Branding is the process by which retailers distinguish their brand via their name, logo, catch phrase, or any other identifying feature that serves to distinguish the product. Advertising is the vehicle by which a branding message is delivered. Advertising is brand promotion through communication, and can be traditionally delivered via various forms of media, or more unusual (grassroots) methods.
Both branding and advertising are vital components of any retail stores strategy. Promotion via advertising generates traffic and ultimately customers and consumers. Branding is vital in that it informs potential consumers about the look, feel, style, and energy of your brand. While distinctly different aspects of the retail marketing process, both components are vital to maintaining a successfully functioning business.
For the past couple of days, I have discussed how businesses in the retail industry can effectively, productively utilize emerging, multimodal, and interactive voice response technology to inform consumers of their brand and product offerings, it is important to illustrate some less than favorable practices.
According to Wikipedia, false advertising is the use of deceptive or misleading statements in advertising or branding. The retail industry is exceedingly competitive, with companies constantly gunning for customers and profit. Regardless of the type of retail operation, stores are looking to set themselves apart as both unique and superior, whether by price, product offering, location, or selection.
This is a natural and expected part of the retail process. However, problems arise when companies disregard truth in labeling and advertising in an attempt to falsely market their product in either incorrect or deceptive ways. This is not only misleading, it is also illegal in most countries.
There are many ways retailers can misrepresent their product. Attaching hidden fees, surcharges, unspecified taxes, or other unmentioned costs can greatly increase the price of product unbeknownst to the customer. Other ways to improperly represent a product include labeling a product with terms that don’t have a mutually recognized meaning (labeling food as light, organic, or free range).
Consumers need to be aware of these potential traps from retail stores, and there agencies like truth in advertising and the Better Business Bureau that monitor these types of activities. However, accessing this information can prove to be a bit of a struggle in that users have to tedious and exhausting searches to find out if the stores and products they are contemplating purchasing are in fact upstanding.
Users could simply call, text, or email in to find updates powered by an IVR system that would immediately allow them to procure all of the information they were seeking in one place. The IVR could also place an outbound notification complete with a consumer alert based on user preferences.
The retail industry is vital to economic success and a symbiotic relationship between businesses and customers through technological innovation is a key component of sustaining the industry.