Creating award winning in-store beauty experiences

By Andy Youings. 15th February 2018
Creating award winning in-store beauty experiences

In-store beauty expertAt Fizz, we like to think we know a thing or two about working with health and beauty brands to create in-store beauty experiences. Over the past three decades we’ve represented some of the industry’s best loved brands inside high street retailers all over the UK. From established leaders like Max Factor to fresh challengers such as H2O+ (see case study below), we approach each campaign in a similar way. We begin by understanding the brand challenges and objectives, followed by recognising the needs of the consumer. Only then can we weave the two together in a customer experience that demonstrates why a product works whilst communicating the story of the brand. 

In this article we explain this approach in a little more detail. We also share an in-store beauty case study demonstrating this approach in a real-world situation.

 

Brand challenges (objectives).

For brands, there are two types of challenge. Some are common and apply to almost every brief. Others are more unique; demanding more creativity in order to achieve. Let’s look at some common examples.

Common challenges:

Health and beauty is a highly competitive marketplace. For this reason, one of the key requirements is to elevate a brand in-store in the eyes of consumers and stand out against the competition. Others will usually include driving sales and ensuring consumers understand the key features and benefits of the product.

Unique challenges:

It gets interesting when we add in the unique challenges for the brand and product in question. And the newer the brand, the bigger this list can be. For example, a lack of in-house client resource can require an agency to deliver a ‘360 degree’ approach to deliver multiple aspects of the campaign. Likewise, if the brands relationship with the retailer is a new one this can create further challenges. For example, ensuring a limited period of in-store promotion (where the product is ‘spotlighted’ by the retailer as NEW) is maximised. Finally, being a new brand can also mean the retailers own staff don’t fully understand a product – potentially jeopardising sales longer term.

Customer needs.

In-store beauty experience for Max FactorNext are the needs of the customer. For beauty brands, individual characteristics such as skin type, hair condition, allergies etc. are important considerations. It is these, together with consumer questions about suitability and application that increase the importance of having trained experts at the point of purchase. In addition, many consumers like to delve deeper into a brand to understand core values such as sustainability, provenance and other ethical concerns in order to truly buy-in to a new product. And finally of course, every consumer prefers to “try before they buy” ahead of fully committing to a purchase.

Creating the in-store beauty experience.

The final stage is to combine the challenges and needs into an engaging in-store beauty experience and create a campaign that meets its objectives. At Fizz, we believe this rests around three key areas:

Bringing the brand to life

Key to success is to bring the core of the brand, its values and the key benefits to life in-store. By showing consumers what it important about the brand, they are most likely to learn.

Prove the product works

Beauty nail technicianSecondly, a face-to-face interaction is your opportunity to prove your products’ benefits. By demonstrating the impact your offer can bring will all but eliminate any objections to purchase.

Get buy-in for the long term

Finally, the consumer needs to be taken on a journey in order to buy-in to the brand and its values. This marks the beginning of what should be a deeper relationship with customers – vital in establishing long term brand advocates.

 

The following case illustrates this approach.

IN-STORE BEAUTY CASE STUDY: H2O+ “Discover Hydration” in M&S Beauty

 

H2O Discover Hydration Experience

Fizz created and delivered an in-store beauty experience to take customers on a journey to “Discover Hydration” (the key brand benefit and message). In-store point-of-sale material allowed customers to quickly identify and understand the brand, the products and the importance of hydration. Fizz beauty experts delivered the “Moisture Rush Experience” demonstrating the unique and compelling product features to customers. This allowed them to see and feel the benefits for themselves. A strong promotional offer of a Free Gift with Purchase helped to drive sales. Finally, a cleverly branded bottle of water aided brand recall and the key product benefit (hydration) once customers had left the store.

People

beauty testimonialKey to the campaign was the exceptional quality, skill and experience of the Fizz beauty team. In the first pre-campaign phase, each was carefully profiled and matched against the needs of the brand. This stage also measured suitability against the criteria for working in M&S – a retailer renowned for its quality of service. Once selected, a second phase of face-to-face interviews allowed the best candidates to be identified. Finally, Fizz delivered a pre-campaign training day together with the client at the M&S training centre in White City, London. This ensured every member of the team was fully equipped with the information and skills needed to make the campaign a success.

 

Results

100% coverage, zero complaints, over 250% uplift in sales, and a Field Marketing Award for ‘Perfect Service’.

Fizz team of beauty experts for H2O+

And remember, it’s not just health and beauty we’re experienced in. Visit our case study pages for other examples across food, drink, technology and more. For more information call 01306 644630 or email fizz@fizzexperience.co.uk

Seasonal gifting and the experience

By Andy Youings. 2nd February 2018
Seasonal gifting and the experience

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we begin what is known at Fizz Towers as the “gifting season”. Representing a series of key dates through the retail calendar, each presents brands and retailers with opportunities to engage shoppers and drive sales. And don’t panic if you haven’t planned specific valentine’s activity – there are other events to come. Come with us as we share some tips for making the most of seasonal gifting.

