Thinking Global, acting local!
TSB going solo with their Local marketing.
This phrase has been bandied about for decades, but now more than ever it is important for retailers who desire to have a global presence, need to understand and maintain a local relationship with their customers.
Businesses need to immerse themselves within the community of which they hope to gain and encourage patronage. The first move has to always come from the retailer, the locale does not owe you anything and are by no means privileged to have you set up shop in their area. Businesses, you are required to start the conversation.
My first foray into visual merchandising, I was alerted to the importance of understanding the cultures of the market of which you wish to enter and gain as much knowledge about that area. One of my first Visual Merchandising roles was working for Uniqlo, the obediently regimented Japanese retailer who sell few items in an array of colours at very affordable prices. When they launched in the UK in the mid 2000’s they had a massive expansion plan to open 50 stores around the UK. Their initial flagship store in Knightsbridge was a whopping success, frequently exceeding the daily and weekly sales target.
The momentum continued as staff bolstered around the UK opening new stores with corporate guidelines in tow. What was apparent was that in order to replicate the success of the flagship stores in London, other factors had to be taken into consideration when opening a store in Leicester or even Liverpool. Minute details like the preference to specific colours, inspirations and aspirations of the demographics, regional dialect and imagery used are just a few of the factors which are required to be taken into consideration.
As a Visual Merchandiser I believe some of the key components to a successful global expansion lie in building relationships within that locale. Utilising the knowledge and skills of the community in which you wish to enter, constant communication, become a servant to that community and get involved with as many relevant programmes and initiatives as possible. Celebrate the events which are indicative of the area that you are in, become a part of their conversation.
The TSB Hello Ilford image above reminded me even thought you put it in words your actions will speak louder. So hello back to you TSB however, how will you become a part of the Ilford community conversation, how will you serve your customers so that they know that you are taking the needs of the Ilford customer into consideration and not apply a generic corporate approach?