Thursday, April 30, 2015

Linking Customer Experience To Loyalty Reward Programs

More and more people are questionning the usage of loyalty reward programs. If there was a lot of hype around this type of customer relationship management strategy back in the early 2000s, the marketing landscape has evolved a lot, via the rise of new technologies empowering customers' experience.

Loyalty reward programs indeed are not anylonguer a way to stand out of the competition as most of companies now own one. It is also costly to maintain. But I believe that with the rise of two trends, loyalty reward programs may have a bright future in front of them:
  • Ibeacon/mobile technologies
  • Big data
What really matters for the loyalty reward program to be efficient is that it allows the customer to have a customized and top of the line customer experience. And loyalty reward programs may give you the opportunity to know your customers based on its purchases and when and how it got in contact with your brand, but if it is linked with Ibeacon technology, it may even give you some insights on the way it shops. 

Shopping is a key element of the customer decision making process, and hence of its whole experience. By having clear insights on its shopping path and experience, you may provide a unique experience to your customers. So far, I don't think anyone has yet tested this kind of process and Ibeacon is still at an early stage of usage. But there is a lot of potential in terms of CRM strategy.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Sharing Economy

The time has recently published a great issue on the sharing economy. indeed, this is a clear trend that is modifying the way customers are dealing with the brands.

Companies like AirBnB Parking Panda (for parking spots), Vinted (for clothing), Uber (for Taxis) are changing deeply the business models of the companies they are fighting for. Will it become a major stream? The sharing economy is just a clear evidence that customers are taking over the relationship with companies. Clearly, they can organize themselves in such a way they can be a counter power to big corporations.

It is just the beginning of the trend. How will your company react to such a change? It is important to see how the business modells may evovle to the new demand. Will we someday see some companies actually encouraging and shifting business model to benefit from the sharing economy? 

A topic to follow.

CRM in the Health Industry: Benefiting From The Connected Objects

Connected Objects is the next big thing in the high tech industry. The potential added value given to people is huge, and therefore, I believe it may have an impact on how to percieve CRM. When the Iphone emerged with its applications, it enable brands to interract in a new fashion, with a sky of opportunities to strengthen the link.

The Times has recently published an article called "Data Mine: The Next Revolution in Personal Health May Be The Little Step Tracking Band on Your Wrist".
"Research firm ABI estimated that 42 million wearable fitness and health devices were shipped in 2014, up from 32 million in 2013. The movement even has a name - the quantified self."
"Once tracking has become ubiquitous, it could produce a health revolution. Right now, doctors have to wait for us to feel bad enough to bring our bodies into the shop... Data tacking could make it a lot easier for someone who is, for exampe, trying to manage a weight problem...
And personal data can mean personalized health care. The real winner may not be the company that makes the best device, but the one that can produce a meaningful signal out of the noise of personal data/."

I totally agree with the article. I believe that once health companies may get those type of data, they will be able to propose better treatment and better help to their patient. And I believe there is a lot of room for opportunities in Healthcare companies to benefit from this new trend.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Pricing and Promotions: When Too Much Discounts Hurt Sales

The FMCG market in France is tough, as the competition is tough and the market stagnating. Therefore, the past 5 years, we have seen promotions springing up, with discounts up to 70% of the prices. Every week those kind of promotions have rythmed the market.

"The research found that over three quarters (76 per cent) of people who took part in the survey say that they find the process of bargain-shopping difficult. Furthermore, 82 per cent are sceptical of 'normal' prices, since the proliferation of cut prices has made discounts virtually omnipresent. In other words, since so much appears discounted, the 'normal' price of a given product becomes something purely notional.
Some 73 per cent of surveyed individuals feel that there is a problem with inflated prices, i.e. prices that are raised so that they can later be lowered, and thus legitimately bear the word rabais (discount)."
Even though French shoppers love discounts and are actually responding to those (with a high elasticity to sales), the fact of the multiplication of sales has a negative impact on the way customers perceive the prices. 
Indeed, how is it possible to explain to one customers that at some point of the year he may pay the product 70% off? 
In terms of pricing strategy, it is therefore difficult as customers are eager for promotions. Also, the issue with this increase in promotions, is it is difficult now to turn back. Promotions counts for 20 to 25% of the business, and is a key factor to lead traffic in a store. 
This is the reason why I don't believe that these heavy discounts will eventually fade away.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Using Ibeacon To Organize Gaming Session in Retail

