Brand identity is important for all sorts of businesses, including retail. Brand appeals to shoppers, as a lot of people use branding to make decisions about where to shop. Customers look for shared values, and your brand communicates with them what those values are. Your brand makes your shop stand out on a crowded high street and tells your customer who you are. Brand identity tells the consumer whether your store has bargains for those looking for trends, or classics for those with more to spend. Brand identity should be a part of your retail store and your customer’s shopping experience.
When you use brand identity in your retail store, start by thinking about how you want your customer to feel when they come into your store. What feelings should they associate with you, and how can you make their shopping experience line up with that? All parts of your brand need to work together to create this feeling.
Consistency is important. Everything, including your logos, fonts, fascia signs, the feel of any marketing, and the design of your store must be consistent.
What you want to achieve is whenever a consumer interacts with your brand, whether they read an email from you, look at your website or come into your store, they will experience the same thoughts and feelings. Without clear brand identity in place, the message can become confused and your identity gets lost in communication. If your retail stores feel different to the way it feels to interact with you on social media or looking at your website, this is confusing and off-putting for the consumer. Keep things consistent to encourage customers to return to you.
Brand Identity – Get The Signage Right
Your signage in your retail store is usually the first interaction that a customer has with you. This means it is very important that your signage introduces your brand identity as soon as someone sees it. Start with the store name over the entrance, as this creates a memorable first impression and expresses who you are. Your window displays matter too. You want your brand identity to be strong around the entrance to the store. People walking past or coming in should be able to know instantly exactly who you are and what you offer.
A simple trick to create a good first impression is with a chalkboard on the sidewalk in front of your store. Is your brand identity aspirational? Write a quote on the board. Is your brand informal? Put a joke on there. These boards catch attention, and if you get them right could even help you to get your name out there, as they can often find their way onto Instagram and form part of your recognisable brand identity.
Once your customer has made it inside the shop, all the signage from merchandising to wayfinding should be on brand. Your employee’s uniform or dress code, the price tags, or signs to find the tills should all be on brand, using the same set of fonts, colours, voice and tone that fit with your brand identity.