The buzz hasn’t stopped about the spending power of one demographic: millennials. With over 80 million shoppers falling into this demographic, they clock in at spending power topping more than 600 billion dollars.

What they expect when shopping, however, is changing. They can get anything they want using their phone, tablet, computer, laptop, TV – you name it.

So, when they do choose to go shopping – and yes, in-store shopping isn’t going away – retailers, merchandisers and product companies need to ensure that brand experiences are on point, informative, polished and convenient.

That’s how you keep a store from turning into a museum.

This new shopper expectation also puts a lot of pressure on your in-store execution teams. Sloppy displays, signage and storefronts are going to repel today’s brand-conscious shopper. That’s why we’ve put together these essential tools and tips to transform your employees into brand experience gurus.

Track, Assess and Collect

The crucial step in transforming your teams is assessing which teams and locations need the most help. Start that process by evaluating the stores where your products live.

  • Displays: Collect visual confirmation images of product displays in and around your stores.
  • Signage: These are crucial to encouraging and directing traffic. Collect visual evidence of their current status at all locations.
  • Storefronts: Images of your storefronts can tell you if thorough updates and refreshes are happening on time and with precision. Storefronts can be challenging to physically access or cumbersome to navigate, which can encourage shortcuts or delay setup.

There’s more to be done once you’ve collected some cold, hard data, however.

Try giving your field staff or retail teams feedback forms to collect the following data:

  • Does the product display match the planogram?
    • If not, what areas were not matching?
  • Are products, displays and signage adequately lighted?
  • Are the following areas clean and tidy?
    • Floor/Shelf/Display/Walkway/Entrance
  • Were products correctly priced?
  • Were seasonal objects matching the correct time of year?

To make the data you collect more relevant, cross-reference each location’s sales data with your assessments of each store’s brand experience via setup performance. You’re nearly guaranteed to find a correlation between team members who need updated training and materials and the stores which need work – track those locations which report low brand compliance, display quality, and beyond.

Remember to Prioritize

Building a team that makes your brand experience shine is an essential goal. That might make it tempting to look at the data and immediately roll out a new plan for training and field execution – but you’d be forgetting the importance of feedback.

Instead, be strategic.

 

Start by building a feedback loop with the teams and staff that need proficiency the most. Those are going to be your stores with lower sales, less-successfully executed planograms, display and storefronts.  

As you roll out training to this initial group of staff members in need, ask them what’s going wrong at their location. Do they need more materials, clarified materials, or a step-by-step set of instructions? Did they receive materials with enough time to complete them by the deadline? For remote execution teams, did they have time to travel between locations, and are those routes optimized to reduce travel time?

Answers to these questions will help you create remedies that address the most serious issues influencing the customer’s brand experience. More importantly, feedback will benefit your new plan for flawless brand execution by anticipating the problems which tripped up the teams which needed the most help.

Launch Your Fully Scalable Brand Experience Initiative

Now the fun part. It’s time to grow that plan you perfected with the teams who showed you the flaws in your strategy to generate the answers and tools your teams need.

This brings us back to step one, however. Why? No plan is complete without assessing its success.

Once more, launch a data collection and analysis campaign, with your field or floor staff collecting visual verification, store assessment questionnaires and feedback ranging from the threshold to the back of the shelves. The combination of feedback, a brand-new execution plan and data will turn your field teams and store team members into gurus in field and brand execution.

Close the Loop

Natural Insight’s field and workforce management platform empowers you to collect data, assess field team strengths and individual talents and rapidly distribute and verify your brand execution strategy. For more information on how we take the chaos out of retail merchandising, download our infographic: Natural Insight: Creating Order from Chaos.

 

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Mark is the Technical Writer for Natural Insight and Capango and is responsible for technical documentation, communications, and marketing efforts. Before Natural Insight and Capango, Mark worked as a government contracting reporter after graduating from James Madison University with a B.A. in English in 2012. When he's not bouncing around drafting emails and writing user manuals, Mark enjoys spending time at home with his wife as well as his two cats, Kevin and Cheese, both of whom have said, on the record, that Mark is a "cool dude."