Retail MarketingLeave a Comment on How to be smarter with localisation in retail marketing

How to be smarter with localisation in retail marketing

The importance of localizsation

Growing a new brand to become a household name can take years, if not decades, to achieve. But with successful localisation, you don’t have to rebuild your brand identity and consumer trust completely from scratch when launching in a new market.

For a brand to be truly global, it needs to be able to reach consumers anywhere in the world, unlock doors to new markets, be prepared to take on local competition and tap into the buying habits of different audiences. 

As anyone in touch with the modern marketing landscape will know, this takes more than just translating the copy on your products, communications and assets into the relevant languages — as we’ve already covered on the Papirfly Knowledge hub, doing this puts you at risk of making some embarrassing marketing faux pas.

Even at a time when marketers are well aware of the importance of localisation, a study from the CMO Council revealed that despite 63% of marketers being unsatisfied with their localisation efforts, 75% allocate less than a tenth of their budget to improving them.

For successful localisation in any local market, it’s essential to factor in a number of considerations, including:

Cultural sensitivities

Probably the most obvious and definitely one of the most important things to consider before releasing any kind of marketing material in a different market is the associations, nuances or dual meanings it may have there. 

Certain imagery that works well in one local market may be inappropriate or offensive in another. The tagline you’ve been running from day one may not translate as intended or it could even be a local term for something else entirely. For the sake of a few extra checks with local teams, there’s nothing worse than having to pull your hard work because it’s offensive to the very audience you are trying to engage.

There are a surprising number of occasions when big-name brands have got this wrong. Including the time clothing retailer GAP had to apologise to China after releasing a printed t-shirt showing an incorrect map that missed out several of its claimed territories. As well as being aware of long-standing cultural nuances, the impact of significant local events can change the meanings and associations of certain words and phrases. For example, retailers in Australia have to be sensitive about how they promote Black Friday sales as this is also the name given to one of the most devastating bushfires in the country’s history in 1939. It’s one of the reasons that Black Friday sales have only recently taken off and remains predominantly online.

Localising your message

Even when you’ve checked that your translated marketing materials say what you intended, it doesn’t mean they have the same meaning to local consumers. Your brand may be universally recognised, and your products purchased for the same reasons (taste, quality, price etc…), your messaging needs to be unique in every market to get those selling points across in the best way possible.

To get this right, it’s vital that you understand your audience’s buying habits, behaviours and pain points. This will help you tweak your messaging in a way that remains on brand, but resonates better with local consumers.

Seasonal changes and local events

To stay relevant and front-of-mind, brands need to respond to what’s happening in every market they operate in. This means reacting to seasonal changes as well as bouts of unusual weather such as heatwaves, snow and storms, with relevant product promotions.

Being aware of location-specific events like sports contests, music festivals and local traditions create opportunities for brands to respond with promotions of relevant products and messaging.

Hyperlocal culture

A single localisation strategy for each country may not be enough to reach all the different audiences within it. Even when the language doesn’t change, cultural nuances can be completely different between counties, states and regions.

This means that a blanket approach to localisation won’t work. To avoid excluding swathes of consumers, make use of regional teams who understand the needs and wants of audiences in their local area.

Local teams

From an outsider’s perspective, it is almost impossible to gain an in-depth understanding of particular locations and pick up on all the cultural nuances that often become the central idea of the best advertising campaigns.

The best way to make sure that your brand is landing in a local market is to employ the expertise of teams who work there. 

In 2020, Deliveroo used hyper-localisation as the premise for its ‘virtual neighbourhoods’ to ensure they had 100% coverage in every area in which they operate. By building maps around local restaurants, they have been able to accurately geo-target campaigns for specific areas. It also meant they could automatically create new campaigns for local audiences whenever they launched in a new location.

How to make localisation seamless

The points above may seem like a lot to consider, especially if you are planning on taking your brand to every country across the globe. When you have a solid localisation strategy in place, innovative tools can help take the stress away from head office and give local teams the autonomy they need to implement your strategy with innovative features:

Integrate your PIM/ERP with marketing tools 

Bringing your product information management (PIM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) together and making them accessible in one location, empowers local teams to take control of pricing, stock levels, SKUs, variations, inventory options and distribution.

Working from a centralised portal, teams can more easily work together to make informed decisions using relevant data, while keeping senior-level teams in the head office in the loop. It’s a failsafe way to ensure that product variables are consistent.

Common product variables that are important for your marketing 

Capitalise on direct marketing

In unusually hot weather or the upcoming final of a major sports event, marketing teams need to respond fast to meet the sudden changes in consumer demand. 

These are often market-specific and local teams need to achieve fast turnaround times while ensuring that the materials they produce are the correct format, accurate and on-brand. With intelligent templates, pre-set to on and offline formats, they have everything they need to bring asset creation in-house and work within the strict parameters of your brand.

Don’t forget in-store assets

So that local stores are ready to promote local events, stock clearances and take full advantage of other time-sensitive opportunities, retail teams need a seamless way to produce printed in-store marketing materials.

Using simple creation software they can create professional in-store materials in minutes, define templates that are set up in the correct standardised formats for print and digital, and are pre-populated with the most up-to-date brand elements such as logos, colours and taglines.

Embrace local formats

As well as automated formatting for standardised social media assets such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, the tools you are using to localise your brand needs to account for local formats.

This means that teams can instantly set their marketing materials to the correct sizes for the local newspaper, print and digital format sizes.

Empower your local teams

Two key components of successful brand localisation are accuracy and speed. When you have a clear understanding of different markets across the globe, and your local teams have the tools they need to achieve great work, your brand can react fast to changing demands in specific locations.

However, these two key components come with two key challenges. When your internal teams are overworked or you rely on outsourcing from external agencies, both speed and accuracy can grind to a halt.

The best way to overcome these challenges is by empowering your teams with a simple way to produce assets in-house and automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks.

Automate content delivery at speed and scale

Tools like BAM by Papirfly™ have a suite of innovative features that help teams to create digital and print assets within dedicated templates. Easy to use and always on-brand. No expert skills are needed. As well as making your team’s lives easier, these features give marketing managers in head offices complete oversight of live campaigns and the ability to react quickly to take advantage of trends and opportunities.

Get smart with localisation and BAM

Retail MarketingLeave a Comment on Establishing good brand governance in retail

Establishing good brand governance in retail

From online stores and social marketplaces to virtual shopping experiences and more, the number of retail marketing avenues to monopolise on has exploded, and there are more opportunities than ever for retail marketers to reach potential customers.

In today’s retail marketing landscape, pace, demand and scope have made setting a single set of guidelines and enforcing them globally very difficult to execute. In this article, we’ll explore the key elements of brand governance in retail, and where brand strategies should be focused on in the near future.

What does brand governance look like in 2021?

Applying more flexibility to brand governance does not mean going off-brand. While it’s necessary to adapt your guidelines for different platforms, sub-brands and territories, an underlying thread of consistency is still absolutely vital.

Brand trust and authenticity are delivered through consistency. When consumers become used to receiving your messaging, products and services in a certain way, you begin building a relationship. Should this messaging or brand be delivered differently, and without good reason, it could damage the way they perceive you. 

Research shows that a brand has a very short window to make a first impression, and it takes 5-7 impressions to start creating brand awareness.

To monitor every piece of marketing material or campaign asset across the world to make sure this first impression is right the first time, every time is a nearly impossible task. But the demands that have been placed on teams during the pandemic has meant that consistency for consumers has never been so important.

Where should marketers focus their attention?

Brand guidelines

Sure, you’ve already got a set of brand guidelines. But when was the last time you really looked at them? Since they were first created, has your business made any big decisions that could now make them redundant?

Could company decisions have impacted your brand guidelines? 

  • Has it made any major changes?
  • Started rolling out new seasonal marketing?
  • Realigned its core values?
  • Launched new products?
  • Updated its approach to customer service?
  • Introduced new sub-brands or initiatives?
  • Opened shop in new locations?

If the answer is yes to any of these, then your guidelines are probably in need of an update.

Your teams may already be crystal clear on how your brand presents itself, but what about your company as a whole, including teams in other markets and departments? To achieve global brand consistency it’s vital that everyone in your company has access to up-to-date and relevant brand guidelines.

The results of outdated brand guidelines or a lack of access to them, will quickly lead to inconsistencies in your product information, pricing and communications. Muddled messaging, unfamiliar looking product packaging and major price differences will leave customers feeling confused and your brand appearing unreliable.


