Cutting Through Retail Clutter by Creating a Brand

With the explosion of products and shopping environments in the past few years, it’s more important than ever for retailers to develop a brand so they can stand out and attract customers, says a retail brand consultant.

“Brands are necessary to succeed in a market that is so diverse,” says Jeff Taraschi of Interactive Group Ltd./Eurobrands, which specializes in creating opportunities for brands, concepts, and personalities for brick-and-mortar and electronic environments. “The more you drive home your brand message, the more likely customers will remain engaged with your brand.… A brand identifies your business in a world of too many choices.”

Taraschi made his comments during a Thursday educational session titled “The Business of Brands.” He said the benefits of retail branding include: maximizing a position with customers, adding value in gross sales and robust profit, creating tangible reasons for multiple purchases, welcoming new clients based on referrals, helping to capture fashion-occasion purchases, and ensuring that businesses will survive change.

For the jewelry industry, self-purchasing women are a driving force, and 65 percent of women say lifestyle factors are their primary influence for making a purchase. Taraschi said jewelers should recognize this by creating an environment that will attract and engage women. Among his suggestions are making women feel comfortable by creating a fashionable and cultivated environment and highlighting seasonal merchandise.

Retailers can undertake a number of initiatives to create a distinctive and reputable brand, Taraschi said. They include focusing on exclusive brands and exclusive products and creating exclusive purchasing events.

As an example of a purchasing event, Taraschi said retailers could offer their best customers a chance to view the jewelry they purchased at The JCK Show.

“How much fun would it be for your customers in your town or city if you were to show people the treasures that you found at the Show,” he said.

He suggested that retailers find a way to localize national and international fashions, such as those seen at awards shows and fashion shows, by featuring jewelry that goes with the latest fashion styles.

He added that retailers could find ways to provide personalized luxury services, such as delivery services and express repairs.

He said the most important element any jeweler could add to enhance their brand is a Web site. It advertises a store’s brand at all hours and provides a way for customers to get in touch with the store at any time of day.

“If you’re not recognizing the importance of a 24/7 brand, you’re missing a connection with your customer,” he said.