In the world of retail, one of the most commonly discussed themes is branding. Branding can define the success of a company, and in the world of eyewear, it can help separate you and your practice from the competition.
Branding can be defined as marking your practice to differentiate your business from the competition using a specific attitude reflective of your product or service. In short, branding is your promise to your customer.
The basic goal of branding is to communicate what your product or service stands for. An outstanding example of this is Nike. Since the creation of the “Just Do It” campaign, Nike has created a virtual athletic empire. As a result of the billions of dollars spent on advertising and marketing, consumers have an emotional connection to the brand and all it represents. One glance at the famous “swoosh” logo gives customers an image performance and innovation. While similar athletic companies have tried to achieve Nike’s level of success, few have reached their level of success.
With Nike’s success as an example, it is easy to see the importance of branding. While it is likely you don’t have the assets Nike possesses, it is still possible for you to use branding to your advantage. The most important aspect of branding for a dispensary is the creation of a brand image and carving out a niche for your business.
Ask yourself, what kind of dispensary are you and who do you cater to? Are you a high-end boutique-style dispensary; or a price/value focused establishment? A brief survey of the optical shops in your area can give you an idea of where you fit into the marketplace. Remember, your brand is about more than just the sign outside your door; it’s about the way your employees interact with customers, the pricing of your inventory and the brands you carry. It’s your niche or your “Unique Selling Proposition.” A Unique Selling Proposition is what your business does and stands for and how that differentiates you from the competition. The acquisition of a solid Unique Selling Proposition and a loyal foundation of customers is something that must be worked on from the bottom up.
Ask your customers, “Why did you choose to do business with us?” The answers will speak volumes about your brand. If you’re not pleased with your findings about your businesses branding, you’ll have to decide on the best way to address this issue.
Piggybacking on the branding strategies of the products you sell may work as well. By advertising brands which spend large amounts of money on advertising already, you can take advantage of the image they create and positive perceptions customers already have of those brands. Simply creating an attitude that your target demographic can connect with and emotionally invest in is the key to branding. Your business’ image and your advertisement of products you carry must sync with the brand preferences of your consumers.