It always amazes me how many retailers neglect their retail branding, and fail to constantly monitor their brand and how it appears to their customers.
Their brand in all its manifestations of in-store layout, signage, POS, promotional activity and even as a stand-alone brand. These are all key touch points for the brand and should be constantly measured against market trends, their customers' lifestyles and expectations. Losing touch with either can seriously erode the retail brand and be very expensive to pick back up and repair.
Too many retailers rely on above the line advertising to espouse their brand values, but it is in-store, on the shelf, that the true values present themselves to the customers.
There is an old retail adage that the only thing constant in retail is change, and that should reflect on all expressions of the brand.
Having worked internationally, I know that this is true in nearly every country and in virtually every market.
Having established a trusted retail brand that customers are buying from and loyal to, why not maintain and, if possible, extend that into new markets? If you do not, the competition will, and you will leave yourself vulnerable to aggressive start-ups wanting a share of your cake.
Every year you should look at your store, its branding and its communication strategy, but just as importantly you must look at your customers' lives and how you fit in.
In my travels I hear many retailers say they talk to their customers, but few listen.
Creative Design Consultant