Brand governance and price positioning are more closely aligned than you might think. While governance strengthens brand consistency, price positioning strengthens the perceived value of your product. When you have multiple brands and products going to market across the globe, your pricing needs to align with the perceived value in each location. The implications of getting this wrong can undo all the hard work that has gone into your brand marketing.

Any good brand activation management tool will have a PIM and ERP integration feature that helps your teams to centralise product information including descriptions and prices, and allow you to import this data into your marketing (with all content correct) without needing any manual input.

Streamlined product data

Product data is all the information about a product that can be read, measured and structured into a usable format. It can do some wonderful things for retail marketers.

Organised product data can…

✅ Help you create competitive pricing online

✅ Compile product metadata
✅ Give sales teams relevant information

✅ Improve commercial decision-making 

The key to getting the best use of your data relies on your ability to organise what’s relevant to specific teams and make it easily accessible from one location. Again, most good Brand Activation Management portals will help you centralise this easily

In-store challenges

Retail marketing is always changing to adapt to new trends and consumer demands. But the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused monumental shifts in the way we shop in-store.

One of the top strategies for high street retailers has been to merge their online and in-store shopping experiences. More consumers now expect a seamless, hyper-personalised experience whenever they shop, and new technology has made this possible with app-based loyalty schemes, click and collect, personalised recommendations and more.

Effective brand governance is vital in implementing a seamless connection between these online and offline worlds. Without it, customers will be faced with misalignment between their experience shopping with a brand online and in-store.

Online challenges

Although the events of 2020 saw more consumers than ever before adopting online shopping as the norm, this hasn’t come without its challenges.

More online shopping platforms, along with competition from e-commerce giants like Amazon, mean that traditional in-store retailers have had to go above and beyond to meet the high expectations of consumers in the post-pandemic retail landscape.

Brand governance has played a vital role in making this possible. The core values of your brand are what attract your customers to your stores in the first place. Rolling out your brand’s messaging across multiple platforms and letting consumers see consistent, instantly recognisable traits both online and offline gives traditional retailers a physical, personal presence that giants such as Amazon have yet to establish.

Optimising approvals processes

Once a brand has solid governance and consistent alignment, teams need to be able to react fast to put it into practice. However, rushing to get a product to market on time is likely to increase the chances of error.

Having a clear approvals process where all changes can be monitored by key stakeholders not only makes life easier for your teams, but also means that you can react to demands, implement promotions and launch new products with speed and confidence. The key to a successful approvals process is ensuring it’s digitised where possible.

Which features to look out for when choosing a brand activation management tool

Template creation

If you have multiple teams producing retail assets, then templates are a failsafe way to ensure that everything stays on-brand, culturally relevant and consistent with specific campaigns.

Brochure creation

Never underestimate the power of print. With a creation suite built for producing both digital and printed assets, you can roll out a range of materials all with the correct branding, product names, features and prices. Bonus points for a localisation feature that can make your marketing tailored to local territories.

PIM & ERP system integration

As noted earlier in this article, keeping thousands of product variations consistent is much easier when you have up-to-the-minute product data at your disposal. With the right tool, you can use PIM & ERP integration to import information such as top-line USPs, and update packaging and cost information. 

Digital signage

When the pressure is on to roll out new assets in your stores, digital signage is a great way to get your messaging out there, and fast. A tool with capabilities to upload assets to in-store screens directly from one system will help cut to-market turnaround times even further.

What’s next for brand governance in retail?

The world is moving faster every day. Teams are producing more content than ever. Hitting targets rests on the shoulders of central marketing teams. It’s integral to increase speed to market without compromising brand governance and consistency. But with disconnected teams across the globe, multiple agencies involved and disparate budgets, bringing powerful production tools into the mix will be a transformative move for retail marketers everywhere. It won’t be overnight, but when technology is embraced, workflows are re-imagined, productivity is increased and teams can deliver more on-brand campaigns than ever before.

BAM makes brand governance possible

We hope this has given you some new and helpful insights into establishing strong brand governance, and how a Brand Activation Management (BAM) tool can revolutionise your retail marketing processes. The challenges faced by retailers are growing, and as the landscape shifts on a daily basis teams should make their production process digitised, streamlined and future-proofed.Learn more about the BAM by Papirfly™ solution for retail brands and marketers. 

Retail MarketingLeave a Comment on A retail marketer’s guide to in-store signage and experiences

A retail marketer’s guide to in-store signage and experiences

It’s one thing getting customers into your store with your marketing – it’s an entirely different ball game to create a unique in-store experience that keeps them coming back for more.

The debate on physical stores vs online retailing is one that has been discussed for many years, long before the pandemic took hold. And even though online sales have trumped in-store, we’ve learnt that consumers still very much crave the haptic shopping experience, but their expectations are much higher than before.

Let’s explore the different experiences that can be created in a retail store, their purpose and how in-store signage can help support its effectiveness.

Advice for creating an experience, not a store

Many brands have confused creating an in-store experience with simply remodelling their interiors. While modernising spaces can be beneficial for the customer, any drastic change should be backed by strategy and the data that informed that strategy. Here’s how to make sure your spaces hit the mark every time:

  • When updating an existing space, gain shopper input and suggestions – their insight could help you shape new stores. You could gain this from incentivised surveys, digital experience buttons, or by having real conversations on the shop floor
  • When planning every aspect of your store, think of it from a consumer-focused perspective. This means everything from ensuring your pricing is transparent, through to choosing the right curtains for your changing rooms
  • Try to offer something unique. Whether that’s style matching, product demonstrations or areas dedicated to your brand’s purpose – bring something memorable to the table
  • Ensure signage formats and selection allows for easy updating, window displays, in-store printed signs and digital screens need to remain current and interesting. A solution like BAM by Papirfly™ can be a valuable support here, enabling anyone to create and amend assets in a matter of minutes, so stores can immediately inform customers of new products and the latest offers
  • Every square foot is an opportunity to sell, but that doesn’t mean every inch needs to be product space. Creating areas where customers can relax and socialise can be just as powerful for sales, and creates a pleasant brand experience they won’t forget. From in-store phone charging stations, through to sofas in the changing room, you want customers to feel right at home
  • Even once a customer has made their selection and is ready to make a purchase, that doesn’t mean the deal is sealed. The checkout experience needs to be exceptional in order for your customer experience strategy to work. If a customer is greeted by a large queue or less-than-friendly associates, they may abandon their purchase and refrain from returning in the future

Help customers get the product they want, how they want it

In the age of Amazon Prime mentality, consumers often choose the delivery option that’s the quickest when ordering online. By bringing your physical stores into the online ordering process, you help to reinforce your brand’s physical presence while retaining convenience for your customers. Here are just some of the ways you can do this:

  • Offer faster home delivery when the product is available in a local store
  • Allow them to pick up orders from in-store, with the incentive of it arriving quicker
  • If your store has substantial outside space, offer curbside pickup
  • Give them the option to bring their online returns into the store – this allows them to choose a replacement product in-store, or spend their refund on an alternative purchase
  • If a customer makes a large purchase in-store, give them the option of reserving their selection, paying in-store and getting it delivered to their home address

Understanding the in-store customer

Even once stores are being enjoyed by customers, that doesn’t mean the hard work stops there. It’s important to have methods of gathering fresh insight and making sure your spaces are landing well with your audience.

  • Hold regular meetings with your sales team – they speak to customers every day and will understand their suggestions and gripes more than anyone
  • Get corporate staff on the shop floor once in a while. It can act as a great training exercise for them and helps keep them grounded when making decisions and interpreting insight from the sales team – in-person observation can provide invaluable information
  • Ensure everyone understands the ‘personality’ your brand is trying to portray – you want the customer to feel as though they’re with people that understand their needs and shopping for a brand that understands what they’re all about. BAM’s intelligent templates can help make it impossible for brand inconsistencies to creep in. Plus, it provides organisations with a single, central location to house all guidelines, so everyone working on your content knows exactly how to depict your brand’s identity
  • You can’t target everyone, or you’ll spend a fortune trying to make people happy. Focus on your core demographic, think about what makes them smile, what they care about – use this as a foundation for your decisions and try not to lose sight of them as your core customer base when receiving feedback

Signage to support the customer experience

We’re inundated with signage and promotional materials in everyday life. So much so that we wouldn’t understand how much we need it until it’s gone. Signage needs to span multiple stages of the buyer journey, including:

Here are our key categories of signage focus for every retail store:


The most important signage of all. Help customers easily find checkouts, changing rooms, exits, products and more through simple and clear signage. Signage that isn’t properly considered or placed throughout the store will leave consumers frustrated and encourage them to leave the store without making a purchase. 


