With the cost of living spiralling, consumers are feeling financial strain. Needs, wants and motivations are changing, and marketers must keep up to ensure that campaign efforts don’t come across as tone-deaf or damaging to their brands.
For retail marketers, it’s not as easy as just promoting price reductions because the rising costs mean that many products are actually going up. And the products where retailers are able to offer competitive prices will likely be across the board, meaning that campaigns and brand activations need to be disruptive.
So if promotional offers are few and far between, what can retailers do to ensure they can stay competitive?
The answer has been at the centre of many retail marketing strategies for decades. It lies in value. But the term ‘adding value’ means more now than ever, and retailers will have to leverage the power of their brand in order to stand out.
Make a connection in a new way
Tons of retailers are going to be competing for the limelight, and a price slash here or discount code there simply isn’t going to cut it in a sea of similar offers. Brands need to work hard now to create a value-led strategy to keep people coming back to them for a single reason or multiple offerings.
These added extras are tokens recognised by consumers, and the more appealing the token, the more likely they are to commit to repeat business.
This could be in the form of a supermarket offering unlimited deliveries and priority slots for a monthly fee, a clothing retailer offering discount codes for trading in your old garments, or entering someone into prize draws every time they make an online purchase.
Let your values shine through
If, outside of the existing cost increases, your brand is already known to be more on the expensive side, you need to shout about why it’s a premium product now more than ever.
Whether it’s showing your meticulous manufacturing process, shining a light on your local suppliers and distributors or all ways your product is helping to support a more sustainable world – it’s a great way to humanise your brand and encourage customers to feel an affinity with it in a new way and set you apart from comparable products.
There’s a big difference between trying to add value and implying the customer’s problems could be solved by half price carrots. Anything you claim to be able to do for them must be backed up by action. People will find themselves in many different financial situations, some of which will be dire.
For this reason, it’s more beneficial to use touchpoints as a chance to connect and inform, rather than a hard-sell. Active customers will appreciate the human touch and those that aren’t able to shop with you right now will remember your efforts on the other side, or choose to shop with you when they can.
Everyone is aware of the price hikes, but not everyone understands why their favourite retailers are passing on the costs to them. Particularly if profits are reported, it can be difficult to justify price rises.
That’s why it’s important to be open and honest about what the company is facing and why costs to consumers need to go up as a result. There will always be people unhappy with this, but being honest about the cost of fuel, increased costs from suppliers etc. is more valuable to a bigger demographic.
Communicating that products are of a certain quality or come with a particular guarantee will go a long way in giving consumers peace of mind. This could be highlighting where a piece of fruit was sourced from, the material quality of a t-shirt or providing a lifetime guarantee on a more luxurious purchase.
Despite the need for cost relief, the demand for quality products isn’t going to fizzle out. Brands need to work hard to justify the costs by highlighting the benefits and origins of products.
Now’s the time for creativity
Deciding whether to go down an emotional or rational campaign route will be a coin toss for some retailers and a lengthy discussion for others. On the one hand, people want to understand the value you are going to offer them quickly, clearly and concisely.
On the other hand, with all the events that have been taking place in the world, consumers could do with some respite in the form of empathy or humour.
There will be a fine balance to be struck, but the difficult reality is that you will need to achieve both if you want to power through this blip.
React and create quickly with BAM by Papirfly™
BAM puts the power to create in the hands of your marketing teams. Videos, print, digital, emails, social. Teams can create campaign materials from scratch, edit existing assets with ease and adapt them for countries across the globe. No design experience needed.
Produce vast amounts of content at scale for a single SaaS licence fee and explore every marketing opportunity available. Join over 500,000 global users from brands such as Unilever, HSBC, Vodafone and more.