Why brand collaborations, blended in person experiences are key to the retail market right now!
Working with clients in the retail, e commerce and health and well being sector means it’s hugely important to have key insights into trends within their sector. With that in mind we attended a breakfast with Pro Manchester last week to get further insights into the industry to help shape our client’s consumer event strategies.
Here is what we learnt –
In the face of the cost of living crisis the Health and Wellbeing sector seems to be bucking the trend when it comes to growth.
Technology is a huge part of retail now, automating services to meet customer demands which in turn is giving retailers more time to spend with the customer face to face.
Holland & Barrett, a 150 year old business that used to sell cigarettes ,is now seen as an expert in the field of Health and Wellbeing. Their USP being the 12 week programme taken by their instore teams to enable them to offer quality advice.
H&B are not scared to talk about taboo topics and even have an advice line.
Their teams know their in store customers by name because they come in time and time again for their repeat purchases and they thrive from seeing their customers lives improve through their products. When customers share their experiences, they become their brand ambassadors and help build a community.
They are adding to the e commerce and retail experience with events and pop ups. Engaging students and having a big focus on quality of life for the older generation.
Food transformation is big on the agenda for H&B – people are looking to get vitamins from their food as well as vitamin tablets. They say DNA is the next big thing, insights into why one food will behave differently from person to person.
Founder of Bondi Bowls set his business up from his kitchen inspired by the Australian way of eating. His hospitality background gave him the knowledge to set up a successful on line delivery service but he was craving the in person experience and last month opened his first retail space at Kampus in Manchester.
He has invested in technology to offer a self ordering experience which allows his team more time with their customers face to face.
He has already created a community and says his customers are craving connection. He has collaborated with Manchester running club and he has also held and event with red light saunas and cold plunge therapy, bringing like minded people together with like minded brands. He likes to build events around the business.
He said “your tribe are not just on your Instagram feed, they are round the corner!”
Steph Goodey founder of Laid Bare Kombucha understands that one third of 18 – 24 year olds don’t drink alcohol and that 1 in 6 people have cut back. Consumers want an alternative to the traditional can of pop and look for a drink that uses a traditional techniques, has health benefits and is naturally low in sugar.
With sober events on the rise Kombucha is known as a “Drink with benefits” offering great benefits to gut health – a popular topic.
Steph has used technology to automate her customer experience, offering a subscription model and also believes in the power of live events and collaborations. People want to see realistic personas on social media and she says she has always tried to be this. Her dream is to have a Kombucha tap bar.
Leafyard offered powerful insights into consumer behaviour. When talking about Kombucha and the sober movement they said we need to be ahead of the curve helping people to eliminate that need for a drink, and said they want to help people stop having a drink for stress relief?
We are in a Perma Criss – meaning we are never not in a state of crisis at the moment.
There is zero consumer loyalty and zero brand loyalty especially within supermarkets. People shop at different supermarkets for different things. There is no middle market now – people purchase based on the cheapest or the best product. Product research is now classed as a hobby. There is also zero adherence to channel – whether that be on line, in store or re used or second hand.
We need to be talking to the customer. The ”say do gap’ is a real thing. The difference between what people say or do is markedly different. We cannot predict peoples behaviour -so test and learn is so important. Trust Pilot is now seen as more reliable that a survey.
If your product doesn’t match what they are looking for they will go else where. Understanding your customer has never been so important.
Similarly knowing your team and looking after them is key. It costs 50 -200% to replace someone in your business especially in a service based business. Presentism is on the rise with people WFH and quietly drinking a bottle of at night due to stress. This is a secret behaviour that people are scared or unwilling to share.
To summarise the key trends we saw across all three businesses were –
– Health and Wellbeing continues to buck the trend and perform well in a cost of living crisis
– Technology is an enabler for growth and also ironically the in person experience
– Events that wrap round a brand and get it in the hands of the consumer allow brands to build a community – face to face being hugely important.
– Collaboration with like minded brands is key to connecting with current customers and attracting new ones.
– Consumer behaviour is unpredictable, random and hard to read which is why connection to customer in the way they want to be connected to is key. You need to know your customer to understand how they want to communicated with.
To speak to us about your customer or brand experience event or to add health and wellbeing into your employee engagement events contact email@example.com