Finding the right balance of product promotion and your brand identity is a delicate art. Ensure these promotional spaces can be easily updated, and that there’s a process in-store for keeping on top of sales collateral. Leaving outdated campaigns up could leave consumers annoyed when products are no longer in stock. 

Experience-led and interactivity

Where possible, use signage to make connections with customers. You might promote the store’s Spotify playlist, use QR codes to give customers access to exclusive content, provide free digital magazines while they’re chilling out, or games to keep children entertained while their parents shop. The possibilities are endless, but very much depend on your brand’s vision and messaging. 

Making in-store experiences a reality

A retail store needs to run like clockwork in order to be successful, so tools for automation can help make the day-to-day more seamless. BAM by Papirfly™ gives you the tools to easily update digital and physical signage in-store, keep on top of campaigns and react quickly to customer demands.

Find out more about our retail solution here or book your demo today.

Retail MarketingLeave a Comment on Why are retailers launching their own marketing agencies?

Why are retailers launching their own marketing agencies?

We know that the retail industry never slows down. Every year consumers’ expectations for fresh products, offers and content grows – and retailers must provide these faster and more frequently than ever.

Agile is the goal. However, a traditional stumbling block on the path to “agile” is the reliance retailers – particularly those with a national or global presence – place on external agencies. Timing is everything in retail marketing, and any log jam at a partner agency can prevent campaigns landing at the optimal time.

This is why numerous retailers, such as UK giants Boots in September 2021, have taken it upon themselves to cut out the middleman. By launching their own in-house marketing agencies, they are looking to accelerate output, enhance efficiencies and present a stronger proposition to their supplier brands.

Here, we will explain why retailers worldwide are now taking this massive step, and outline the pros and cons of this full-on approach.

In-house marketing agencies – why now?

There are several factors – some very recent, others that have bubbled under the surface for years – that have compelled some of the world’s biggest retailers to take this previously absurd concept of becoming their own marketing agency:

Higher demand, tighter budgets

Shoppers expectations’ are higher than ever before. They expect consistent, personal engagement with their preferred retailers, whether it’s a unique special offer in their inbox to active content across social media.

But, as the demand for content only continues to grow, marketing budgets are shrinking. Many retailers were hit hard by COVID-19, and have had to tighten their belts in a number of key areas, marketing included. This includes the amount they have to spend on external agencies – compelling retailers to find ways to produce more in-house.


Overdependence on external agencies

Alongside the pressing need for retailers to reallocate their marketing budgets, there are also the longstanding concerns that many in-house marketing teams encountered when working alongside a third-party agency:

  • Longer turnaround times due to competing priorities
  • Brand inconsistencies caused by a lack of understanding
  • Lengthy back-and-forth over amends and updates
  • Costs associated with comparatively simple jobs

Many retailers, such as M&SVerizon and Procter & Gamble, have already committed to taking more of their marketing in-house in response to the current landscape. By going even further in establishing their own fully-functioning agencies, others are aiming to take their production levels and support for suppliers to a whole new level.

The importance of omnichannel

The ways that retailers can interact with customers – both physically and digitally – are constantly increasing and evolving. Being ever-present across these platforms requires a multi-skilled team with experience in many areas of marketing: design, paid advertising, social media, print, email marketing, etc.

The introduction of an in-house agency puts all of these experts under one roof, and with their sole focus on you, the retailer, and your suppliers.

The death of third-party cookies

It probably hasn’t escaped your attention that Google is set to depreciate 3rd party cookies by 2023. This has unnerved numerous brands who are often reliant on this data, as their customer base does not typically purchase their products directly from their websites.

The first-hand information gathered by in-house retailer agencies, based directly on their customers’ behaviour, could therefore help supplier brands gain a deeper insight into their target audiences, and use this agency to produce better-targeted campaigns.

Great news for the suppliers, and a great selling point for the retailers that can provide this capability… 

Competition to secure suppliers

Even the biggest retailers need to present a compelling case to potential suppliers. You want to make sure they feature in your stores over a competitor, and forge strong, long-term relationships.

Giving suppliers access to an in-house agency, capable of creating marketing assets for their purposes in-store and beyond, helps retailers foster these lasting bonds, and offer an incentive that most retailers globally can’t deliver (yet).

4 retailers that have established their own agencies


The catalyst for this article, Boots introduced Boots Media Group (BMG) in September 2021, with the aim of helping third-party brands deliver personalised campaigns out to their customers.

As well as enhancing their own internal advertising, the BMG agency will be capable of treating each of Boots’ suppliers individually, with unique channel mixes, marketing strategies and schedules to suit their requirements.

Plus, Boots will give suppliers access to the rich first-party data it holds across its 17+ million loyalty member cards, and tools measuring cost-per-sale, click-throughs, conversion rates and more. This means they will be perfectly placed to supply their partners with a deep insight into how customers are behaving straight from source, to structure future campaigns.


In August 2021, Walmart announced that they had selected Publicis Groupe to support the development of their own in-house media agency. This is with the aim of deepening their connections to their diverse customer landscape through a wide range of omnichannel solutions.

The establishment of the Walmart Media Group is based around providing an end-to-end, seamless service to the retailer’s customers, and making their journey’s as robust and engaging as possible.


Now we go all the way back to 2019 to Target, another heavyweight U.S. retailer, establishing Roundel as their own in-house media network.

This offers content creation and other advertising services for brands lining their stores’ shelves, such as Disney and Unilever, as well as a number of premium partners that don’t feature in their stores, including Mastercard.


Expedia Group Media Solutions is the advertising arm of Expedia Group, one of America’s most prominent online travel shopping organisations.

Through this in-house agency, they provide brands with digital marketing solutions that reach and engage the millions of people that travel with them every year, giving these brands a powerful means to connect with audiences around the world.

What are the benefits of this approach?

Attractive proposition to suppliers

With retailers in competition not only for customers, but also suppliers, the promise of a dedicated in-house agency, and access to invaluable first-hand data from shoppers, will be a big incentive for suppliers to get on board.

Faster turnaround times

By creating a dedicated space where all content and strategies are crafted in-house, there is no enforced gap between formulating a campaign and getting it to customers. No third party. No added layers. No barriers. 

Extended capabilities in-house

While an in-house marketing team will typically be spinning a lot of plates among each other, an agency will ensure that a retailer has access to professionals from throughout the marketing spectrum. These specialists will have a strong understanding of how to get the absolute most out of each campaign.

Real-time behaviour

Again, when speed is of the essence, having insight into the first-hand, real-time shopping habits of your customer base will enable an agency to create highly targeted campaigns based on these behaviours. Marketing is more effective, allowing you to forge watertight relationships with your audience.

Locked-down consistency

One of the ongoing concerns with using external agencies is the risk of brands being misinterpreted or poorly applied. As the agency works specifically for the retailer, there is much less risk of brand consistency going awry.

What are the risks?

Of course, while there is plenty of reasons as to why retailers are launching their own marketing agencies, it is not an approach that is free of risk:

Coordinating global campaigns

If your organisation has locations spread across the globe, it is possible for differences in culture and language to impede the effectiveness of your content. Plus, if all work is coming from a single space to be disseminated to teams worldwide, it is possible for streams to become crossed, and the wrong asset ending up in the wrong place.

With this in mind, it is useful to have tools in place to coordinate your international marketing:

  • A Digital Asset Manager (DAM) to store all approved assets in one globally accessible space, and share these with the relevant teams worldwide
  • A campaign planner that makes it easy to see all past, present and future campaigns at once, with information on when particular assets will be required
  • Language and localisation features in your content creation suite, ensuring that all content produced for a particular market is appropriate for that audience
  • A central brand portal housing brand guidelines and cultural considerations for any member of your marketing team to review at any time

All of this and more becomes possible when you use a solution like BAM by Papirfly™.

Convincing sceptical suppliers

As we’ve outlined above, there is a lot for suppliers to be excited about when it comes to retailers establishing in-house agencies. However, like any upcoming innovation, it has naysayers.

First, the supplier must place a great deal of trust in the retailer to put their marketing in the agency’s hands, and achieve results through this. If there is a long-term relationship already in place, this is less of a problem – for a new supplier, there could be some initial hesitation.

Secondly, there might also be some scepticism over what will take priority – the retailer’s own products and branding, or their suppliers’. So, if you intend to take this approach in your organisation, be prepared to do some convincing for several suppliers.

