Sue Farr makes salient points about creating effective integration between brand and consumer (MW last week), but ironically omits to mention the most important form of integration – presentation at the point of sale.
The most basic customer facing situation is the one in which the brand meets the consumer in the sales environment, but too often it is overlooked in the clamour to make brand promises. As far as the consumer is concerned, whether a product is available and how it is presented is the key form of brand experience.
What is more, the growth of experiential marketing has sidetracked strategic thinking even further. As Farr points outâ consumers make their minds up by experiencing the brand in any number of mutually conducive settings. The problem is that it is all one-sided. The brand experience is more likely to focus on expensively bought creativity than guaranteeing an FMCG product is stocked properly, a drink is served at the right temperature in a clean glass or the store assistant has a passing knowledge of the product or service.
The other key point is that brands are often best experienced in the environment in which they are purchased. This is why consumers are in a particular outlet in the first place. As a specialist in on-trade distribution and promotion, I have seen countless brands generate high volume sales by winning shelf space and working pubs and bars through low-profile campaigns.
Big and shiny interaction may produce exciting marketing concepts, and even enthuse those consumers who experience them, but it does not come close to getting the basics right in terms of results.