If your brand is concerned about keeping its online reputation healthy and its story consistent, you will need to take a proactive stance and begin looking closely at how your retailers are marketing digitally to their local audiences.
Shifting Perceptions: Reputation Management to Reputation Marketing
Many brands will typically associate reputation management with crisis management, dealing with issues and inconsistencies as they arise instead of remaining one step ahead.
Brands’ online reputations should not be treated as fires to be put out in response to one-off requests and crises. They must be handled proactively, constantly maintained to drive opportunity and avoid diverting it to competitors.
In a recent article by Forbes, advertising and marketing contributor Steve Olenski talks about the need for a shift in perceptions about brand reputation management. He writes, “We need to think about our reputations as a constant, competitive advantage; a driver of growth and prosperity; and a strategic asset. We need to think about reputation marketing.”¹
The opportunity at the heart of this idea of reputation marketing comes down to one question: How do customers perceive your brand? The closest these customers get to directly and meaningfully interacting with brands is via their local retailers. If these retailers are marketing your brand and its products in a disjointed way, chances are you will lose the opportunity for customer attraction, influence, and, ultimately, purchase.
The Uphill Battle: Retailer Marketing Inconsistencies
Here at Promoboxx, we often hear about brand frustrations with their retailers marketing the brand and its products in an unprofessional or incorrect way on their digital channels.
Tom Taylor, Head of US Run Specialty Channel Marketing at New Balance, shared this with us in an interview earlier this year:
“One of the biggest challenges we faced with our retailers in the past was that they would get a new product, take a picture of it themselves, and share it out with maybe the incorrect name, technical info, or marketing slogan.”
Retailer marketing mistakes like the one Tom mentioned lead to misrepresentations of the brand, creating a gap in the customer’s mind. In order to keep the brand image healthy and win the battle for customer mindshare, there has to be a certain level of marketing consistency in these retail channels. With this kind of solidarity, the brand story and message only becomes more impactful.
Related content: The Top Digital Campaigns Showcasing Brands and Local Retailers >
Preserving Brand Storytelling via Retailer Marketing Alignment
Brands are storytellers, communicating an intended message and image to local customers. To remain consistent and convincingly bring these customers along for the journey, it has become crucial that retailers market the brand and its products at a similar standard of professionalism and consistency.
“By providing the right assets to our retailers, they can avoid posting product photos from their shop floor or store parking lot and can elevate their social accounts by featuring brand imagery that appeals to the consumer. Aligning with our retailers in this manner elevates the brand in all channels and provides a consistent experience to our consumers.”
-Kent Hawkins, Channel Marketing Manager – Americas at Arc’teryx
“By aligning to the national brand message, smaller retailers can take advantage of the broad message being told by the brand and make it actionable on the sales floor.”
-David Calvert, Trade Advertising Manager at GE Appliances
Here are some tips to guide you on the path to local brand message consistency and retailer marketing alignment:
- Provide retailers with easy access to professional brand content and marketing assets.
- Make that content actionable by providing retailers with digital marketing education, advice, and strategy.
- Provide retailers with content calendars so that they know when brand content is coming, keeping promotions and campaigns relevant and fresh.
- Think about what your retailers are trying to tell their customers. Ask them what kinds of content are most impactful to these customers and see where you can begin to align.
By connecting with your local retailers and actively supporting them in their brand marketing efforts, you can begin to drive local message consistency and keep your online reputation healthy, all while guiding them on the way to greater retail marketing success.
Take Control of Your Local Brand Messaging
Ease your concerns of products being misnamed or features not being explained correctly. With Promoboxx, brands like New Balance, GE Appliances, and Arc’teryx are able to provide all of their retail partners (regardless of size) with access to campaign content that retailers can promote across their digital marketing channels to local customers.
Hear why Tom Taylor, Head of US Run Specialty at New Balance, partners with Promoboxx to ensure that their retailers are telling the right story: