Review of Retailer’s Communication Plan
In order to add value to the products and services offered by organizations and ensure that marketing efforts yield a high rate of success, it is really important the brand communication is carried out in an effective manner. For creating a brand communication strategy, exceptional insight, high focus, creativity and an in-depth analysis of internal and external environment are required (Stafford 10). It is believed that every brand is unique in its own way and requires different methods of communication so as to attract, retain and satisfy the stakeholders. Lynch, Joanne, and Leslie De Chernatony suggested that for the communication of a brand, an understanding of the characteristics and preferences of the stakeholders especially the customers is significant so that emotional and logical theme could be linked to brand communication accordingly.
Corner Market, as discussed earlier, is one the popularly known supermarket in the area of Hattiesburg, Mississippi which is preferred by those customers who are looking for fresh grocery and dairy items at a price which is lower than those of competitors at their convenience. Corner Market is the first choice of residents of Hattiesburg as they trust the quality and pricing of the store- they believe they can buy anything of their use from the store at affordable prices and save long trips to buy same quality from famous grocery stores.
The retail store has made use of several methods of brand communication. For instance, information about the newly added items of special discounted offers is made available through several ways such as billboards, newsletters, leaflets, website and social media. There is an app on Corner Store which the customers can get for free- the app allows the customers to stay updated with the new promotional offers. The official website of Corner Market allows customers to view healthy recipes which are seen as a popularly accepted feature. The contact us section of the website allows customers to get in touch with a representative online or call on the specified numbers to express their concerns. Social media allows two-way communication where the customers can discuss their issues with the representatives of the store as well as with other customers in real time. Moreover, the feedback form offered to the customers after they do shop at Corner Store also facilitates communication. Corner Market ensures that it takes into consideration the three C’s of communication while carrying out marketing efforts. The three C’s are clarity, consistency, and constancy in communication brand equity to the customers as well as other stakeholders including suppliers, employees, investors.
Effectiveness of a Retailer’s Communication Plan
It is very important for a retailer such as Corner Market to have a communication plan for its customer and related stakeholders so that it can inform them of its mission, vision, and long-term goals. Awareness of the products being offered by Corner Store is very important. Informing the customers of store timings, organic and fresh products offered, store reputation is part of brand communication. A communication plan is also important for a retail store to have as it helps in building a strong relationship with the customers. If a retail store is unable to communicate its product range, special features, discounted deals and coupons, then there is no way customers could get to know what the retail store is about and what it offers. Therefore, communication assists in maintaining long-term customer relationships. Communication via social media is also helpful in building brand loyalty. Social media helps the retail store understand what customers think about its product quality, pricing, utilization, customer service, and convenience and helps in improvement. Communicating the employees about the products being offered, new promotional efforts and upcoming developments is also mandatory so that the employees can build a strong relationship with the retail store and feel a part of it. Moreover, providing knowledge to employees about the philosophy and marketing efforts is essential so that the customer service they offer comes out to be extraordinary (Linton 35).
Corner Market understands the marketing communication is very important to build and maintain its brand image in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Corner Market offers fresh and healthy products including dairy and grocery items which are mostly organic at prices which the customers in the small location can easily afford. Corner Market also offers several items of daily use so that customers can find everything they need under the same roof which saves traveling time and hassle faced at big stores.
Corner Market makes use of several brand communication methods to inform its customers of its new developments and discounted offers or any new events. Social media is seen as a great tool used by the organization to stay in touch with customers and gain constructive feedback for improvement. In this section, we are going to explain the effectiveness of retail communication with the help of an example. Corner Market has a Facebook page which is updated on a regular basis. Corner Market posts special discounted offers and deals for the customers on its Facebook page. Customers who have subscribed to its page get updated and then they pass on the information to people in their circle and this is how the news spreads in the entire town. For instance, on the occasion of Valentine, a special offer was advertised on Facebook. Customers were informed that Corner Market will be offering fresh flowers, bouquets, chocolates, small gifts, fresh strawberries coated in chocolate and several other items to make the occasion memorable for them and their loved ones. Similarly, any new initiatives taken by Corner Market are also mentioned on Facebook. For instance, the improvement of deli line with some great and delicious recipes and meat at the Oak Grove location was announced via Facebook. Prices were also mentioned with a strong image of the meat items so as to encourage the customers to check out the offer. Special events are also regularly hosted by Corner Market for its target market. Cheese is one dairy product people totally love about their food. Keeping this in view, Corner Market made an announcement of a special event where several varieties of cheese would be available and customers would get a free chance to taste from samples. The event was successful in attracting cheese lovers who got the chance to experience the taste of more than twenty-four varieties or recipes of cheese. Sometimes, Facebook is also used to strengthen the promotional efforts of Corner Market. For instance, an ad was posted on the Corner Market’s official Facebook page which was more like a competition. Customers were asked to take a selfie right in front of the Belgium Beer Display at the retail store and post the image on Facebook. The image with the maximum Facebook likes would get a chance to win a bike. Customers participated in the competition with passion and contributed to its success.
Customer Relationship Management
A CRM program serves as the backbone of any business’s success. Managing strong and long-term relationships with customers are essential. We understand that business exists for the purpose of satisfying and retaining customers. In the absence of end users that is the customers, no business can survive. Therefore, having a customer relationship management program is mandatory to ensure that the business obtains its goals and objectives in a smooth manner.
We learned from the management of Corner Market during the interview session that there exists no formal customer relationship management program however, the retail store ensures to take several measure to get in touch with its customers and gain loyalty from them. For instance, informing the customers about the new developments at the store, the launch of new products, discounted deals, special discounted coupons through the use of the various medium is considered as mandatory. Customer feedback is collected at regular intervals so that Corner Market can get an overall idea of its brand image, brand equity, and brand perception. Keeping the customers loyal to the retail store in the presence of competitors in the market is quite a challenge which Corner Market accepts in an insightful manner. The quality of its grocery items is superior and the price is kept at low to medium levels so that people with all income groups can easily do their shopping at Corner Market without thinking of switching the grocery store. Loyalty cards or membership cards are given to regular customers so as to allow them to shop at Corner Market at very low prices.
Every organization must have a customer relationship management program or it must at least implement some methods to ensure that the customers express their willingness to maintain long-term relationship with it. Responding to the needs and demands of the target market as per the changing market trends is also very important and Corner Market makes certain that it look after the priorities of its customers and serve them in the best possible manner.
Linton, Ian. "Examples of Communication Strategies by Retailers" Chron. Chron, n.d. Web. 26 Apr 2016.
Lynch, Joanne, and Leslie De Chernatony. "The power of emotion: Brand communication in business-to-business markets." The Journal of Brand Management 11.5 (2004): 403-419.
Stafford, Alan. "Major Key Objectives of Marketing Communications – Explained" Marketing Communications Blog. Marketing Communications Blog, 27 Aug 2012. Web. 26 Apr 2016.