Connecting your retailers’ employees and experts to your brand and your wholesale B2B platform is one of the most powerful campaigns you can undertake. Retail employees that feel connected to the brands they work with have the frontline power to inform and persuade buying decisions. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer “Employees rank higher in public trust than a firm’s PR department, CEO, or Founder,” so if you are not inviting and inspiring your retailers’ employees to be your brand ambassadors, you are missing out on an emotional attachment and sales opportunity.
Brands that understand the strategic benefit of retail employee engagement not only have more loyal and engaged retail employees but have retail employees that create better customer experiences which translates into higher brand earnings. Similarly, pro-engagement, usage, and recommendation can literally transform the brand into a human form for a whole host of positive brand impact factors. Turning your Pros from a suspect to a prospect, to a client to a raving fan helps connect your brand to the fans in the field. Pro brand favorability, loyalty, recognition, and consideration ultimately lead to increase sales, too.
So how do you offer this level of engagement in your industry? How do you create a frictionless path for true fandom? It requires a strategic and tactical approach and an intentional commitment to messaging and technology.
Enter the era of Retail Employee and Pro Engagement…Shared Experiences.
Successful branding is steeped in authenticity. It extends beyond your walls — it extends to the reps, retailers, and pros engaged with your brand. Building retail employee or pro-engagement and loyalty requires more than just an email announcing an employee or pro purchase program, it requires an investment in messaging that fuels the aspirational desires of each employee — to be more connected, to be noticed, and to be a part of something they understand and value. Sharing an experience with your retailer’s employees or pros is the ultimate in teamwork. Your retailers’ employees and pros need to be up to date on the brand; and knowledgeable about the product line, technical specs and best practices, but mostly they need to feel connected. A carefully crafted retail employee or pro incentive program can achieve all three goals. Here are five steps you can take to increase pro and retail employee engagement:
- Be irresistible — brands and their stories are a way to transform oneself to another place, time, or status. Your retailers’ employees and pros are part of that story. Be irresistible to them and they become your front-line ambassadors.
- Be available — securing devotion from your consumer requires that you look for new channels, new audiences and new forms of advertisement. Be available to your pros and retailers’ employees by extending their own brand experience.
- Be relevant — share exactly what you want with your retailers’ employees and your pros. It doesn’t have to default to a close out catalog. Share your anticipated top sellers, your products with advanced technical features, or something that you know that group will care about. Being relevant to your audience is true for your retailers’ employees and pros too.
- Be hopeful — some say that a brand is a ‘sacred promise for what you stand for’. Do you stand for status, power, beauty, security, sport, health — share that hope and collective fantasy with others that own, or aspire to own, your brand.
- Be experiential — Bold moves can grow your brand. But risky moves can cost it. If you are considering a pro or employee program for your retailers, be experiential in thought, but goal-oriented in action.
The iVendix B2B Wholesale Ecommerce platform is chosen by some of the most respected apparel and footwear brands with our full line of order management and marketing products. A universal truth of their success is the earnestness they will undertake to engage their retailers’ employees and pros by making them part of a larger conversation and staying true to these five commitments. By inviting them to a pro or employee program that is crafted with engagement in mind, they become advocates of the brand and brand story. It’s the type of commitment that is reciprocated.
CenterStone Technologies and the iVendix B2B Wholesale Ecommerce Suite leads the way in digital marketing, sales tools, and professional strength wholesale B2B e-commerce for brands. Every day we strive to deliver real value to our customers; delight our user community with an unparalleled user experience; leverage the power of SaaS-based development, infrastructure and minimal downtime for our clients’ IT departments; and make CenterStone a special place in which to work.