Brand Authenticity

Oscalito

Above: Oscalito at CURVENY.

by Joy Menon, founder of MerchandisingEye.com

Recently, I encountered a very popular athletic wear brand, promoting their line by having customers sign up as VIP members with their first purchase. What they were unaware and unclear of was that the company was billing them monthly for being a VIP member. Once customers saw the bill and attempted to dispute, company representatives hesitated to refund, offering a store credit instead. The membership cancellation was also a very difficult process, leaving many customers feeling disappointed, deceived and venting their frustrations online.

As consumers, we always have high expectations from our favorite brands when we shop. We expect the product to be high quality, our experience to be seamless and our information to be safeguarded. Yet a recent survey by Cohn and Wolfe shows the public believes there is an authenticity gap with brands being open and honest.

Lack of transparency is a vital missed opportunity that can sabotage your sale even before it starts.

Trust is everything in business and once it’s lost, it’s challenging to regain it.

Empreinte Photo by Maddie Flanigan

Above: Empreinte photo by Maddie Flanigan.

Creating Trust

Let’s take a look at the main areas you should focus on, in order to create an unforgettable experience for your customer, so they are prone to shop again and again.

Your quality: If you are promoting your product or service to be the best and of highest quality, then it should be. Your customers will feel deceived if they receive their item or service and it isn’t up to those high standards. If this is the case, then highlight and rave about what your company does best. Highlight your strengths versus weaknesses.

Your team: This is where effective sales training is vital, as well as good customer relationship skills. They should know about the product and policies thoroughly, as well as customer shopping psychology and behavior. They should be aware of how to tackle the most challenging questions and how to take action when someone is upset and unsatisfied. Although no two stories are alike, the overall message should be consistent.

Your policy: Make your customer aware of the fine print and assure the process for purchasing your product or service is clear. Misunderstandings leave a bad impression and frequently result in a lost sale and customer. When misunderstandings do occur, target them as quickly and efficiently possible.

Although it’s ok to be aware of the psychology behind your customer and position your product or service accordingly, it’s definitely NOT ok to confuse your customer into committing to something that is not wanted.

How will you make to make your brand more authentic today?


Joy Menon founder of the Merchandising EyeNeed Even More Retail Advice? Joy Menon’s recent articles include: Breaking Away From Excuses and Owning it, Secret to a Winning Sales Force, Impact of Virtual Aesthetics on Sales, Expert Accessory Displays and Top Selling Tips.