Letters: Segmentation will alienate individuals

I read with interest ‘UK consumers underwhelmed by their experience with brands’ (mwlinks.co.uk/customerexperiencemarketing) and it comes as no surprise that many customers feel this way. With some brands still looking at consumers in segments rather than as individuals there will continue to be disconnect in customer experience as individual interests are not being recognised.

Consumers today demand a personalised experience. Consumers are seeing through generic, impersonal brand communications and selecting to purchase from brands that deliver a tailored experience based on their individual passions.

What is clear, not just from your article but from industry trends as a whole, is that brands that are not reacting to consumer behaviour will be left behind. The retail industry being the highest performer in the Forrester results is an indicator that a growing number of retail brands understand how to put the customer first – through adopting
a personalised approach.

Neil Capel, Founder and CEO, Sailthru

Music can reach out to all generations

Your research shows us that music brings generations together (mwlinks.co.uk/musicgenerations). Music is no longer the sole preserve of youth as it once was. A current ad for digital radio station Planet Rock has a dad thumping on the ceiling yelling at his kids to “turn the music up”. Last year’s British Summertime festival successfully demonstrated that music can reach cross-generational audiences, with JLS and The Beach Boys rubbing shoulders on the same bill. 

Music is no longer an alienating factor but a great shorthand for brands that need to build intimacy with a broad range of audiences. 

John Lewis’s 2012 Christmas ad used a Gabrielle Aplin cover of 1984’s The Power of Love – a stunning example of a brand building intimacy not only with, but also between, audiences with skilfully selected music that in itself crosses genres and generations.

David Atkinson, managing partner, Space



The pitfalls of price promotions

Debenhams has woken up to the dangers of being too reliant on price promotions, having realised the impact on its profit margin in recent times (mwlinks.co.uk/debenhamsdiscount).

There is a place for price promotion and short-term tactical campaigns can drive sales.  

However, too many retailers and brands are falling into the trap of constantly using discounts, which is not only eroding their margins but also perceptions of their brands. 

Added-value promotions can often be delivered for a fraction of what the discount would have cost. 

Unlike discounts, a well thought-out and well executed promotion such as a prize draw to win a family holiday or a promotion offering the customer £1 off their summer holiday for every £1 they spend, will engage consumers on a level that is not price-related, will reinforce brand perception and drive sales.

Retailers and brands have to take a strategic view rather than a tactical approach as they cannot think short-term forever. 

If they continually discount then at some point their offering will lose its value.

Simon White, head of business development, Protravel


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