Within any retail organisation it is critically important to have end to end control of your brand. This is across all customer touch points ranging from physical stores to digital interactions. As an organisation evolves, brand control not only becomes more important, but significantly more complex to manage and execute against.
In fast paced retail environments, managing brand control alongside strategic business priorities, and creating an agile enough framework to trade effectively is tough. There are some critical elements of control that need to be in place to succeed.
Successful retailers manage the end to end process well, with a robust critical path in place that allows enough time on each stage from strategic planning through to amazing execution. At times, the reality of what has been agreed centrally or strategically are very different to what you see executed across channels.
There are many reasons for this, ranging from lack of clarity within the initial proposition, in-effective infrastructure in place to align all stakeholders or simply lack of clarity on what good actually looks like. Assuming the central structure is in place a working, and the business is clear on it’s expectations then the challenge truly begins in terms of expecting businesses with high numbers of employees and customer interactions to drive 100% conformance.
In my experience in retail, there is always the need to deliver great service, a need to constantly drive sales/profit growth and frequently look at the cost lines such as payroll. This places the obvious pressure on routines, the more accurate you can capture the profile of your estate, stores and fixtures, the more accurate you can build campaign elements, the clearer you can illustrate what good looks like (viewer/brand control) and the better chance you have in improving compliance.
Retailers often take one or 2 stores and assume this is representative of compliance across its estate, they couldn’t be more wrong. There are too many variables and if I was back in a retail organisation right now it would be on my top 5 things to focus on.
Compliance is critical to developing and growing brand equity, it is also critical in maximise each and every trade opportunity, this can be an own label product, a supplier brand or simply a local trade opportunity.
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