At the heart of reinvention is an understanding that you cannot always follow the same path if you want to keep pace with evolving consumer expectation, ever-changing technology and even your competition. To thrive in today’s disruptive market, you must adopt a reinvention mindset to maintain longevity and protect your bottom line. But how does a retailer do that? Our experts weigh in.
Meet the experts:
Global Managing Partner,
How does a business know when it’s time to reinvent?
Walczak: First off, there needs to be a business case for it. I’ve never been a fan of “Let’s just reinvent our brand every couple of years.” That’s actually a recipe for failure. But when necessary, you need to take a critical look at the changing dynamics in your marketplace. Are there shifting customer needs and preferences you’re no longer meeting? If so, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. First, look at your existing strengths. Where have you been successful? Where can you build from? What are also our shortcomings? Get really honest about yourself.
Doiron: Reinvention is often driven by changes in the market. But you must stay true to who you are as a brand and a business. Don’t just follow the herd. Leverage insights to understand when you need to reinvent and potentially how to do it. Your customers are probably telling you, if you’re listening, that it is time to transform.
Lee: When you go through the reinvention process, consider what strategic partnerships you need to have, and who needs to be part of your ecosystem. Small and medium-sized enterprises feel like only large companies can do this, but that’s not the case. You have a lot more strategic agility; you don’t have the legacy infrastructure; you have an ability to partner quickly, test it out and see if it’s working. Small and medium-sized enterprises are missing an opportunity to think through who are their ecosystems and alliances as they build their brand.
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Can you explain the concept of ‘brand love’ and its role in reinvention?
Walczak: In a very functional sense, brand love is about being the preferred choice people go back to, time and time again, regardless of price or other choice out there.
Keep in mind that brand love isn’t for sale. You earn it. I’m a firm believer that the impression you make is actually far more important than the impressions you buy. Totally true.
I’m not an anti-advertising person; I run an ad agency. But you don’t build brand love just by hammering the marketplace with impressions and ads and messages. It’s more important what you do and how you behave as a brand.
How do you quantify brand love? Well, brand love is about value creation. It’s not just an ethereal concept. Some research has found that well-loved brands can command a price premium of more than 25%. We also know loved brands recover from economic crises a lot faster. That’s incredibly important. You don’t want to become irrelevant. Brand love is a security blanket.
What role does retail space play in reinvention?
Lee: In a post-pandemic world, how you create a consistent physical and digital experience is top of mind. You’re spending all this money on ecommerce, on all this creative, but it doesn’t reflect your in-store experience. So, the discussion is: How do you bring those two together to actually drive profitability? Because of the pandemic, you suddenly have to take an enterprise view to customer experience – versus a channel view. That is challenging for a lot of businesses. They have to work with their partners to figure out: “How do I replicate that on-shelf experience that I may have on my digital channel?”
Also, look at how do you use data to create curated experiences, so you don’t treat everybody the same. Customers have given us their permission to use their data – so do it. Mine it. Analyze it. Use algorithms to deliver for them. That is a gap in the marketplace. Everyone’s been talking about data analytics and AI forever; the challenge is no one’s truly offering up the right curation of products and services with it.
These are highlights from the Reinvent: Evolving your brand to drive business growth panel. For more information and insights, view the full discussion
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