Activated Associates are Brand Assetshttps://www.chutegerdeman.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/associates_post_header2.jpg1440428Chute GerdemanChute Gerdemanhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/27b8b1d5d4480e694e1d763231b8e868?s=96&d=mm&r=g
In the wake of Fyre Fest, influencer marketing has been called into serious question. Real connections and values are challenged when brands are paying top dollar to celebrities who don’t really care about what they are selling. Is this real? Even without #ad listed, can consumers really trust it?
The logic is obvious: 61% of global consumers aged 18-34 have had their decision-making impacted by digital influencers (eConsultancy, 2018).
When done right, influencers can be powerful and an amazing representation for the brand to reach target audiences. But the halo is dimming: only 36% of US marketers say they feel their influencer marketing efforts are effective (Association of National Advertisers, 2018).
We see a whole other avenue of missed opportunity and it takes place in 3D. Brand ambassadors. Sound old school? It is, but with a twist. Today’s brand ambassadors should be making an impact in-store creating a social and HUMAN connection with customers. Then staying connected to customers when they’ve left the store via social media or other community platforms.
“73% of consumers say that good customer service encourages them to spend more money than they had originally planned” – International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).
The store associate is a brand’s best asset. We’ve heard this before and we’re diving deeper into how brands are activating their store associates and providing the tools to do it right.
The recently launched Macy’s Style Crew is a prime example of how to get employees involved in social engagement. Employees post about products on Instagram using the tag #macysstylecrew and then in-turn profit from sales. Any Macy’s employee can apply to be part of the group. This team of stylists are pulling together in-store collections and sharing their favorites. Encouraging both in-store fun and easy online ordering.
We’re all excited for the new Wayfair store opening in Boston this fall. The online retailer will pair its vast furniture assortment with trained design teams to support the shopping experience. Knowing shopping for home décor is often emotional, it can be even more challenging to navigate all the options without unrest and ease. Incorporating a new customer service strategy in-store will be key to their brick-and-mortar success
Unlock Digital Access
A new favorite of ours is The Conservatory, located in the new Hudson Yards in NY. The store is the key to unlocking the brand in digital. Customers must visit the store BEFORE they can shop online. When visiting the store, located behind a beautiful plant covered entrance, there is a sense of exclusivity and community. Shoppers speak to an associate and set up an online profile that allows access for the hidden eCommerce platform. Encouraging a brand team member and customer interaction is key to the brand experience. The Conservatory is delivering expertise and social engagement in person and then staying connected after departure.
There are so many ways brands can activate their associates. Providing unique ways for them to get engaged and stay connected long before (and after) the customer is in the store. But it’s the experience in-store in conjunction with the social interaction that can set the brand apart.