Costs of in-house marketing

Finally, there is the all-important consideration of cost. There is a very good reason why so many retailers over the years have outsourced work to external agencies – it was typically far less expensive than hiring an in-house marketing team, let alone your own full-blown agency.

With this in mind, and the fact that budgets are more restrictive than ever, having the tools in place to streamline marketing production and make it more accessible to everyone is vital to countering the expense of establishing and maintaining an agency.

Therefore, a solution like BAM by Papirfly™ is absolutely critical. Easy-to-use, preset templates empower anyone, regardless of design experience, to produce high-quality, perfectly branded assets in a matter of minutes. Times-to-market are shortened significantly, and you are enabled to create more digital and print assets than ever before – at no extra cost.

How BAM lets you do more in-house

We hope that you have enjoyed this introduction to the phenomenon of marketing agencies emerging from established retailers. While it may not be something you’re thinking about in the immediate future, I would watch this space – this is just the start of a trend that could change the way retail marketing is approached long term.

Nevertheless, it is never too early to give yourself the foundation to take marketing in-house and take your budgets further. Get in touch to learn more about BAM by Papirfly™, or get hands-on with it by arranging your personal demo.

Retail MarketingLeave a Comment on Do flagship stores have a future in retail?

Do flagship stores have a future in retail?

We’ve heard talk about the “death of the high street” for years. The rising popularity and frequency of online shopping and an ever-growing list of shops that have disappeared – trends accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic – have led many to question whether physical stores still have a place today.

  • Total online retail sales grew 36% year-on-year in 2020 – the highest annual growth since 2007 (IMRG Capgemini)
  • Almost 40% of all retail sales in the UK in May 2021 were conducted online (BRC)
  • Online shopping is expected to reach nearly a third of all retail sales by 2024 (Osome)

The relevance of the “flagship store” has come under particular scrutiny. Once considered the most important and impressive store in an organisation’s fleet, the impact of the pandemic and the overall shift towards digital experiences has changed some people’s attitudes towards these environments.

In recent times we’ve seen numerous brands, including DebenhamsAbercrombie & FitchZara and Topshop, close down flagship stores worldwide.

But, not all retailers are singing the same tune – Burberry opened a new flagship store in London as recently as July 2021. Stone Island, L’Estrange, VASHI, UGG and Hermès are among the many retailers to establish flagship stores in major markets since the COVID-19 outbreak.

With this in mind, in this article we will look at the continued importance of the flagship store in the current landscape, and what the future looks like for these locations.

Flagship stores: a brief history

The legacy of the flagship store stretches back to the late 19th century, with the grand Steinway Hall in New York one of the earliest examples. These concepts set the tone for what flagship store would be – the most luxurious and spectacular example of a retail brand’s identity.

By the 1980s and 90s, many premium and midmarket brands had established their own flagships in the world’s biggest cities, with Niketown in Oxford Street one of the most notable examples.

Selfridges in London. Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Nike’s House of Innovation on Fifth Avenue. These and other iconic flagship stores have held a magnetic appeal with consumers for decades, acting as so much more than just supersized stores. They were tourist destinations. They were attractions. They were the epitome of what a brand stood for.


What is the appeal of the flagship store?

Many aspects make flagship stores unique from other shops within an organisation:

Their size and scale

Flagship stores are traditionally the largest and most aesthetically impressive location in a brand’s armada of shops. They use this size to showcase not only the latest products and developments from the brand, but its history, innovation and personality.

Their size and scale helps to demonstrate the power of the brand, with the aim of leaving visitors wowed. It is more than just a means of containing more products and collateral – it is an indication to potential customers that yours is a brand that matters.

Their location

The majority of flagship stores are based in standout global cities – London, New York City, Beijing, Tokyo, Paris – cities that receive significant footfall and are prominent tourist destinations.

Because shopping is a popular tourist pastime, these flagship stores act as a great introduction to shoppers worldwide, compelling them to frequent their local sites in future. Some of the best flagship stores even become go-to destinations in their own right.

Their customer service

While retailers strive to maintain a strong standard of customer service in all locations, it is usually taken to another level in their flagship stores. Experiences are often more personal and unique in these environments.

This is often because flagship stores are where people “experience” a brand. They engage the senses and encourage interaction between customers and employees to a greater level than most local stores.

Their purpose

While there is a significant commercial component to a flagship store – like any other brick-and-mortar shop it needs to generate sales – the purpose of a flagship store extends much further.

Flagship stores are the “homes” of retail brands. They promote a brand, making it accessible and tactile for consumers. Almost everything inside is designed to emphasise a brand’s products, legacy and identity. This brand presence, beyond the revenue these locations generate, is why these stores hold such a revered place in retail.

Why are flagship stores still relevant today?

This all sounds incredible, but there is a key question to address: “If flagship stores are so crucial to showcasing a retail brand, why are many shutting down?”

Undoubtedly the pandemic has had a major role in this – numerous retailers were hit hard, forcing them to shut down locations either as a means to survive, or because they went out of business altogether.

However, some were questioning the relevance of the flagship store before we ever heard of COVID-19. In an industry that is rapidly transitioning to online and local commerce, is there still a place for costly, gigantic megastores?

We believe so. In fact, we feel their relevance has only grown as a result of these trends. While digital shopping is becoming more sophisticated every year, many still actively prefer the in-person experience of going into a store rather than shopping online.


This could be for a number of reasons:

  • Preferring to see and feel products before they decide to purchase them
  • Wanting to interact with other humans face-to-face rather than through a screen
  • Enjoying the activity of shopping generally
  • Wanting to feel more connected to a brand by personally visiting shops

The pandemic may have actually strengthened these feelings. After many months unable to visit brick-and-mortar stores, many will feel more motivated than ever to return.

Furthermore, there is the risk that by forgoing the importance of your flagship stores, as Gap has done recently, you illustrate to customers that you don’t value these experiential, personalised brand experiences – something that many think very highly of.

As Matt Sargent, principal of Sargent Up North, in an interview with Retail Dive eloquently put it:

“It shows your customers that you’re not connected to that intimacy. You will see brands like Nike advocate for their brand in flagship stores and company stores, while for brands on the decline like Gap it’s a short-term profitability measure. It may be necessary, but it’s very problematic.”

“The beauty of a flagship store is it’s aspirational. It’s designed to pull interest, create that halo effect. People still want to engage with brands and want to make that trip meaningful versus transactional.”

Remember that while online shopping exploded during the pandemic, stores that delivered a multi-channel experience benefited the most – these retailers enjoyed a growth rate of 57% in 2020, with online-only retailers only growing 9%.

With that said, flagship stores are crucial to an effective omnichannel strategy. A place that gives visitors a tangible, experiential sense of a brand and its products, which can then encourage future online and local purchases.

The future of the flagship store

So what does the future of the flagship store look like? While nothing is ever set in stone in the world of retail, here are three key trends to follow:

#1 Elevating experiential marketing further

An important trend for the future of the flagship store will be introducing ways to help consumers experience a brand and its offerings even more closely than in years prior.

Consider Nike’s flagship in Times Square. It includes a basketball court with cameras for customers to record their shots, and treadmills with screens that mimic famous running routes across the globe. These don’t directly drive sales, but they emphasise the identity of the brand, and deliver this in a sense-driven, engaging way to customers.

In order to encourage sales either online or in local stores, the flagships must continue to provide the most complete and enthralling experiences to visitors.

#2 A greater mix of physical and digital

In a similar vein, we anticipate that flagship stores will need to deliver a more seamless transition between a brand’s physical and online presence.

Innovations like the Starbucks rewards app that allows you to order ahead before walking into a store, or the Sephora Beauty Bag account which immediately saves purchases made in-store so they can be quickly repurchased when products run out, have massively improved the way that these companies’ customers interact with their brand across all platforms.

As the standout stores for the brand, flagships have to take this to another level. With many adopting new technologies like virtual and augmented reality to support this vision, a retailer’s flagship should be at the heart of a commitment to multi-channel marketing.

#3 Reassessing flagship performance

Finally, we believe it is essential that the performance of flagships moving forward should not simply be measured by revenue generated – something that likely contributed to the closure of many of these as a result of the pandemic.

While no one is suggesting that sales shouldn’t factor into how well they are operating, it is just one part of the equation. Retailers should also incorporate KPIs that judge the flagship’s influence on the strength of their brand, such as media reach, tourists attracted, net promoter score, etc.

In fact, companies like Microsoft and Foot Locker actually attribute some of the costs of running their London flagships to their marketing budgets – a sign that they rightly consider these locations more important for increasing brand awareness than a strict sales focus.