Ibeacon is at an early age of adoption by retailers. We are yet to see the full potential, as most of the usage at the time are more tests than actual concrete implementation in store. Ibeacon to me is a wonderful technology, but as wonderful technologies are, it is difficult to perceive the interest prior we find out the right usage.

Ibeacon could be used in retailing to organize for specific events games within stores. For example, you could via an application earn points by finding the right beacon, and by answering right to questions online.

Here is a video showing the potential of gaming in store thanks to Ibeacon. I think that there is a high potential to this technology to create an event in stores.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Are Loyalty Reward Programs Leading To Customers Loyalty?

The concept of loyalty reward program has emerged in the 90s, with the idea to create specific advantages to loyal customers in order to keep them away from competition. The concept is simple: In a mature market, it is more expensive to get a new customer than to retain one.

Loyalty reward programs also has a great advantage as it allows companies to own massive customer data base where they can plug in an efficient CRM program. Nevertheless, basic loyalty reward programs have been questionned lately, as it is easier for customers to switch companies and services:
  • The access to information for customers is easier than ever
  • The amount of promotions and discounts available at a very same time has sprung up, lowering the advantages of being loyal.
  • Customers are able to shop online, on mobile, in stores, which makes it also easier to trigger the sale, and to wait for shopping in the favorite store more difficult
  • Moreover, if loyalty reward programs were a real tool to stand out of the competition, nowadays most of the companies own one, which also lower the feeling of loyalty.
Here is an interesting article which discuss about how to give a boost to your loyalty program. What matter the most nowadays is customer and shopping experience, which creates a real added value and differenciation.

Now, I believe that loyalty reward programs may give an extra lift now. Indeed, there are two important trends that may help the loyalty reward programs to keep its importance:
  • Big data: More than ever we are able to leverage the full potential of all the customers data one company own. Thanks to big data, the ability to segment customers and/or providing him a unique experience is possible.
  • Ibeacon and mobile phone technologies: By having information thanks to mobile technologies, especially Ibeacon may allow businesses to have clear view of people's shopping experience, and their journey in one store. 
By mixing big data and Ibeacon, one company may develop a complete customer relationship management program, that will lead to effective loyalty.

Branding: The Evolution Of Logo

An old post that is still very relevant today. It explains how logo designing has evolved throughout the eras

Here are the highlights of the article:
  • Logo has existed since the begininng of human kind. Indeed, the first humans used to decorate their products, such as vases with symbols, which were representing some strong images, with a real meaning.
  • Logos has been used also to represent people. This is the essence of a signature. Kings used to have their own symbols that they left on their goods and homes, not to be forgotten.
I also like the conclusion of the article:
For now, brand identity design is thriving. Branded design environments (like a website with an integrated design strategy expressing brand qualities) can coexist with traditional logo design. In the future — as always — it’s creative thinking that will lead the way. One valuable asset will be the willingness to take a risk when it comes time to develop a strategy for a brand’s visual persona. The faster technology propels our culture, the more design risk-takers we’re going to need.
Whatever changes may come, one thing will remain. As graphic artists and designers, we possess the power (just as any two year-old with a crayon does) to ascribe meaning to the world around us. We put an expressive face on raw information. The fundamental desire of humans to understand the world in visual terms is a desire that we can understand and foster. Graphic design’s ability to provide meaning and useful information will prove more valuable than ever during uncertain and challenging times.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Customer Centricity Starts From Dealing With Your Employees First

I am using an article I recently read in Forbes about customer centricity in six steps. One of the steps I would like to emphasize, and actually that I emphasized a lot in this blog already: Treat your employees first, then your customers. Indeed, your employee is the best image your company can give to your customers. 

