An Elevated Customer Experience

The lines between brand development and the customer’s emotional experience have become more blurred in recent years. Gone are the days of customers and consumers who are only looking for quality products at a reasonable price. Now, there must be an emotional connection established with the brand model. How does the service or product make you feel? What sensory triggers are evoked by merely walking into some of today’s most successful businesses? The retail industry is taking notice of the climate change of the shopper market and adjusting their approach accordingly.

Think Small To Win Big

Nordstrom has recently established ‘Local’ stores, with a focus is on smaller buildings which highlight its brand, with a dimmer focus on actual merchandise. The company is currently evolving their ‘Local’ concept in New York City. The Nordstrom Local locations were initially limited to three Los Angeles area stores. The customer’s memory of Nordstrom Local’s look and feel is what many organizations are starting to implement in their business strategies. Also, the simplified business model affords customers the ability to have a more tailored shopping experience 1 that aligns with the exclusivity of the brand.

A Harmonic Retail Model

Nordstrom isn’t the only retailer switching up their strategic approach. Harbor Retail works with retailers like Target, Best Buy, and to deliver the wow factor to the customer. Harmonic Retail is their term for unconventional methods of keeping customers loyal to particular brands 2. The formula for success includes personalized engagement with customers through avenues like pop-up stores, Flagship locations, mobile apps, and more. eCommerce and online segments are enhanced to reinforce attributes of the physical store locations. The result is a merger of two previously independent functions of digital and in-store strategies. For instance, Target has mastered the art of appealing to all generations by using various sales tactics. The customer’s online experience is geared more towards Millennials, while the design and service of the physical store cater well to Boomers.

The most successful retail companies are the ones who anticipate the desires and pain points of their customers. Now, merely building additional business locations is not enough. The customer needs and wants to feel like an integral part of the brand. Even within the B2B space, decision-makers are looking for that same emotional connection that customers are seeking in B2C interactions. Developing strategies today to stay ahead of your organization’s consumer demands and innovation pipeline will establish long term benefits tomorrow.

1 Nordstrom’s ‘Local’ Expansion Has National Implications For All of Retail by Steve Dennis
2 How A Design Firm Is Helping Target, Ulta and Best Buy Ditch Omnichannel For A New ‘Harmonic’ Model by Pamela N. Dazinger