Unlocking the potential of retail marketing

Without question, the flagship store still has a powerful part to play in strengthening the connection between brands and their customers. Until e-commerce becomes the sole avenue for consumers to purchase products – something we don’t see happening for a long, long time – these locations will remain the ultimate showcase of brand identity.

But, while flagships are the prized possession for many retail brands, it is crucial that customers enjoy a seamless experience at every marketing touchpoint. Without this consistency, it is incredibly challenging to bridge that gap between casual consumer and loyal advocate.

BAM by Papirfly™ empowers your retail teams worldwide – from your standout flagships to your most remote local stores – to lock down consistency across all marketing assets, and produce campaigns faster and more cost-effectively than ever before.

Book your personal demo today to discover the power of BAM first-hand, or get in touch to talk to a member of our team.

Retail MarketingLeave a Comment on 5 quick marketing strategies to keep customers beyond Christmas…

5 quick marketing strategies to keep customers beyond Christmas…

Building brand loyalty is often spoken about as if there’s some kind of magic formula. The truth is, there are hundreds of ways to do it, and no one method can be suitable for everyone. It can take years, months or in some cases just a couple of minutes to build depending on the exact motivations of your individual purchasers.

Luckily, there are some very popular methods that can be tried, tested and tweaked to optimise your success. 

#1 Email marketing post-purchase

This is the simplest and arguably most effective way to keep the conversation going. Contacting customers any time past the return period will push your brand front and centre, encourage reviews and feedback, and remind them of what will have hopefully been a pleasant shopping experience. If the prospect had forgotten their purchase, this will give them a friendly reminder while helping to build brand familiarity.

#2 Use their data to personalise their experience and build a relationship

If your website required a customer to sign up and they gave you permission to collect information, you can do some very clever things to help them feel loved. This could include any of the following:

  • Recommending items similar to what they have purchased
  • Giving them the opportunity to save items or request to be notified when something is out of stock
  • Letting them know when sets of items have been purchased together frequently
  • Tailor promotions and content to them 

#3 Provide incentive for a follow-up sale 

If someone has committed to spending their hard-earned money with you at Christmas, consider that they may be looking to tighten the purse strings in the new year. This means their thought process for purchasing may be more considered. Give them an incentive to make a repeat purchase, but also keep them excited about the generosity of your brand with an early opportunity to access sale items or discounts. Even just 24 hours before it’s made public will be enough to make some first-time customers feel special and appreciated.

#4 Unlimited delivery

A popular option for large retailers is to offer a whole year of ‘free’ next-day delivery, for a small annual fee. The cost of the whole year is usually comparable to two single delivery costs, which makes it a very attractive deal for customers. This helps to breed loyalty because if a consumer is torn between your brand and another, and they hold what they see as unlimited delivery with your brand, they are more inclined to make the purchase with you.

#5 Memberships

Creating a points system or VIP account option with incentives can make you more attractive than your competitors. It might be that you can cash in your points for money off or rewards, receive a gift or discount on your birthday and get access to VIP sales or promotion earlier than regular customers.

Being reactive in retail

As we outlined earlier, what hooks each customer will differ depending on their motivations and circumstances at the time of marketing to them. There are many different ways to engage customers both digitally and in-store, but the latter can be difficult without any digitisation or data capture. 

The more data you have, the more opportunities you have to focus your messaging and tailor your promotions to your audience’s preferences. Beyond this, a strong brand, purpose and marketing strategy to stay front and centre will act as an integral foundation layer to all this additional activity. Over and above this, your team needs the tools to be able to react quickly to trends and opportunities, and shouldn’t be bogged down by limitations such as budget and time.

With BAM by Papirfly™, your global teams get to create an infinite amount of digital and print assets, without specialised skills or needing additional budget. Videos, emails, POS, signage and so much more can be created within a dedicated brand portal, with predefined rules that avoid brand consistency disasters. 

To find out more about what BAM can do for you, speak to our team today. 

Retail MarketingLeave a Comment on Reimagining the retail production workflow

Reimagining the retail production workflow

Where does the time go in retail workflows?

Retail is one of the most complex and fast-moving industries worldwide, putting an immense amount of pressure on marketing teams in this sector. While technology has evolved significantly, some legacy systems and processes continue to hold these teams back from reaching their full potential.

If you believe this applies in your situation, now is the time to reassess your existing approach to increase your speed to market and maximise your sales. To identify where stubborn, outdated practices are hurting your potential.

Reimagine a new streamlined workflow for retail marketing teams by examining where your time is currently being wasted, and how it should be applied instead.

Reduce manual tasks in production

Although advanced pricing and PIM systems have been around for many years, there remain organisations that still rely on spreadsheets to capture key data for campaigns and promotions. This takes many hours of copy and pasting, duplicated effort, and the risk of data quickly going out of date – meaning you present inaccurate information through your marketing.

21% of marketing budgets are wasted as a result of bad, inaccurate data
(Source: Digital Commerce)

Today, managing and organising your product data through PIM or ERP systems makes managing and updating this information more streamlined and straightforward. Plus, tools like BAM by Papirfly™ can integrate with these systems to translate their data into marketing assets and campaigns in just a couple of clicks.

No more hours wasted scouring spreadsheets for the correct SKUs or manually transferring product data into upcoming signage, social posts, email campaigns and more. Instead, connecting everything through one solution and automating this process, assets can be produced faster and more cost-effectively, with even greater accuracy.

More marketing asset delivery in-house

The support of a reputable marketing agency provides many benefits to retail marketing teams. Their expert insight and strategic thinking can help you conceptualise campaigns that boost sales, raise awareness and engage both existing and prospective customers.

But, their capacity to perform this for your organisation can become clogged by jobs like routine updates or reformatting assets for different markets. These reasonably straightforward tweaks do not demand the attention of specialist designers or require fresh, innovative thinking. Instead, it raises the costs you incur from your agency and limits the advantages they offer to your organisation.

To rectify this, it could be helpful to bring this routine work in-house. With an easy-to-use brand activation management solution in place, this becomes less a case of pushing more work onto your internal teams, and more about reallocating your agency budget to get more for your money.

By harnessing this technology, not only will your teams be capable of completing non-specialist tasks quicker than if it were sent to an agency, who would have to fit it into their existing schedule – your agency will now have more time and budget to devote to winning campaigns and strategies, delivering a greater return on your investment.

Reacting faster than ever before 

In retail, much of your success depends on having your products ready at the right place, at the right time, to take advantage of the most lucrative sales opportunities.

Trends can appear overnight. Consumer demand could skyrocket at any moment. Even unexpected weather will impact your sales. If your teams don’t have the tools to respond to these spur-of-the-moment changes in the market, you are missing out on business opportunities.

For instance, if you were dependent on an agency, it may be several days or even weeks until they can dedicate resources to this campaign. Then, after time spent planning and producing the required assets, this may be followed by more back-and-forth between both sides to get the design just right. By that time, the opportunity could have passed you by – an example where outsourcing tasks can actually be more time-consuming.

This is another occasion when it pays (in both time and money) to empower your teams to produce more themselves. Using creation tools with pre-defined templates (like BAM by Papirfly™), your teams have the freedom to create the assets they need without going off-brand. This means they can be ready to act before the competition with time-sensitive assets for trend-based campaigns and seasonal promotions.

Simplified cross-platform promotion

The abundance of marketing channels and techniques available today have left traditional retail production workflows outdated. These old-school approaches didn’t have to contend with this breadth of platforms, and the burden of maintaining total consistency across all channels.

To meet this challenge, it is important to introduce modern brand activation management software with preset templates for multiple channels into your workflows, as this will allow you to adapt assets automatically for all necessary platforms, rather than resort to tedious, manual tweaks.

Cross-platform promotion consolidates the process of bringing your brand to life with messaging that looks, sounds and feels the same across everything you produce. You can tell your brand’s story with consistency through in-store signage, brochures and more – you’ll also have extra peace of mind when your assets are printed by different stores in their specific locations.

Smarter decision-making

In any industry, quick decision-making is a great asset to have. Especially for those in leadership roles:

“In a survey across a range of business sectors, only 20% of respondents believed their organisations excelled at decision making. Plus, a large majority said most of the time they allocate to decision making isn’t used ineffectively”.
(Source: McKinsey)

In retail marketing, the pace of decision-making is vital to get campaigns to market quickly – any lack of pace can often be attributed to slow, complicated processes that require input from multiple team members.

