You’ve spent precious time and money on killer retail marketing and visual merchandising: POS, displays, promotions, beautiful product design – but how can you really create a strong brand image in-store?

Gone are the days of supermarket loyalty, customers will now shop wherever they can get the best deal and the giants like Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda know this well.  These major players are competing for customers with the cheapest products and fastest service, which has created a crowded marketplace for brands.  

This competition has made the in-store environment particularly tricky for independent brands, who already have the challenge of facing the likes of Unilever, P&G, ABinBev and more. 

The devil is in the detail 

The boom of ECommerce means people are visiting physical stores less, making every moment customers are inside valuable. It’s now more important than ever that your brand is presented in the best way possible and your brand image is strong in-store.

Drink products on supermarket shelves

As well as this, supermarkets are responding to the on-demand world of today with more automated tech to give us a quick and seamless experience. This means more things like self-service checkouts and less employees in-store. Technology can be amazing, but still always needs a human element to give an ‘eye for detail’.

“Due to the increased number of channels used for research prior to purchase, high street shoppers are more demanding and better informed than ever before. This trend in the digitisation of the in-store experience will continue as retailers find new and innovative ways to leverage technology in the pursuit of convenience – the Apple Store experience is a prime example of this.” 

Jacod Gascoine-Becker, Associate Director at Pragma 

Put simply, if there are less staff around to restock, bring products to the front, attach your marketing or recommend your product, the customer journey could be prematurely stopped and your sales figures will suffer.

Multi-channel consistency helps keep your brand identity strong

Brand compliance is absolutely key when it comes to 360 marketing and building your image across different channels. Without it, your reputation can be damaged, and people won’t want to interact with your brand. It takes time and money building trust with your customers through consistency in your products, messaging and visuals. For full consistency, you don’t want to neglect the in-store experience.  

If your brand has a perfectly polished social media presence, consumers will learn to expect high quality across every channel. 59% of shoppers use their phones in-store to compare costs or research deals and coupons (HRC Retail Advisory) and 84% of consumers believe retailers should be doing more to integrate their online and offline channels. (RetailNext). If your product doesn’t match up to how it looks online, your brand image will be affected, and trust could be lost. 

Don’t let brand compliance take a backseat! 

Brand compliance is vital to ensure you have a strong brand image in-store, but ensuring it’s met can be difficult. In an ideal world you could hire a field team to check every store nationwide. Unfortunately, that’s not realistic for independent brands! 

 The thing is, when you sign the contract with a retailer, you’re already paying for your merchandise to be correctly displayed, for marketing to be put up and even more for producing POS.  

How can you get visibility of your products in a cost-effective way, without having to hire that field team?

Bespoke retail audits can help your brand image

Shepper offers smart retail checks by combining an app and local people (we call Shepherds) who quickly check stores across the country, instantly collecting all the data you need. Whether it’s photos of your latest promotion on display or how sales reps direct shoppers to your product, we can help you quickly right any wrongs and help you get much needed clarity on your sales.

Shepper’s smart retail checks

We work with brands and retailers to help them understand the actual impact their marketing and displays are having in-store, so they can truly measure success. 

From new campaign launches to monthly or quarterly store audits, Shepper can help ensure your brand image is consistent and give you the facts to ensure you hit 100% brand compliance.