They reflect two kind of images:
  • The professionalism and the skills of your brand
  • But also the way you treat people. If your customers feel that you neglect their customers how do you think they believe you would consider them.
Obviously, paying them well is a great way to show your gratitude. But more importantly, you need to empower them with education, tools, management, achievable goals, in order to get the best of their positive energy. This is actually how Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba, Even though he recently launched an IPO, he believes his employees are at the core of the value generated by the company.

Hence, management and human resources have key roles in a customer relationship management strategy.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

How Our World Has Changed

Here is a pic I saw created a big hype on LinkedIn lately.

This quote gives indeed a lot of food for thoughts.

Business Modells Change Faster Than Expected
Who would have thought even 5 years ago all these new business modells created on the base of network instead of concrete businesses that master all the key components. This is the reason why even cool start ups from the end of the 2000s struggle to reinvent themselves. The tempo is really fast, and agility is important. Actually, when you read this list, you can clearly see that it is the most agile companies that win it at the moment.

In 2015 it is the most specialized companies that thrive
Companies don't master all the components of their business. Nevertheless, they are able to deliver great service. How do they do? They mostly create a great interface with large audience in order to propose the best service.

In 2015 there is room for small businesses
If big corporations focus on creating network and service rather than developping a whole business from bottom to top, that means there is a lot of room for entrepreneurs to thrive. So go and create your marketplace, go and create your taxi service, go and create your Youtube page. This is what is great right now. Obviously it will be difficult to create a competitor to those companies, but they create real eco systems.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Débrief visite salon du E marketing et Stratégie Client 2015

Comme chaque année, je me suis rendu la semaine dernière au salon de la Stratégie client et du E marketing. L'occasion de voir des amis comme Henri Kaufman, co fondateur des éditions Kawa spécialisées dans les ouvrages au sujet du digital et du marketing. Mais également Christophe Bouguereau, fondateur du cabinet de conseil en stratégie Client MDC Partenaire, 

Mais également, l'occasion de voir une conférence très intéressante sur la relation client à travers le monde, mais j'y reviendrai dans un prochain post.

C'est toujours l'occasion de voir les innovations et les nouvelles tendances. Ainsi, il y a 3-4 années, le salon était litérallement "spammé" par des entreprises de l'emailing, usant de tous les subterfuges pour attirer le challand (hotesse en petite tenue, goodies offerts, café-champagne, etc...) sans vraiment d'originalité. Idem il y a 5-6 ans, le tour du monde des call centers était proposé. Les 2-3 dernières années, c'était surtout des entreprises de gestion d'e-reputation, avec l'avénement des réseaux sociaux, et la mort programmé de l'emailing de masse.

Mais ces différentes tendances et ces modifications montrent bien que le monde de la relation client évolue énormément au fil des modifications technologiques et des modes de consommation. 

Aujourd'hui, le salon est beaucoup plus équilibré. Néanmoins, pas de réelles innovations ou entreprise vraiment rupturiste vue... Juste au détour d'un stand quelqu'un parle d'Ibeacons, mais c'est timide, et assez creux.

Rapidement ce qui m'a marqué et intéressé:
  • La société Beehivr : société canadienne spécialisée dans la création d'applications Ipad tournée vers l'interraction client. Ils proposent un outil simple pour créer des présentations de produits et/ou de marques. Déjà de belles présentations, je pense que la société a pas mal de potentiel.
  • Culture RP de l'argus de la presse: L'argus de la presse a réussit sa mue digitale et offre des offres de gestion d'e-reputation. Un blog intéressant que je ne connaissait pas,
  • Solocal, ex pages jaunes, qui se pose comme spécialiste du référencement locale, via une multitude de business units sur le même sujet, notamment Leadformance que je connais bien, qui s'occupe de faire des sites Internet de point de vente pour les chaînes de la grande distribution. Petit bemol néanmoins, l'offre semble néanmoins pas assez abouti en terme de conseil et d'intégration. Mais déjà, le naming et la compétence des BU sont là, donc j'espère qu'il y aura effectivement beaucoup a cherché de se nouveau groupe.
  •  VideoMark, société spécialisée dans le tournage de vidéo publicitaire axée pour les sites E commerce, avec un réel savoir faire à ce sujet.
En tout cas, le salon était très professionnel, les grands du secteur étaient présent. Un petit bémol exactement: Est il toujours nécessaire d'avoir un double nom pour cet événement: E marketing et Stratégie Client? Pour moi, c'est le salon le plus important de l'univers du marketing au global. Pourquoi ne pas s'affirmer comme référence marketing? Cela donnerait certainement plus d'ampleur à ce salon déjà très important à mes yeux.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Comment #Picard joue son Opération Italie