While it’s important that key stakeholders have control and oversight of campaigns, in some cases their entire teams are involved – using different software, communicating different business priorities, and working in different locations. This makes the overall workflow more complicated and problematic than it needs to be.

By centralising assets, creation, approvals and final marketing materials in one location, you can reduce the number of people needed to oversee a task, eliminate convoluted sign-off processes and ultimately, help key stakeholders make faster and better marketing decisions. Products like BAM by Papirfly™ give you a birds-eye view of your marketing collateral so you can see what’s being used and where.

Self-sufficiency for local teams

Teams at individual stores are in the best position to respond to what’s happening in their local markets. However, by the time they have communicated with head office, received the marketing materials they need and secured sign-off, they may have been pipped at the post by the competition.

Using smart templates and making brand guidelines easily available gives teams at individual stores the freedom to make the right marketing decisions for their specific locations. At the same time, head office can be confident that all marketing stays consistent with the global brand.

As well as freeing up time for teams at local stores to spend on the shop floor, it also relieves unnecessary pressure on staff at head office. It’s often small teams with limited capacity that have to answer questions from many different local stores and provide the relevant assets they need on time.

Before and after a streamlined production workflow

Elkjøp is one of the largest consumer electronics companies in the Nordic countries. Before Papirfly, 85 employees would have been involved in any one production project. Unsurprisingly, this approach would drain resources and result in a sluggish speed to market.

Since then, Papirfly has helped them bring more in-house, aligning teams in different markets and empowering them to produce bespoke offers, promotions and campaigns way ahead of the competition.

“Using Papirfly has enabled us to have the speed to market that we did not have, prior to Papirfly. We can now communicate our unique offers, our unique guarantees and services in a much quicker, efficient, and controlled way than we used to do.”

Thomas Sourour, Marketing Production Lead

Not only do they have more time to take a competitive advantage, but Elkjøp has also reduced the number of employees needed for the average in-house production job from 85 to just 5. This works out as a resource-saving of 10-15 years.

What could a streamlined production workflow look like for your company?

The infographic below shows just how much time is wasted at various stages of production, against what your reimagined process could be like with BAM by Papirfly™. As well as freeing-up resources, it shows BAM’s huge potential for drastically cutting your time-to-market and getting materials across the line before the competition:

Embracing new ways of working for a new age of retail 

As you will have seen in the headlines, or felt in your own workplace, the pandemic has had a devastating effect on bricks-and-mortar retail. However, innovation from brands and the marketers behind them have the power to make sure they learn and overcome the events of the past year-and-a-half. After all, we’re social creatures, and physical stores will forever hold an important place in the shopping experience for consumers.

That’s why even with the devastation of COVID-19, we believe that there is a promising future ahead for retail. Retail brands that have adapted fast and embraced new ways of working are already proving us right. 

Discover the future of retail workflows with BAM

With the power of print and digital combined, smart templates, automations, PIM & ERP integration and more, BAM is your ticket to a more streamlined production workflow.

More than just software, BAM is a new way of working that will bring your teams, your brand and your business up-to-speed and ready to take advantage of every opportunity that’s coming your way.

To learn more about the innovative features driving retail marketing forward, get in touch to book your demo today.

Retail MarketingLeave a Comment on How to indulge your brand’s superfans

How to indulge your brand’s superfans

There are people who trust and prefer your brand and there are people who live and breathe it. The latter are known as superfans. More than just a group of loyal customers, these are people who resonate with your company values, advocate your products and want to know about everything your company has to offer. From Apple to IKEA, superfans are attracted to all kinds of different retailers… and you may not even know you have them.

Once you’ve found your superfans, and taken the time to understand them, you can enrich their experience to build an even stronger connection and leverage their love of your brand to your advantage. It’s a win-win!

When does a customer become a superfan?

Generating loyal customers is the aim of the marketing game, but when those customers become superfans, your ROI can reach the next level. Generating new customers is clearly important for increasing revenue and the overall success of your company. It can be easy to neglect the customers who already feel a strong sense of loyalty towards your brand, and what it stands for, when you’re caught up looking at sales data and analytics, or the results of your latest campaigns.

There are two key reasons to always remember your most loyal customers in your marketing campaigns:

1. They are already aware of the value your brand can bring to their lives

When you already have a point of contact with your customers, know a little about them and their reasons for buying your products, you have more freedom to be creative with your advertising. Without the need to introduce your brand, you can make your messaging more outward facing and focus on your customer’s pain-points, solve their challenges and promote other products that they might be interested in.

2. They are your biggest spenders

Think quality over quantity. By investing in building a stronger connection with your existing higher-spend customers, you can reach a larger ROI than you would trying to reach new customers who typically spend much less. In fact, research has shown that 43% of customers spend more with brands they are loyal to. And not by a little; recent studies have found that a company’s top 10% of customers spend three times more than an average customer, with  the top 1% of customers spending five times more.

Three traits of a superfan

Knowledgeable …

  • about your products and what your brand stands for


  • and ready to jump to your defense when facing criticism


  • will actively recommend your products to friends and family

If you ignore your most loyal customers, you’re likely to be missing out on a significant amount of revenue. The first step to turning them into superfans is knowing how to identify them in the first place. We’ve already mentioned that they are normally the people spending most with your brand, here are some other personality traits to look out for:

#1 Brand loyalty talks

Superfans are passionate about all things involving your brand. They are the people most likely to bring your products and services up in conversation at any opportunity, engage with your social media content regularly and convert their friends and family into customers.

#2 Who’s got your back?

There may be times when, through no fault of their own, a world-leading company finds itself at the centre of a controversial debate or false allegations that can be damaging to revenue. For a brand with an army of loyal superfans, any unfair accusations can be dispelled relatively quickly.

#3 Loyal customers are happy customers

This makes them the ideal referral source as they’ll be more than willing to share their positive experiences of your brand and its products with others.

How do brands earn superfans in the first place?

Whether it’s making a purchase, responding to a tweet or releasing a customer-focused campaign, every time your brand interacts with existing customers, you have the chance to create a superfan.

Create a brand community 

Identify your superfans, find out what connects them to your brand and use that connection to rally them around your brand. Apple has one of the biggest brand communities in the world, with Apple Support Community going a step further than peer-to-peer support and moving towards creating a space for superfans to share their own ideas and experiences.

Facilitate open conversations

Opening up the conversation to loyal customers helps to ensure transparency, promote engagement and humanise your brand. Communicating with customers on social media makes them feel valued and more personally connected to your company’s products and services.

Stay full of surprises

Even your most die-hard superfans can tire of the same content day after day. To keep their super fandom fresh, it’s important to instil the same creativity and originality into your content that made them fall in love with your brand in the first place. Go the extra mile and offer new experiences when customers least expect them.

6 brands that use super fandom to their advantage

#1 Apple

Apple has always been great at understanding how people make their products and services part of their lives. It’s how they proved that cutting-edge technology can be designed in a way that makes everyone’s lives easier.

Apple has nurtured its superfans by committing itself to unrivalled user experience in every product they produce, with customer service to match.

Drawing on their own rise from obscurity to industry leader in the 80s and early 90s, Apple’s Underdogs ads show how its products are designed with features to handle the everyday challenges of the average customer. They also include ‘the round pizza box’, which savvy superfans know is a real idea patented by Apple.

#2 Jeep

With its 80 years of offroad history, Jeep has some incredible stories to tell that have gained their vehicles a cult following. However, it’s their community of drivers that can tell them best and bring a new generation to #JeepFamily across their social media channels.

By using its status as the longest-lasting 4×4 /SUV brand on the road, Jeep has created a platform for loyal fans to share their own experiences of the off-road lifestyle.

#3 The North Face

To give back to their superfans in a way that feels more valuable, tangible and well-suited to their brand, The North Face offers their most loyal customers the chance to win tickets and travel experiences to the world’s most exotic locations.

What makes this reward program so great for superfans is that they have the chance to earn them at every touchpoint — from checking-in at a store, to leaving a review about a product they’ve just purchased.

#4 Harley Davidson

These superfans span official and informal owners’ clubs across hundreds of countries, each united by the same passion for Harley Davidson’s iconic bikes. It’s what helped the brand become one of the world’s most renowned lifestyle brands with a global community centred around its products.

Harley Davidson brings its fans together by giving Owners Club members access to exclusive events, membership of local chapters and additional services such as breakdown assistance and insurance.

