There is a clear trend for B2C brands that previously existed online only in physical places – Everlane, Glossier, Bonobo, and, of course, Amazon are just a few.
By being online, these brands were able to leverage the convenience of digital and gradually build a strong audience of loyal customers. The same brands are renewing traditional retail.
It seems that we have moved from physical to digital experiences and now the pendulum is returning to the physical. Why is this happening?
An unexpected email address breaks the noise
I recently tried another example of this physical-digital trend for a B2B brand a few months ago. I received an email from a brand I worked with on digital channels. I opened it expecting a branded tchotchke and maybe a Starbucks gift card.
I was wrong. The box inside opened to reveal a TV screen with a looped video about how the solution would change my experience. It was even linked to a great chocolate tasting, with detailed instructions on how to taste it. What else? This included tickets to participate in an event organized by the brand.
Wow, I was immediately convinced of the brand and what it has to offer. He found a unique way to cut through the noise and contact me individually.
Three tactics to help brands grow in the digital world
How can brands, B2B or B2C, get suggestions from pop-up retailers or technology companies by sending interesting correspondence? See how to eliminate digital noise.
- Points of physical contact
Undoubtedly, physical touch points are one of the best ways to differentiate yourself from other brands so that you can engage all five senses. In-store experiences that activate customers’ senses lead them to have stronger emotional connections to a brand and its product or service.
Direct mail can be considered obsolete, but with most brands focusing on digital optimization of consumer engagement, it is the physical experiences of the real world that keep the brand at the forefront.
- Encourage action
Including tickets to events in the direct mail I received was an incentive to continue the conversation and build a deeper bond with the brand. Other brands need to learn from this: if you can offer incentives to customers (through special offers or promotions) to break through the fourth barrier, so to speak, and visit a physical location, you will immediately have a stronger relationship than before.
- Keep interested
Consumers are looking for new and exciting ways to connect with brands. Whether brands need to donate a portion of their profits to charities, host an event, or use user-generated content in marketing strategies, brands must constantly find new ways to engage with their audience.
Another part of keeping things interesting is the introduction of new store models that meet the different needs of customers and inspire shoppers to keep coming back. For example, retailers can test “engaging experience centers” that engage customers and simply sell products. Immersive experiences are widely chosen and retailers can provide consumers with a deeper understanding of their brand and culture and show what makes them unique.
Likewise, retailers can open a “brand store” that focuses exclusively on promoting the brand itself. The store’s objective is to convey the brand’s values and social and community involvement and to transmit customer stories to invite consumers to enter “inside” the brand and form a stronger relationship. While both store examples do not currently generate sales, they will be of great help in meeting customer needs and developing lawyers over time.
Find your balance
Many companies are still on the path to digital transformation, but consider this article as a reminder not to attract attention. Experienced marketers know they need the right mix of digital and physical touch points.
The key is to have a consistent strategy, think about the overall experience, and translate it into a consistent approach for your brand: finding customers on the channels they prefer in new and surprising ways.