Why brand values are more important than ever

Shannon Ingrey, VP and General Manager APAC of BigCommerce, explains the importance of purpose and value amid a wealth of consumer choice.

Brand purpose and value has never been more critical for retailers than in 2020. When considering the crowded online marketplace and the increasing purpose with which shoppers are driven, it was Brad Banducci, Woolworths’ CEO, who said it best; the most valuable asset of a company is the brand, regardless of digital or in-store experiences.

So, how do retailers build and maintain brand loyalty at a time when consumers are overwhelmed with choice? Beyond digitisation and customer experience, it comes down to knowing who you are and sharing that with your customer at every opportunity. From innovative tech solutions, to modern payment options and sustainable packing and delivery, every touchpoint of the customer journey should champion your brand values.

Make the customer feel like royalty 

First and foremost – and especially as customer expectations continue to rise – it’s critical for retailer brands to be synonymous with a personalised, seamless experience. The path from browsing to purchase and beyond should be straightforward. Brand trust requires a level of reliability; customers want to know that they can count on you to deliver exactly what you promise. Put simply, a shopper should be able leave a retailer’s website on their desktop, open the retailer’s app and pick up precisely where they left off – and be provided with their relevant payment and delivery preferences along the way.

And this should be built into your brand identity and values – a commitment to consistently improving and advancing the experience of your customers at whichever point in time they visit your store. We know that many of today’s consumers are looking for a truly human experience when they shop. This means that investing in creating a consistent and authentic brand experience should be your priority.

Build customer needs and wants into your brand DNA

When it comes to humanising your brand, there’s no quicker downfall than failing to understand or offer what your customers really need. More often than not, loyalty remains strong when customers believe two things: that the brand offers a better service and higher quality than any other.

Particularly in the current environment where supply chains are disrupted and timelines are frequently challenged, it means transparent and open communication quickly comes to the forefront. Brand loyalty can become fickle when supply is scarce so beyond predicting what your customers want and when, it’s just as important that your customers understand why your product is worth waiting for if they have to.

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Sustainability gives customers one more reason to connect

The importance of sustainability in retail has been building for a long time and many retailers and consumers alike are exploring how it can be treated as more standard practice. Consumers want to align themselves with brands that reflect their own values, through all elements of the shopping experience.

It’s not just about one part of the product journey – Australians are more aware than ever and concerned about how their actions, including the goods they’re purchasing, affect the environment. From your supply chain, to sustainable transportation and biodegradable and eco-friendly packaging, you need to think about every step of the product journey and how you can do business while simultaneously protecting the planet. Doing so will be considered a significant step forward in demonstrating the values that drive your business.

Building a brand in 2021 and beyond

As a result of the pandemic and our decreased ability to engage in face-to-face interactions in physical storefronts, it increasingly feels as if shopping experiences have become less human and more transactional. In the midst of uncertainty, consumers are more purpose driven than ever. We know customers, especially younger generations, actively seek brands with values that align with their own. Brand loyalty has everything to do with how consumers perceive brands and it’s my belief that maintaining loyalty is an ongoing investment.

Ultimately, retailers’ success will be driven by their ability to not only keep up with consumer demands, but to stay true to their brand and employ technologies and solutions that drive experience and engagement with Australian consumers.

Shannon Ingrey is the VP and general manager APAC of BigCommerce.


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