As a marketer, is there anything better for your brand than a band of loyalists who share the same passion for your company as you do? Not really.
The most powerful marketing force in the world are customers, especially those who have been turned into fans. So how does a brand create advocates who become cheerleaders for the brand? The secret lies in a brand merchandise store. A brand store is crucial because it gives your brand better visibility and further helps by adding value to your business.
There are plenty of benefits of having a Brand Store and here’s how it helps in the long run:
The Power of Branded Merchandise
The journey of using branded merchandise is like dating; sometimes you try too hard, face humiliation but in the end, with some effort and luck you get the girl. But the power is phenomenal, it triggers a personalized experience, which in turn creates a sense of loyalty towards the brand. When KFC unveiled an online merchandise shop with limited edition goodies and fried chicken apparel, crispy fried chicken was not the only thing selling out! While Tesla loyalists loved the brands' bold and unconventional merchandise and looked forward to being associated with it. So when Elon Musk came out with a $45 Tesla-themed battery that could charge any device, it was instantly sold out.
While branded pens and USBs are great as office giveaways, they don’t sound like the merchandise a fan would buy. Let alone establishing an emotional connection with the brand. What if a customer could virtually walk into a store and fully experience your brand with all their senses? A brand store with customized branded merchandise does exactly that. In their simplest forms, brand stores lure customers with the excitement of exclusivity, and an unmatched opportunity to generate buzz. With the space to inspire an entire generation of customers, brand stores strike an emotional connection with customers for the brand. It creates an altered and unexpected experience for customers to share with the world.
When customers can view a brand’s collection of statement branded pieces, and purchase it directly from the brand store it instills brand advocacy. Driven by passion and love for a brand, striking the chord of exclusive ownership through bespoke branded products will make customers want to engage with your brand. Starbucks turns first-time visitors into brand advocates and used this strategy to bring home an annual growth of 11% and over $84 billion in market revenue. But beside revenue, Starbucks fanbase cheered the brand on their social media accounts as they posed and bragged about their exclusive branded merchandise. Free social media promotion>revenue.
Successful brand collabs effectively double brand exposure and reap dividends for both businesses. The key to a great brand marriage is similar brand values and types of target audiences. A pleasantly surprising brand collaboration between Ray-Ban and Ferrari proved to be a treat for fans. Two high profile brands with very different, yet similar consumer interests, both Ray-Ban and Ferrari created an immersive experience by rewarding the consumer with great branded products and excellent service!
A Lil’ Extra Love
After a guilty indulgence, a brand fan never shies away from expressing a little extra love for the brand. It means tags on Twitter, status updates on Facebook, or a post on Instagram. With over 2.6 billion monthly active users on Facebook in Q1 of 2020, social media publicity can work incredibly well for both small and big brands.
Standing out in a highly competitive marketplace is a difficult challenge for most brands. But brand stores tap into the customer's soft spot for nostalgia and create something unique. It pays off to find an audience outside your industry that is willing to support, boost, and brag about your branded products.