#5 Lego

Although LEGO was originally produced as a children’s toy, it has gained superfans of all ages. There are builds for just about anything and even the opportunity to submit ideas for new sets via The LEGO Ideas Community, which has grown to over 1million users. These concepts are voted for by other superfans and the chosen ideas produced and put on sale, with its creator receiving 1% royalties. 

LEGO embraced the creativity of its customers to go from building a community of superfans to building with them and rewarding them for their creativity.

#6 Starbucks

From its early beginnings, Starbucks has called upon its customers for opinions and suggestions for making their products even better. In 2008 they developed a platform called My Starbucks Idea, where their community can submit any suggestions they like. It doesn’t matter whether they’re groundbreaking or glaringly obvious.

After noticing that their customers couldn’t help themselves from doodling on their iconic white coffee cups, Starbucks also created a campaign to celebrate their creativity. The #WhiteCupContest set out to encourage customers to decorate Starbucks coffee cups and share their creations on social media. The winning design was printed on a limited edition reusable cup.

The takeaway lesson from this campaign is the fact that Starbucks took note of how customers were engaging with their brand, listened to their online feedback and created a way for them to share their creativity with the world.

Sometimes superfans can go too far

It’s impossible to have full control of the way your customers engage with your products and services. When it comes to super fandom, love for your brand has the potential to go off the scale. 

While superfans have the power to attract new customers and show your brand in its best light, some super  fandom can get a little out of hand:

#1 Moët bubble baths

After years spent making itself synonymous with the heights of luxury and refinement, renowned champagne producer, Moët, became entangled in the world of Rich Kids of Instagram — an online community dedicated to ‘rich kids’ showing off their wealth through lavish antics.

One demonstration of gross excess was to share photos of themselves relaxing in bathtubs full of Moët’s most expensive champagne… Classy.

#2 Barbie in real life

Barbie has come under fire in the past for the way it portrays women, and the message that this sends out to children.

Despite the brand’s efforts to make a positive change, one Barbie superfan made a huge step backwards by taking the plastic image literally. After already spending thousands of dollars on plastic surgery to make themselves look like a life-sized Barbie doll, they have since gone even further by taking hypnotherapy to ‘dumb themselves down’. As well as making them partly responsible for an unhealthy obsession, this has rekindled the damaging associations that Barbie’s marketing team has been trying so hard to avoid.

#3 The McEverything

McDonald’s has grown to become the world’s most iconic fast food chain, but in doing so, has become immediately associated with junk food. In more recent years, they have been trying to shift this perception, with new recipes, healthier options and grown-up interiors. This was largely prompted by research highlighting the brand’s contribution to childhood obesity and the shock factor of documentaries like Supersize Me — a film showing the damaging effects of eating nothing but McDonald’s for a year.

McDonald’s has made huge progress in changing its perception from unhealthy junk food to family dining. However, this move wasn’t helped when (the appropriately named) food blogger, Nick Chipman, spent $141 on 43 different burgers to create the ‘McEverything’. Managing to eat the entire thing in one sitting, he brought back McDonald’s connection to binge eating and obesity – albeit temporarily. 

Why your teams will become BAM’s number one fans

To build your community of superfans, your brand needs to communicate with authenticity, consistency, speed and creativity. Once you understand what makes your superfans tick, BAM by Papirfly™ can help your teams strengthen their loyalty by:

  • Reacting fast to market demands with PIM and ERP integration.
  • Ensuring marketing materials land with impact in any location.
  • Creating studio-quality assets in minutes, without agency help.

To see these features in action, get in touch with our team to arrange your demo.

Retail MarketingLeave a Comment on 6 brands that harness the power of print

6 brands that harness the power of print

In “The power of print in retail“, we demonstrated why print marketing still has a powerful role to play in today’s increasingly digital landscape, and the science on how it cuts through the noise of online advertising and social media to really capture the imagination of customers worldwide.

To emphasise the importance of print even further, and to offer a real glimpse into how you can make the most of print in your own marketing campaigns, below we have highlighted some inspirational examples from other brands worldwide.

We hope they offer you some food for thought on persisting with printed materials within your marketing, rather than make a wholesale switch to digital platforms.


Chunky direct mail 

The confectionery giant Nestlé took a direct approach to build awareness for the chunkiness of their Chunky Kit Kats. The cards they sent out to customers mimicked the “Sorry we missed you” style cards that people receive when their deliveries couldn’t be delivered for one reason or another.

Once they opened these, they would find out they can use the card to pick up a free Chunky Kit Kat at selected retail stores. This physical, direct coupon worked a treat, as it was sent straight to the customer’s doorstep and gave them something that they could immediately go out and claim in their local area.


Bringing tactile features to boutique stores

Although primarily an e-commerce retailer, Monsoon saw enough value in the power of print and physical media to open a collection of boutique stores in select locations. These stores included printed brochures and features of how their products are made through their unique artisan techniques.

These physical stores and the vibrant displays and posters within them were designed to help customers develop a deeper appreciation for the brand, how it operates and what it stands for. This would encourage stronger emotional ties and provide a more intimate, tangible experience for the consumer.


A dual-purpose print ad

As a beer retailer, Glacial understands the importance their customers place on their drinks being at just the right temperature. This was emphasised in a print campaign they ran in several magazines which were to be torn out and soaked in water. You then wrap it around the bottle, put it in the freezer, and the salt particles in the print ad prevented the beer from freezing.

This ingenious piece of marketing delivered consumers with something immediately useful that they could apply to Glacial or any other drink of their choosing. This helped build an affinity between audiences and the brand for providing them something valuable free of charge.


Helpful advertising

Among Nivea’s wide range of health and beauty products is their sunscreen collection, and they used an extremely clever form of print to highlight this to customers. They created a print advert that incorporated a small solar panel. This meant that, when customers were hanging out in the sunshine (hopefully wearing Nivea’s sunscreen), they could use the ad to charge their phone.

This encouragement by Nivea to their customers to enjoy the sunshine even longer knowing their phone wouldn’t die during their day out was a great way to endear the brand and their sunscreen to the masses.


Blurring the lines between print and social

C&A found a brilliant blend of print and digital to capture the imagination of their customers. They would deliver personalised magazines to their customers that were linked to their individual Facebook account. Then, while reading the magazine, readers could hit a like button on the pages, and that would in turn like the corresponding Facebook advert.

This gave C&A valuable data on which of their products was garnering the most attention from their customers, while it was a quirky and interactive innovation for their customers to enjoy while they read.


Harnessing the power of simplicity

Hardly changing since 1961, the McDonald’s ‘golden arches’ have become one of the most recognisable logos in the world. So recognisable in fact, that you don’t even need to see the whole thing. In the recent series of ads below, McDonald’s used the unmistakable power of its logo to highlight their home delivery service.

All three ads in the series are strikingly simple, using one half the iconic ‘M’ to signify delivery from one of their restaurants and illuminate a single room in a house or block of flats at night. Paired-back to bold colours and a single line of copy, they’re a great example of how a creative print ad can say so much with so little.


Stats that prove the power of print 

If the examples above aren’t enough to persuade you that print hasn’t gone anywhere, the insights below should help change your mind:

  • 92% of shoppers say they prefer print marketing when making a purchasing decision (Source Pica 9)
  • Branding is 185% stronger in print advertising than digital advertising (Source Newsworks)
  • 79% of people take action after seeing print ads, compared to only 45% after seeing digital (Source Geomares)
  • 69% of 18-24 year olds prefer print and paper communication in comparison to reading off-screen (Source Pica 9)
  • According to neuroscience research, print ad recall is 70% higher than digital advertising (Source Forbes)

Are you making the most of print in your marketing?

There is still huge potential for retailers and further brands to use print creatively and increase engagement with both new and existing customers. Although there is no slowing the digital revolution, frequent and distinctive uses of print collateral can leave a big impression on audiences, be it:

  • Elaborate signage displays
  • Reactive/interactive magazine ads
  • Physical coupons and tickets
  • Door drops like brochures, leaflets and flyers

But remember, like any form of marketing communication, your print collateral must maintain complete consistency with your brand’s distinct identity. BAM by Papirfly™ helps you keep this in check across all your marketing materials, both print and digital.

  • An easy-to-use platform that enables all members of your team to create an infinite number of printed assets, regardless of design expertise
  • Customisable templates empower you to swiftly produce assets at the size and scale you need, from substantial posters and displays to compact brochures and coupons
  • Locked-down elements give you complete peace of mind over brand consistency across all your channels and markets

Discover the difference BAM can make in how you produce on-brand printed assets on time, every time – get in touch today to arrange your free demo.

