Monday, February 9, 2015

Fashion Your Retail Personality

Fit your store’s personality to how your target market members want to see themselves. That relates to the values of your shoppers. What do they consider to be especially important in their lives? Power and strength? Safety and security? Trust? Perseverance? Playfulness? Craftiness? Friendships? Something else altogether? Weave messages about those values into your marketing and your salesperson-to-shopper contacts.
     Research findings from University of Arkansas and Iowa State University indicate that retailers of fashion items should cultivate personalities emphasizing three characteristics:
  • Mystery. To what degree do you capture shopper interest by having stories that use the history of the business to project into shoppers' futures? 
  • Sensuality. In what ways do you depend on sounds, sights, smells, touches, and/or tastes to leave memories with your shoppers? 
  • Intimacy. How well do you arouse commitment to your business by showing empathy for shoppers? 
     These research findings are consistent with what’s called the “Lovemarks” model developed by Kevin Roberts, CEO of global advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi.
     Research at West Virginia University, University of Texas-Austin, and Korea University indicates that if it is the luxury fashion market you’re in, there are six other store personality dimensions on which you should assess yourself, and then project to your shoppers:
  • Sincerity. Wholesome, cheerful 
  • Excitement. Daring, spirited 
  • Sophistication. Upper-class, exclusive 
  • Professionalism. Business-like, polished 
  • Attractiveness. Enticing, socially safe 
  • Materialism. Acquisitive, free-spending 
     The first three of those six dimensions were also identified in earlier research at UCLA as holding true for all sorts of retailers. The other two in the UCLA set:
  • Competency. Reliable, intelligent, successful
  • Ruggedness. Outdoorsy, tough 
     Although you’ll want to maintain a consistent personality image for your store, avoid matching too closely the personality of surrounding businesses. Researchers at Northwestern University and Emory University say that even when the stores adjoining yours are selling completely different product lines than you, if the personality of your store is a duplicate, people are more likely to wander off to another neighborhood to continue shopping.
     Another instance of going against the overall personality image is in making charitable contributions. Research findings from North Carolina State University and University of Southern California indicate that you’ll do best to include charities which don’t fit the personality of the store operations. The reason is that this gives the consumers more of a sense of personal participation in helping the cause. They feel noble, and a sense of nobility increases purchase intentions.

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more: 
Craft Powerful Stories 
Magnetize the Consumer with Mystery 
Carve Out an Off-Center Store Personality 
Fit Contributions to Contrarian Consumers

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