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Synopsis >> Your Brand >> Current Article

Developing strong brand touchpoints

How to determine whether what you say... is what you mean.

garden center advertisingVisual identity. Logos, colors, signage, employee uniforms, your storefront, advertisements, and conversations about your garden center or nursery are all brand touchpoints. Whenever anyone sees or hears about your company and its products/services they are conveyed a message. However, there are underlying feelings passed on as well. Quality vs. utiliterain, price vs. getting the best, great service vs. helping yourself... these perceptions are all developed by the message given, and how it is given. Some of these feelings are expressed loud and clear while others are more subtle.

Let's take a look at the following examples, two different brand touchpoints and how customers perceive the message.

Brand touchpoint 01: Your advertising message...

Headline 01: BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE!

Headline 02: GO AHEAD, MAKE YOUR NEIGHBORS GARDEN-VIOUS!

Headline 01 conveys rock-bottom pricing. There is nothing wrong with having this as a sales strategy for your retail garden center. However, you will attract customers that expect inexpensive products and services (and this market is savvy), so you must fulfill this brand promise and provide them with better pricing than your competitors.

Headline 02 has more of a unique feel. This will attract customers who are looking to get something that's "more-than-average", and are willing to spend a little extra to get it. Again, you must fulfill the promise and provide higher quality products (that they can see and appreciate), than they can get at less-expensive stores.

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Brand touchpoint 02: A conversation from your customer to their friends...

Quote 01: "...I went to Tom's garden center. I got what I needed and was out the door in 3 minutes."

Quote 02: "We spent the entire afternoon at Toms. They have this great new organic coffee bar. We got some fantastic plants... you just can't get ones like these around here... but be prepared to pay for them... "


The underlying message in Quote 01 is that Tom's garden center is very utilitarian in nature. I get the mental picture of a bare-bones store that has just the basics and is set-up to get me in, get what I need, and get out.

Quote 02's message is that I can expect the best. I get a mental picture of a store that inspires me with unique displays and a relaxing afternoon of shopping. I'm thinking about planning a trip with my family next week. The "expect to pay for them" comment does worry me... however, it also prepares me that it's going to cost more to shop there.

So which conversation would you like to see your customers have? Neither one is right or wrong, but you do have the ability to control how your customers feel about your store. Take a fresh look at your garden center brand and what you really are to your customers. Then, make adjustments to the way you do business with them... to increase the value in their minds, and reap the benefits of having strong brand touchpoints.

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Current Article >>
BRAND TOUCHPOINTS

Say what you mean... mean what you say!

Past Articles >>
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GET TO KNOW YOUR CUSTOMERS!
What you need to know to have an effective focus group session.

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