Retail MarketingLeave a Comment on The power of PIM and ERP integration for retailers

The power of PIM and ERP integration for retailers

One of the prevailing problems that face retailers is juggling the vast quantities of data, processes and software that keep their business running day-to-day. Whether it’s tracking product codes and prices or compiling the array of CRM, BI, inventory management and other systems, maintaining all of this information used to be a monumental task.

Now, thanks to the introduction and evolution of PIM (Product Information Management) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) integration, this challenge has become far less daunting. 

These systems are designed to help retailers control and manage their extensive streams of data in one central location, much in the same way BAM by Papirfly™ does for the components behind our clients’ brands. However, both PIM systems and ERP systems (and their many benefits) are still not universally adopted or even known by all retailers. 

So, we wanted to use this article as an opportunity to spread the word about these useful systems, what advantages they lend to both the customer experience and your marketing efforts, and how a PIM, an ERP and BAM combine to make a real difference in the world of retail.

What is PIM?

PIM stands for Product Information Management, and represents systems designed to collect and store all of the data, content and additional materials needed to market and sell products. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Core data such as names, SKUs, UPCs, product descriptions, etc.
  • Product specifications including weights, sizes, ingredients, warranties, etc.
  • Sales information, including prices and customer reviews
  • Digital assets that support the product, such as imagery, videos and documents
  • Marketing information such as SEO elements, keywords, customer personas, etc.

As you can imagine, prior to the rise of the Internet this would be contained in reams of paper files that were difficult to keep in order or sort through. Even when these were transferred onto spreadsheets, managing these thousands upon millions of pieces of data could again prove unwieldy.

Once this data is housed within a PIM system like Akeneo or Plytix, it can then be translated into the various channels and formats required for smooth operation, such as:

  • E-commerce listings
  • Online marketplaces
  • Product sheets and point of sale material
  • Product catalogues and brochures
  • Product labelling

A PIM system therefore acts as a means to centralise all of this information in one place so that those who need access to this data, including sales teams, e-commerce managers, and marketers have it to hand so they can then feed it through to your customers.

What is ERP?

ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning, captures all of the processes and systems that are essential for a business to run. As such, ERP systems can find a welcome home in any organisation due to the volume of procedures, software and other elements that go into making them tick, especially in today’s landscape.

But they have become increasingly valued in the world of retail as the means to centrally manage all of the moving parts that typically take place within this industry, including:

  • Inventory and order management
  • Product manufacturing or service delivery
  • Accounting
  • Human resources
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Shipping and payment
  • Campaign planning

At a fundamental level, an ERP houses all of these systems in order to support and streamline the flow of information across an organisation. That helps ensure that everyone understands the structure and processes behind the business, minimising the risk of mistakes and allowing each action to flow seamlessly into one another.

This means:

  • Greater compliance across all necessary regulatory standards
  • Opportunities to automate core business functions
  • A real-time oversight over the data driving your company
  • A single source for billing and relationship tracking, boosting your customer experience

ERP integration isn’t necessarily something a small retailer will immediately consider. But once they expand into multiple locations nationally or internationally, and especially for global retailers, having this central source of truth for the various tools and processes that underline your business can be a huge support in things running smoothly.

How does PIM/ERP integration benefit customer experience and marketing?

In order to most effectively and efficiently demonstrate the advantages offered by PIM and ERP integration, we’ve honed in on two of the most important factors for retailers:

  • Customer experience
  • Marketing

Meeting the ever-changing demands of increasingly tech-savvy and observant customers is a persistent challenge for all retailers. With more and more priority being placed on delivering a united omnichannel experience for customers, retailers need the tools at their disposal to provide this to build customer loyalty and secure a competitive edge.

Both PIM and ERP systems can play a key role in supporting your efforts to nail your customer experience and enhance the quality and consistency of your retail marketing. Starting with PIM integration, having a central repository for all your product-related data is vital to ensuring customers receive all the information they’re searching for across your channels.

Without a PIM, there is a greater margin of error that product data, labels and more become misplaced or disorganised. This can subsequently clutter your customer’s experience on your various platforms, and could cause you to present inaccurate information in marketing or promotional material, which would damage trust if you need to retract anything.

A PIM helps keep all this data in check and up-to-date, to ensure marketers have the resources they need to deliver accurate, rich content, and that customers have all the information they need to make an informed purchase. Furthermore, using a PIM can help with:

  • Providing relevant reviews and testimonials to inspire confidence in your customers towards your products, as well as the data to write more compelling descriptions
  • Guaranteeing uniformity across your product descriptions and layouts so customers do not become confused or overwhelmed across your various channels
  • Immediately adjusting product information on all channels and linking this to automated messages or emails to ensure your audience is always in the loop
  • Optimising time-to-market by giving your product data more structure, giving your marketers access to key info that they can turn around to your audiences

By establishing a single source of truth for everything related to your product, you are able to ensure that your teams always have the freshest and most relevant data. This means customers are never fed incorrect or out-of-date information, you can give them rich, optimised content across multiple channels.

As for ERP integration, because this helps ensure your business operations are never fragmented, it makes the path from a product arriving in your possession to displaying it for your audience clear and digestible. 

While your process might vary from another retailer, the only thing that matters is you know and understand your approach. An ERP achieves this and keeps critical information up-to-date to support the efforts of your marketing and sales teams, who then can work their magic to engage your customers.

ERP integration works to:

  • Track inventory across your business, so your marketers and customers can be immediately informed if an item is out of stock
  • Monitor and utilise your CRM to identify any changes in customer behaviours and nurture journeys across all channels
  • Consolidate all customer information in one central location, which can help ensure compliance over data use and present opportunities to provide personalised marketing
  • Identify bottlenecks relating to billing and payment processes for customers, so they can navigate this process and you know when to offer support when required

If you already employ an ERP and use it for campaign planning, Papirfly can deliver an effective integration point that seamlessly picks up this information and combines it with the data in a PIM. This means more than just a birds-eye view of planned campaigns, but an up-to-date list of all associated products. In other words, our software aggregates data from multiple sources.

This can be further enriched with campaign-specific details, including relevant messaging, colours, graphics and pricing. Plus, this can all be directly accessed from templates, so there is no need to manually transfer any information from the campaign planning process, master data management, pricing or DAM.

Contrast this with retailers without an ERP or similar planning system. They will often have to resort to multiple spreadsheets for campaign planning and, in a worst-case scenario, pricing, master data and digital assets are shared manually. This is not only time-consuming but opens up the potential for human error, meaning more time must be spent on briefing and proofing.

Fundamentally, by bringing your core data, processes and software under one unified roof, both PIM and ERP systems can play a huge factor in supplying your marketing teams with rich, real-time information, and supporting your customers’ interaction with your business. 

When your business and your product/customer-related data are streamlined and centralised, you’ll find your ability to meet customer expectations is enhanced like never before.

BAM by Papirfly™ and PIM/ERP integration

Now that you hopefully have a stronger understanding of the power PIM and ERP systems offer your marketing output and customer experience, let’s ramp this up even further by introducing Brand Activation Management (BAM).

In several ways, BAM software fulfils a similar role as PIM and ERP solutions in that it is about removing inconsistencies, mistakes and bottlenecks, and providing a single source of truth to empower retailers. But, while a PIM’s focus is on products and ERPs cover your business operations, BAM’s priority is unlocking the full potential of your brand.

Due to the strong synergy between these three standout solutions, we have designed our BAM solution to fully integrate with our clients’ PIM and ERP systems. By doing this, it cuts out any need for a middleman to transition the quality data within these systems into your marketing and promotional material – it can now be accessed automatically, leaving no margin for error.

This allows retailers to:

  • Use their PIM data to enrich the content behind every product and promotion, supporting your customers with their enquiries
  • Seamlessly update cost information and stock levels so customers are always provided with the most accurate details
  • Respond swiftly to seasonal and local trends with a wide range of content-rich, precise digital and printed materials

Furthermore, campaigns can also be planned within BAM, with the ability to add products and edit these manually if necessary. Wherever the retailer is on their journey to streamline their operations, Papirfly can help.

If you have already taken strides to optimise and secure your product data and business processes, and would like to do the same to your branding, we’re here to help you unlock its true potential.

BAM empowers your team with the ability to create high-quality assets across all channels without specialist support, while simultaneously providing a central space for all your approved collateral, imagery and brand guidelines. This means everyone in your organisation has access to the materials they need to enhance your brand and keep things consistent.

Get in touch with our friendly team if you’d like to learn more.