Why is seasonal gifting important for brands and retailers?

Seasonal gifting is vital for many reasons. As market-wide events, each creates heightened consumer awareness and intent to purchase. This “planned spending” in the minds of consumers presents a greater opportunity to drive sales. The desire to spend also creates a more open-minded shopper; providing the chance to deliver a more engaging experience. It’s no coincidence that many seasonal events also represent the traditional periods of peak sales. Footfall is likely to be its highest and therefore the best chance to optimise sales.

When are the key periods?

Valentine’s Day is the first of five important dates in the retail calendar. If you haven’t planned for the Day for Love, there are four more dates to consider:

  • Mother’s Day (11th March)
  • Easter (1st April)
  • Father’s Day (17th June)
  • Christmas (25th Dec).

Ok, we know you probably have these dates but we like to be thorough! It’s also worth noting that the next key event (Mother’s Day) is traditionally the second most valuable (after Christmas). We love our mums.

The challenges and techniques for activating seasonal gifting.

With every opportunity also comes a challenge, and seasonal gifting is no exception. Seasonal events are periods of great competition so everyone wants a piece of the action. And to make matters worse, they take place for limited periods of time. Get it wrong and you have to wait another 12 months to try again. We need to work hard to stand out. Fortunately, there are lots of techniques to help you stand out and win sales –  let’s explore a few here.

Lindt seasonal gifting

Brand ambassadors

Placing highly-trained brand experts is a proven method of driving sales. Able to answer consumer questions and offer gifting advice, these guys and gals are vital. Perhaps you’re a son looking for a Mother’s Day gift of skincare? Fizz beauty experts can provide assistance in understanding the product best suited to your beautiful mum’s complexion.

Product samplings and demonstrations

At the same time, brand ambassadors can deliver a first-hand experience to shoppers. Allowing consumers to try before they buy has been proven to drive sales both on the day and in future.

Merchandising and point-of-sale

In addition to brand experts it’s important to have a strong visual presence. Eye catching, bold displays that clearly state offers and benefits help shoppers make a beeline for your brand. Everything from FSDUs to shelf wobblers can help catch a gift-buyer’s eye.

Store staff trainers

Often overlooked but ensuring the retailers own staff understand your product can have a massive impact. With a little forward-thinking, teams of trainers can be deployed to visit stores and ensure your brand is front of mind. Shoppers are likely to ask store staff for help and advice and you want to be the solution they recommend!

Packs and multi-buys

Seasonal gifting displayIn addition to the above, seasonal events are a great opportunity to create gift-packs and multi-buys for maximum return. From pamper kits for Mother’s Day to Easter chocolate selection boxes; gift packs make an easy choice for shoppers.

Reward the giver with a free product with purchase

Don’t forget the giver! By offering an incentive to purchase such as free gift you give the shopper a further reason to purchase. And as a bonus, your brand is in the hands to two consumers, rather than one! Molton Brown are fantastic at this – always supplying additional sample-sized products with every purchase.

Extend the reach with social media

And finally, don’t forget to think outside of the store in order to reach more people. Social media competitions and giveaways can be used with specific campaign mechanics (hashtags) to spread awareness beyond the shop floor.

Pop-up stores for e-commerce retailers

The gifting season provides the ideal opportunity for e-commerce brands to present themselves in a bricks and mortar store via a ‘pop-up’ environment. This drives sales and offers consumers the opportunity to experience the brand as they haven’t been able to before. Physically engaging with a product, asking questions and receiving gift suggestions provides a powerful face-to-face experience.

 

Which brands and retailers should take note?

Mothers Day seasonal gifting eventThe beauty of seasonal gifting is it covers a broad-spectrum of products. Consideration of the most popular gifts is a great way to understand which brands and retailers apply. For example, Mother’s Day would suit any brands and retailers offering:

  • Beauty (skincare, make-up, perfume, etc.)
  • Books
  • Clothing
  • Wines & Spirits
  • Homewares
  • Flowers
  • Chocolates
  • Stationery

If you offer a product within any of these categories, March 11th should be a key focus!

Other gifting considerations

Finally, it is worth noting that other gifting opportunities exist outside the traditional seasonal periods. For example:

  • Birthdays
  • Anniversaries
  • Weddings
  • Engagements
  • House warming
  • Congratulations

These events present a harder challenge as each can occur at any point. However, the opportunity is there is always someone gift buying, 7 day week, 52 weeks a year. For retailers this presents a different opportunity. Why not dedicate a ‘gift section’ in store and use the techniques discussed to highlight different brand and gifting occasions throughout the year?

