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Published: 16 january 2020 13:18

Fastest way into the shopping cart – a brand story

Greta Lopetkaitė
Greta Lopetkaitė

Last week, the retail network Lidl presented a new image campaign – its satirical advertising clips had no lack of absurd humour, while also highlighting the biggest problems retail customers might supposedly face. Among the problematic situations, there are mentions of product variety, declaring that several carefully selected products of the same category are of greater value to the customer. But is it really true that a wide selection and variety to choose no longer create added value for customers? Greta Lopetkaitė from Berta& discusses this in the article.

One of the aforementioned clips states that a smaller selection ensures that customers can obtain the highest quality products available on the shop’s shelves, while also saving time because there’s no need to think hard on what to select from among multitudes.

Nevertheless, most international consumer habit studies say that a selection with higher variety is primarily useful in that it can increase the consumer’s pleasure of purchase, feeling greater satisfaction with their choice. For example, when choosing from a wide selection, a consumer can expand their outlook, compare and contrast various different options and at the same time increase the likelihood that the selected product will best fit their expectations. The meaning of the choice as a human freedom is also undeniable. After all, we live in a time, when in one shelf, you can find goods from across the world and let’s admit, we don’t always want everything to be decided and thought over for us ahead of time.

By the way, the retail network alliance Aibė also held a similar “reduced for consumer convenience” selection position several years ago, however the market leading positions continue to be held by the large retail networks, who offer their customers the largest selections.

In my belief this satirised “problem” is not at all the size of the selection. Consumer choice and experience are worsened not by fundamentally the vastness of the selection, but a monolithic mass, where lacking identity, brands and the products they represent vanish. This not only extends the process of selection, but often also hampers consumers in making their final decision.

Nevertheless, on listening carefully, on every shelf you can hear of a brand story or the good old storytelling, which directs a consumer’s hand to move from a product on the shelf to the shopping basket. Namely this tale, one that helps a brand stand out from among its competition is what allows consumers to make a conscious decision they make themselves. And while marketing and communications experts have for a number of years identified the market brand story as one of the most important trends, the benefit of storytelling is unfortunately valued by relatively few still.

Cognitive research shows that information is easier for us to comprehend when presented in a story form, thus the tale, as a fundamental part of the human mind and imagination is held as the most effective form of communication. A suitably prepared and told brand story can be easily remembered by consumers and helps recognise, distinguish its products or services that are associated to the story.

When telling stories, it is worth highlighting the benefits granted by the brand, its unique points, advantages or values that are employed. For example, when we choose between the body crème The Body Shop, which moistens the skin and the crème Nivea, whose label mentions the same effect, a brand story you might have once heard about how the first is made from natural products gathered in Africa based on sustainable, socially responsible community trade ensures making the decision goes faster and with more certainty.

Telling stories in brand communication, without positioning, is beneficial in also that it helps create the brand identity. A brand story that reflects the target audience’s characteristics, as well as its style allow to nurture a relationship with the consumer, establish an emotional connection. For example, the Red Bull story speaks of the identity of an active, challenge seeking and victory seeking youth, while the playful, youthful Pildyk storytelling style allows to establish a sustained connection to its target audience. The same rules apply just as in everyday life: nurturing mutual connections, communicating and finally – listening is far more interesting with those, who not only have something to tell, but are also similar, close to us emotionally.

This is why the abundance of products and choice, to my understanding, is no evil. Quite the contrary, this opens up far more opportunities for expression for brands. So let’s tell authentic stories about ourselves – let’s be vibrant, visible and interesting. And if you are thinking as to what part of the market brand story about you is the most interesting, choose professional communications partners to your aid, who will not only help you tell your story, but will also ease the process of a consumer’s choice to help find a way right to their shopping basket.

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