Retail chains must ensure that each customer has the same ‘brand’ experience in every one of their stores. This is achieved by creating consistent look and feel with everything from the colours and materials used and the way the logo is implemented, to the way the store staff are dressed. Maintaining the consistency of your branding is vital to ensure that it does not dilute over time.
Retail businesses with company owned and operated stores have greater control over their brand and the way it is communicated to their customers. This requires national and regional managers to act as ‘brand police’ enforcing the branding rules.
Franchise or member groups have a much harder task in enforcing the consistency of their company’s branding. Our experience shows that, in any member group, there will be a large proportion of business owners that understand the value of the brand and comply fully with the standards. There is, however, always a small number of business owners who want to put their own slant on how branding should be implemented on their store.
It is when this minority are allowed to ‘mess with the brand’, no matter how small the change, that the process of brand dilution begins. It might be as simple as “I want my name to be bigger than the standards allow”, …. to… “I don’t like the company colours, I want my store to be grey”.
It is also a fact that each retail chain member watches what others in the group are doing. If one store is allowed leeway with brand implementation, then some others will take the attitude “If they can do that, why can’t I…?”
Recognition of your branding by customers is vital. Be strong with your brand rules. Don’t waiver. Your brand is stronger that any one individual.