As we approach another round of layoffs and bankruptcy in the retail sector, we all have to wonder what went wrong. The truth is that companies have embraced certain marketing “truths” that no longer work today. These once try and true techiques are now outdated. In this article, we will explore these truths and find a better solution.
If you build it, they will come
Rapid expansion of stores during the great housing crash is now making retailers that grew in what seemed like emerging markets scale back. Stores are finding it harder to retain thier leases and even more difficult getting customers in these remote areas.
Customers really want more choices not more locations. With the rise of internet shopping, consumers are not looking for more locations. They are looking for unique product. Pop-up shops offer new products for a limited time which can be a strategy that stores can try. A pop up store inside of Century 21 has drawn alot of attention even though it was unintentional. Even though Iconic J&R is music and electronic brand, it did increase news coverage for the store as well as increase traffic.
Stick to your brand
Stores should have not brand identity. Different regions have different needs and unless you intend to stay within one region like Belk which as built itself into a Southern fashion store. It means Belk will not be able to branch to other regions without changing that identity.
Offer different staples in different regions and know who buys what where. I was really surprised upon hearing the midwest loves high heels and smaller bags then those in northern states. Target has built a system that can pinpoint consumer wants and needs to a very fine detail. They track consumer purchases and get them to sign up for emails and mail then send out correspondence based on those purchases. No need for that kind of complicated system. There is market research already out there.
It is hard to compete with corporations but you have the flexibility to rebrand and change direction, and can personally reach your fan base. These are the best tools you have, use them wisely.