After the desired brand positioning and brand personality for the retail chain is set, both have to be communicated. The differences between the desired and perceived have to be redirected. Brand Communication should make the positioning and personality visible both inside and outside the store. Communication itself contributes to the total identity of the retail chain. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the advertising, direct marketing communication, store design, visual merchandising and the employees, all communicate the same constant message.
Communication at the point of sale can be very influential over whether a purchase will take place or not. Many buying decisions are not made until the consumer is in the store. Consumers expect the store to offer all kinds of sensory experiences. Brand communication can be achieved not only through advertising and other kinds of out of store communications, but also through in-store communication – the store design, the visual merchandising and the employees.
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These in-store communications bring the brands to life.
The Ralph Lauren fashion brand for example communicates the image of an American country house through its stores. They are ornamental, dark & rusty and full of natural material. (K. Floor, 2006) With the explosion of the internet, many retailers are incorporating technology into their marketing and are adopting multichannel communication strategy. In the online encounter, the retailers try to communicate with its customers via their website. Retailers should know that the information athered by customers from different channels affect the total brand image about the retailer. Customers use brands as an important tool for organizing information and simplifying their decision making in both cyber and traditional marketplace. A retailer’s online communication may dilute the brand’s positive image if the online message fails to synchronize with its offline message to consumers. “Therefore, a similar reciprocal relationship must exist between offline and online brand images of a retailer”; WS Kwon, SJ Lennon; 2009.