Je l'ai déjà dit sur mon blog, mais j'adore Picard. Picard réussi au même titre que Costco ou Ikea de jouer avec le modèle économique du Hard Discount, mais néanmoins, en travaillant son concept, de pouvoir aller loin dans les largeurs de gammes, et de travailler sur la qualité de son offre. Il y a quelques temps, je me suis rendu à un magasin Picard, pour constater la manière dont Picard jouait son opération Italie. Classiquement, dans la grande distribution alimentaire, l'opération Italie est très souvent un événement majeur, qui permet de doper ses volumes. 

Ce que j'ai particulièrement aimé, c'est la manière dont Picard bien que Hard Discounter, a réussi à mettre en valeur son opération, et notamment sa largeur de gamme, de manière qualitative, et ce à moindre dépense. Très bien travaillé, un modèle de mise en avant merchansising qualitative, avec notamment un concept très bien décliné sur tous les différents supports.Surtout qu'il est souvent difficile d'animer la catégorie surgelé, à cause des tombeaux qui sont difficile à habillés.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Visite du magasin Intermarché de Clichy

Samedi, j'ai rendu visite à mon ancien adhérent Intermarché Stéphane Sinopoli qui ouvrait son nouvel Intermarché à Clichy, en proche banlieue parisienne. Je ne serai pas le premier blogueur à faire une visite guidée du magasin puisqu'Olivier Dauvers l'a déjà fait samedi, avec de très belles photos à l'appui

Je partage sa même vision sur la recherche d'excellence merchandising. Ici quelques photos.

Les meubles froids sont équipés de rabateurs pour les produits tel que le jambon, afin de sécuriser un visuel toujours propre pour le consommateur. Par ailleurs, le magasin a des linéaires très peu profond, qui permet d'être en phase avec le traffic moindre d'un gros hypermarché, mais aussi de pouvoir gagner de la taille sur une petite surface, et donc d'avoir plus de références in fine.

Dans ce magasin, les meubles froids sont aussi en meuble fermé. Bien évidemment, le snacking en milieu urbain est mis au début du circuit shopper.

L'Intermarché est idéalment situé, proche du marché et de la mairie, ce qui lui permet d'avoir une forte fréquentation.

Un petit détail: Le Champagne est dans un meuble frais, pour que le consommateur puisse proposer du Champagne frais lors des courses de dernières minutes avant d'aller dîner.

Mise en avant qualitative du fruits et légumes, en début de magasin, pour montrer la qualité des produits frais du point de vente.

Le meuble à olive, spécialement designé pour le magasin.

Le meuble à fromage est très quali, avec ses paniers en osier coupés. Bien que le magasin n'est pas de stand, ce soucis du détail dans la présentation fait son effet.

La aussi, je trouve la très bonne idée: Les jus de fruits frais sont à côté des jus de fruits ambiants. En effet, comment justifié pour le consommateur que les deux gammes soient séparés? De plus, sur une petite surface, cela permet de donner de la cohérence, et le produit est pour moi plus facile à trouver.
Idem pour le lait frais avec le lait UHT.

Beaucoup de travail sur le mobilier a été réalisé, notamment en mettant en avant les familles clés via des meubles retro éclairés. C'est le cas de la beauté, souvent stratégique en proximité, comme le rayon alcool.

Cette affiche démontre bien la volonté d'excellence affichée par le magasin.

