go to market. It is consistent, solid and memorable. And your customers will just ‘get it’. It is a powerful way of showing your values, rather than just telling them.
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 have no interest in Brand Values or aligning product to a target audience. Their target audience is ‘anyone willing to spend’. And that may land them some business, but those customers will leave thinking- I just bought a couch, or I just bought some dinnerware. There will be no solid connection to an item, a style. Those customers will not think how wonderful that dinner set matches their entire living space, how it fits with their personality and their home.
In short, with no alignment of values to product, there is nothing to remember you by. You are simply a shop selling stuff.
MC&Co can help you with your product journey. We can work with you to couple your company’s values with product design and produce a symphony of great products. If you’re a manufacturer looking to design a product line to show off your passion for business and life, or if you are a retailer who wants to find the stock which matches with your WHY, Michael and his team would love to work with you.
Contact Us and let’s begin the conversation.