Change doesn’t live in our comfort zone

Making big changes to your brand or retail space can feel like a huge risk. An online rebrand can hide behind all the noise on the web until someone comes looking for you. Bricks and mortar is different – it’s very real and people will see you.

Face to face with your community can be daunting but it’s an amazing opportunity to encapsulate your brand, tell your story and connect with your customers (if you get it right).

5 tips for developing your brand so it means something in real life

Remember what makes you good.

If you have made it this far – you are probably doing something right. Work hard to pinpoint and articulate what makes you special and why you have loyal customers. If you are struggling to work it out, trawl through your old reviews and chat to your customers to find out - or book a brand workshop with us and we will root around to help you find it.

Keep it real

There is no point in creating a glossy facade – it’s real people and great stories that help us make genuine connections. Make sure every element of your shop or café tells the same engaging and fundamentally honest story. Everything has a part to play from signage to sofas, window displays to uniforms, menus to merchandise, layout to loos!

Broadening appeal

When updating your shop or brand, think about how you can add value to your current customers at the same time as engaging new ones. We help customers think of ways to make existing customers and staff feel special whilst sparking interest and broadening appeal to a wider market.

[Case Study: Lishman’s]

This was a concern for Lishman’s, a multi-generational family business, with many older loyal customers. They knew they needed to bring in a new demographic but David didn’t want to lose the loyalty he’d spent 30 years building up.

We spent a long time working out how to appeal to both. The final refit has managed to delight the existing customers whilst also bringing in new ones. Emma says one of her favourite things now is to stand on the shop floor and watch people’s faces as they come through the door.

Whilst their older customers have stayed loyal, they’ve also had people drive past the shop front and be pestered by their children to come in. Not bad for a butchers!

Celebrate your story

Your story or heritage is interesting to your customers. Find ways to show and celebrate where you’ve come from. Carry your past with you – it can be what makes you stand out. Loyalty comes from depth of knowledge.

Take up space

Layout is everything. Don’t be timid. When updating your shop, whilst look and feel are vital, so is practicality. Think creatively about how you can use your layout to change the way you connect with your customers.

[Case Study: Lishman’s]

When we redesigned Lishman’s we moved the chopping blocks and grocery table out from behind the counter. Staff are able to chat to customers whilst they work which compels the sort of interaction David and Emma were hoping for.

Lishman’s had also identified a bottleneck where people who had just popped in for a pie had to wait in a queue for hot sandwiches, so we created a ‘pie hatch’ onto the street. It looks great, draws people in and, as Emma says, it’s pandemic-proof.

We love helping high street companies through this journey. It’s satisfying for us to work in the real world and to see the high street and your customers bustle from the excitement.

Please get in touch if we can help.

Photography Credit: Helen Lishman