Les têtes de gondoles sont réservées aux espaces premium de chaque rayon. La aussi, avec des meubles rétro éclairés, et une mise en avant qualitative. En effet, sur un format de proximité, la promotion ne peut être un facteur majeur de traffic, aussi, le magasin met en avant la qualité de l'offre.

Voici une autre initiative de cross merchandising, avec le fromage ambiant entre 2 meubles de frais. Il existe énormément de ces renfoncements designés pour permettre de mettre en avant des éléments de cross merchandising. Notamment, des produits secs proches de produits frais.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Zoomdle: The Application That Sells

Mobile commerce is one of the hypest topic in the retail and marketing industry right now. Indeed, smartphones offer a high technological potential to sell products and to become the premium medium for customized advertizing and customer interractions.

Zoomdle is a French applications that recognize clothing apparels pictures, in magazines and catalogs for example, and then propose you to buy them online.

It has been a while that marketers were looming on such an application, and now it seems to exist. At the moment, Zoomdle already proposes over 15 000 products (it is about the product range a hypermart proposes) from 350 different brands. The application has been downloaded 50 000 times

Hence, Zoomdle is the perfect way to match print documents and mobile. It is obviously a great tool for multi channel retailing, and to propose extra services to your clientele.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

OSICAM: Comment mettre en place une stratégie client?

Un peu de publicité (en français) pour une entreprise que je suis et que j'apprécie particulièrement, MDC Partenaire. Ils viennent d'avoir un article sur le magazine entreprendre, en marge du salon Stratégie Client qui aura lieu la semaine prochaine du 14 au 16 avril (je devrais d'ailleurs m'y rendre le 16 avril, n'hésitez pas à me tweeter pour savoir s'il y a des gens qui seront présent ce jour).

L'article parle du concept OSICAM, qui est une méthode innovante permettant d'analyser, de construire et de piloter une stratégie client, en faisant une analyse à 360°. 

Ce qui est mis en avant dans l'article, c'est l'importance du diagnostique de la stratégie client de l'entreprise. En effet, toute entreprise possède des clients, mais n'a pas forcément les mêmes fondations. Il est donc important de voir ce qui marche, et ce qui existe déjà. Egalement, ce qui est montré lors de ce diagnostique, est qu'il n'existe pas une stratégie unique de relation client. Celle-ci se doit de s'adapter aux objectifs et à la stratégie globale de l'entreprise. Comme le dit Christophe Bouguereau, la stratégie d'une entreprise est bi polaire: le produit et le client. L'idée est d'avoir une bonne connaissance des besoins de l'entreprise afin d'avoir une approche la plus efficiente possible.

Très belle article, et belle mise en lumière accordée par le magazine Entreprendre pour cette entreprise en développement.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Aldi Has A Bright Future Ahead Of Him

Very interesting article in French retail magazine "Linéaires". It discusses a potential merger between both entities of Aldi, Aldi Nord, and Aldi Süd. Aldi has been created in the 40s by 2 brothers that decided to split their business in 2 and seperate in two different German region. That allowed them to spread their concept throughout the country first without competing, and secondly to share the world, as Aldi is nowadays a real global company. 

Aldi, for those who don't know, experience tremendous success in the United States thanks to their chain "Trader Joe's". Aldi is not the company that advertize the most about its corporate governance nor its results. But if you Add up sales of both entities, you have a retail giant of over 70 billion €, which would rank him about the same rank than Carrefour.

Of course, Aldi's business is far from sexy: they are a hardcore discount retailer, that has not evolved much from the original concept (aside from the Trader Joe's experience). But what people may not know either is that Aldi Sud for example has a 7,8% growth rate, when Aldi Nord has 2,9%, which for large retailers like they are is great. For instance, in the UK, Aldi is one of the toughest competitor of Tesco, and one of the main reason why they have struggled these past 2 years, forcing Tesco to change their strategy. I remember in Terry Leahy's book (Ex CEO of Tesco) recognizing that its toughest competition came from Aldi.

