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What Shopping Centre Marketers Can Learn From Top Loved Brands

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Ipsos reports top trends to making your brand irresistible.

We hear about it all the time—top brands form an emotional connection with their consumer. But what does this really mean and how do these brands forge this bond? Is there any recent learning in this area that can be applied to shopping centre marketers?

Yes! This week Ipsos shares some terrific insight in In Keeping the Spark Alive—a summary of its recent research regarding what factors contribute to being a “Most Loved Brand.” In sifting through the data from Western Canada and the US,  Ipsos reports that there are “ten key trends that will prove invaluable to your marketing and brand strategy efforts.” Here’s a quick snapshot of some of these trends and implications for your shopping centre.

It takes a lot of effort to move the needle on your brand, so be sure to devote time and resources to better understand your customer and to improve your products and services. This will help you make sure you don’t put resources against the wrong initiatives. Commit now to a strategy to find insightful learning about your shoppers.

Don’t underestimate the power of TV. TV is not dead as a marketing touch point (in fact, it ranks second most important and only behind the customer experience on driving brand familiarity). If you have the budget, investing your marketing dollars in this medium is not a waste of time. While traditional TV may be out of reach for some shopping centre marketers, there may still be ways to leverage this medium, particularly through sponsorships. Be sure to explore this idea and others with your agency.

Quality product and/or customer experience is #1 Ipsos data conclusively shows that a positive experience is instrumental in driving buzz and social badging (which is defined as the desire for people to publicly proclaim their brand loyalty with any given brand to people they know). To keep people coming back to your centre versus your competitors, make sure you do everything possible to create a great experience: that means extraordinary Guest Service Representatives, shopper services, events, in-centre promotions and community involvement. You may not be able to control what goes on with every retailer, but you can still shape the in-mall experience.

Innovation isn’t everything. The overall impact of innovation remains relatively minor. Innovation continues to be important, but only when it’s combined with other attributes such as brand relevance, trust or the customer/product experience. Innovating to solve problems that don’t exist and or to develop ideas that aren’t relevant to your shopper probably are not the best use of resources. Sometimes it is better to make the things that are “inside the box” (i.e. the basics) awesome before trying to create things outside the box.

Loved brands always start with the consumer. The brands that tug at consumers’ heart strings are those that really understand and deliver on consumer needs and desires. In other words, back to investing more resources in understanding your shopper and developing solutions that help them.

Trust is a cost of entry. Every one of the Moved Loved Brands performed better than average in terms of being trustworthy. Two ways to increase your trustworthiness are to invest in your community and be socially responsible—both areas where most shopping centres are doing well. Protect and build on this area.

Leverage trends that solve real consumer problems. A loved brand is all about creating products and services that make consumers’ lives easier, and remove the friction. Just do it—invest in making things easier and/or more enjoyable for your shoppers. Make their lives better in some way. It will be worth it.

For more on these and other trends, be sure to check out the full Ipsos article at In Keeping the Spark Alive.

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