As a start-up, setting out your stall and breaking new ground brings with it a certain entrepreneurial rush. This weekend, I had the opportunity to experience it live with Alex Minzey co-founder of Annie with Alex at a Christmas fair. An online business building its customer base, driving brand awareness and sales distribution - 3 key pillars that most start-ups can relate to.
Side by side with a slew of different vendors, all vying for the attention of passing shoppers, there are some valuable lessons to be learned from trading face-to-face to the 1 billion Instagram users (200 million of which visit Shoppable Posts) for emerging and existing brands:
1. Location, Location, Location:
The early bird catches the worm. Get there early and get yourself set up in a high traffic location to be seen and heard by your target customer. Online and in-store are no different, from social media to geographic location – Be where your customer is to drive footfall.
2. Personalised Customer Experience:
After observing people interact with vendors, it was clear that the personalised engagement always won the attention of the otherwise pre-occupied passers-by. Tap into what makes them tick. Once you understand them, you can engage them through a dialogue that can lead to sales.
Digital companies do this really well. Amazon, Uber and Netflix anticipate your needs, preferences and interests by ‘getting to know you’ through their platforms. More than a million retail brands are now sharing and promoting their products on Instagram. And thanks to a new feature, users can complete their buying journey, from discovery to checkout without ever leaving the Instagram app.
Focus on the customer outcomes in your pitch. Too often, brands start off with their features which may or may not align with customer needs. Why should the customer listen to you? What problem will you solve for them? Listen to them, then align your response to meet their expectations.
Stories can really enhance a pitch. They evoke imagery, dialogue, and a call to action. They are windows into a brand, lifestyle or journey. A live scenario may lead you to repeat your story numerous times, but social media stories let you share it with all your followers in a few clicks. Alex from Annie with Alex says that Instagram stories (with 400 million users a day), along with face-to-face customer interaction have driven traffic to their website for sales conversion - All trackable via Google Analytics.
Get your pricing right based on who you are targeting and ensure that you have everything marked clearly. Are your products low value, mid-range or at the premium end? Have a pricing and promotional strategy ready, so you are clear on your parameters.
6. Leverage Social Media
When writing your business plan, include social media in your marketing strategy. You can target potential customers, generate leads and nurture relationships whilst providing answers about your products which will drive your sales.
At the end of the day, whether you are creating a local or global brand community, engaging visual story-selling outsells functional transactions.
Collaborate with strategic leadership teams to design customer-centric story selling that: Get brands listed, Convert Browsers into Buyers, and Unlock Commercial Growth.
Trusted by some of the world’s most well-known & start-up brands and Omni-channel retailers such as: Coca-Cola, Bacardi, Starbucks, Britvic, PepsiCo, Kolibri, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Morrisons, Ocado and other Fortune 500 companies in +30 channels the UK & International markets.
Get in touch to see how we can get your brands listed and convert browsers into buyers by visiting: http://www.splitsecondltd.com