Obviously, the article is questionning a potential merger between both entities, especially as Aldi Nord is more exposed to mature declining market than Aldi Sud which invested great countries with a lot of growth, but in my opinion, it is not what I will keep from this article.

What is important is to emphasize that Aldi is one of the top performing retailer in the world, and despite a concept that may be old and out to date, Aldi has a strong clear concept, providing real added value to customers, and therefore has created a kind of "blue ocean" where it will be tough to get it.

Monday, April 06, 2015

How To Use Colors in Your Retail Marketing Strategy?

Colors are key in the communication process. Indeed, people, depending on their cultures tend to assimilate colors with emotions and feelings. This is the reason why when you develop a logo, a product or a store concept, it is important to understand how to use the pictures. Indeed, most of the time, the colors of one logo is more familiar to people than the logo itself.

I read this very interesting blog post, that details the different usages of colors and their meanings in a marketing and retail stand point.

What I like about this infographic:

  • The way to have specific colors depending on your target (something that could be done in a retail environment)
  • The segmentation of colors.

In terms of customer relationship management, obviously when you customize your communication, either on a website, on an application and/or by emailing/mailing, it could be wise to have a range of colors you could adapt depending on the situation/your target. Something that could be thought more and I believe that could be very efficient.

Friday, April 03, 2015

You Can Identify One Customer By Knowing Only 4 Purchases

This is what a recent study has shown. It can even go to 3 purchases if the price is included. 

The study analyzed during 3 months credit card transactions of 1,1 milion people in 10 000 stores. What the study outline, is that our purchasing behavior is so personnal that it defines our own person. This show well the potential of the big data. Indeed, no need to have complex system to have reliable data, but the abondance of it is a real opportunity to better understand people. 

Thursday, April 02, 2015

How To Take Into Accounts Stakeholders While Designing A Strategy

Having a strong strategy which meets both the long term and the short term expectations is a key to long lasting business success. But when it comes to defining a strategy, it is harder than it sounds. As the article says, a list of goal is not a strategy. How many times I have seen people presenting strategies like:
-Increase sales
- Earn marketshares
- Increase net margins

And people who I consider very skilled on top of that... Indeed, there is nothing more common for a business than to have those standard goals, but your competition has the same and there is no way anything good may come out of it. As the article says: they focus on a narrow set of key performance indicators and wade right into developing solutions that feed those metrics, burrowing deeper and deeper into the details. Very quickly they lose their “helicopter view” and get stuck in fix-it mode. 

The article proposes then to create your strategy around your stakeholdes: suppliers, clients, employees, shareholders. 

Here is the three steps approach:
- Recognize who your stakeholders are, and what they look like.
- Identify what you want from your stakeholders: Prior to think about what your stakeholders want from you, you should think about what you want from them!
- Identify what they want from you

Here is an interesting quote from the CEO of Whole Food Market about how he conceives his relationship with his stakeholders: 
“Customers, employees, investors, suppliers, larger communities, and the environment are all interdependent,” he explains. “Management’s job at Whole Foods is to make sure that we hire good people, that they are well trained, and that they flourish in the workplace, because we found that when people are really happy in their jobs, they provide much higher degrees of service to the customers.  Happy team members result in happy customers.  Happy customers do more business with you.  They become advocates for your enterprise, which results in happy investors.  That is a win, win, win, win strategy.”


Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Retail Management : How An Apple Store May Boost Your Mall Sales

We discuss a lot in this blog about category management, and how to add customer value by providing the right response to shoppers' needs. But in the same sens, retail and mall management are crucial. Indeed, the mall business has been declining due to 2 main factors:
  • The raise of online sales
  • The multiplication of malls and stores which create a tough competition, and too many square meters compared to peoples' needs.

To me, there is two reasons about that:
  • Apple has a strong brand equity, and it brings added value and traffic to your mall.
  • Apple has a clear concept with a premium price, which helps to lift the prices of the malls;
But when you have such an impact on a mall revenues, you understand the reason why Apple negociate so well its leases, especially in this tough economy.

I believe that the ability of one mall to propose the right mix in terms of boutiques is a key factor of success and a driver of foot visit.