If you’re looking to sell things, whether it be through an online store or a real-world one, then you’ll need a brand that’s recognised.In the long term, there’s simply no way to thrive without your potential customers knowing who you are and what you do.You’ll therefore be at a considerable disadvantage, when compared with your rivals, if you neglect this part of the business.

The endgame when it comes to brand recognition is having a target market immediately think of you and your company when they think of a product they’d like to buy.This is just as much so for international conglomerates as it is for small independent shops.And, once you’ve gotten your brand to the required level, you’ll need to work hard to sustain it, and thereby keep your firm’s name lodged into the minds of your would-be customers.

Let’s examine how you might run your business to secure the best possible recognition for your brand.

Customer Service

For good reason, customer service is considered the cardinal virtue of good retail.It’s something which can’t easily be quantified, but it’s something that’ll reliably draw your customers back again and again.Conversely, bad customer service will repel them; not only that, it’ll also spread across your would-be-customer base, as customers who’ve had a bad experience will assuredly tell everyone they know about it.

Unfortunately, bad customer service is a lot like bad breath.You won’t know that you have it unless you start asking trustworthy people.Moreover, the longer you have it and don’t know about it, the worse its effects on your reputation will be.The best way to handle this is to hire an outside field marketing firm like Tactical Solutions to send a mystery shopper in to your store.

A mystery shopper is an anonymous person who will collect feedback on their experience as they go through and make their purchases, thereby providing you with a customer’s eye view of the store, and giving you an objective basis for making improvements.

An impartial, disinterested mystery shopper will be able to provide your staff with the incentive to perform at their optimum – after all, if every customer might be a mystery shopper, every customer will need to be treated to the best possible standard.

Provide a stress-free shopping experience

If your customers are able to rely on your store to provide them with the things that they need in an orderly and stress-free manner, then they’ll associate the name of your shop with these qualities.When the time comes to pick up certain key items again, they’ll be more inclined to think of your store first.Traffic should be able to easily flow around the store, and those little items which people are likely to impulsively buy, like chocolates, should be placed in the highest-traffic areas, like near to the counter.

There are many different ways of laying out a store, and it might not be immediately apparent which is the best for your store.For this reason, it’s worth arranging your store in a manner that’s sensible.To do this, hire in an outside agency to perform a retail audit.These function in much the same way as a financial audit, except instead of examining the health of your business’s finances, they’ll examine the state of your shop and make recommendations for potential improvements.It’s important, in these matters, to gain an outside perspective, such as that provided by outside agencies like Tactical Solutions, as it’s difficult to gain distance from a shop you spend every day in.A retail audit will help your store to reach the required standard, and provide some assurance of quality to outside parties when you deal with them in prospective takeover and merger negotiations.

Take advantage of online marketing

Even if you’re a small local shop which carries out 100% of its business in the real world, there’s still something to be said for maintaining an online presence.With an ever-growing proportion of the population having an account on Facebook, Twitter, or both, social media represents an excellent platform for your brand, and a way to engage with your customers and resolve any problems before they damage your shop’s reputation.Online marketing represents a free, highly-focussed means of getting the name of your store out there into the public’s consciousness, and it’s never been more crucial that this tool be taken advantage of.Creating a twitter account for your business is free, and will put you in touch with your local community, as well as people from across the world.

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