Don’t forget, whatever your brand and product, we can help drive your sales throughout the year. Get in touch to discuss your requirements today by calling 01306 644630 or email fizz@fizzexperience.co.uk

What does 2018 have in-store?

By Andy Youings. 12th January 2018
What does 2018 have in-store?

As we begin another busy year, what better time to pause and consider the 2018 trends for the retail sector. More importantly, how are the 2018 trends likely to impact and inform the in-store customer experience?

Customer service becomes customer experience.

At its most basic level, customer experience has always been a vital element in ‘bricks and mortar’ retail. Traditionally it focused on simple customer service that aimed to keep shoppers happy through polite staff who were happy and willing to help. This has always been the cornerstone of word-of-mouth marketing for retailers. As time has gone by, the basic concept has grown from ‘service’ to ‘experience’ to include a range of in-store innovations to delight customers. Everything from simple product sampling and bespoke point of sale displays through to one-off in-store events have the same goal of building competitive advantage. And it’s no wonder. Aside from driving the all important word-of-mouth, providing an engaging and unique in-store experience offers many advantages worth investing in.

Why invest in the instore experience?

Brand Ambassador involving consumer in the demonstrationFirstly, it provides the opportunity to deliver something tangible in comparison with online – vital for products where the touch, taste, smell and feel of a product are as important as the look. In doing so, it also allows important factors such as company culture to be communicated to customers; helping to differentiate positioning and ensure customer choice is more than price driven (John Lewis and Waitrose are amazing examples of this).

Secondly, it provides a unique opportunity to listen to customers and gather feedback. Online algorithms are great but it’s a one-way street that only truly measures customer behaviour (what they do) rather than customer insight (what they think). Nothing can beat a face-to-face interaction to gather feedback such as why a customer selected product A not B. Finally, a great in-store experience can be influential. Even simple tactics such as product sampling have been proven to drive sales with more than one third of consumers who sample a product going on to purchase on the day (source: Arbitron Product Sampling Study).

2018 trends for instore

As consumers, we’re all aware of the speed, scale and range of changes happening in-store. And when it comes to the customer experience, some of these are creating (and will continue to create) opportunities for brands and retailers to better engage shoppers at the point of purchase. We’ve highlighted our top 3 2018 trends:

1. Merging digital and physical

Merging physical and digital retailAs consumers spend more and more of their time online, we work closely with our clients to find ways to extend the relationship beyond instore to deliver a greater return on their investment. For example, past purchase history can be used to identify consumers likely to be interested in new products and targeted with in-store offers to help drive footfall to the store for launch activity (such as product sampling). Smart technologies such as beacons can also be used to bring activity to consumers’ attention via their mobile phones as they enter the store. In addition, social media platforms are a wonderful opportunity to extend the ‘reach’ of in-store events by offering rewards and incentives for sharing an experience to fans and followers. Features such as branded photo booths for Instagram images to dedicated hashtags on Twitter can make a massive impact on increasing consumer awareness and driving word-of-mouth referrals.

2. Continued rise of the discounters

The success of retailers like Aldi and Lidl show that it is possible to compete on both quality and price. This proves that these are no longer mutually exclusive as a gauge of product superiority. Alongside this, the range of own-label and lesser known brands available through these stores has never been greater. As a result, long held customer perceptions and loyalties are being challenged and overturned as shoppers switch to new brands.

Investing in the in-store experience is perfect to help overcome these challenges by engaging customers on a deeper level about a brand. Field marketing services such as product sampling and brand ambassadors focus on individual consumer needs by demonstrating a product’s suitability for meeting those needs. For retailers, it also gives the opportunity to amplify the differences in-store that can make shopping a more enjoyable experience. Trained brand ambassadors can quickly become experts who consumers turn to for advice and recommendations – helping drive sales and word of mouth referrals. At its most extreme, this concept is leading to some interesting initiatives in the customer experience for retailers. One of these is the rise in “retailtainment” which last year saw John Lewis introduce a pop-up apartment at its Oxford Street store, offering shoppers the ultimate “try before you buy” experience; the very essence of field marketing!

3. Focus on the niche

Finally, there is one area we have seen huge growth over the past 12 months and expect to continue in 2018 trends. The move towards more niche and seasonal products is an important one for brands and retailers. Whether it’s craft beers, locally sourced meats or “free from” ranges such as gluten, dairy or sugar free products – the depth and range of products on the shelves has never been greater. With this comes a whole host of challenges and opportunities for brands and retailers. Such products require more time to be spent with customers in order to educate, advise and encourage. Tactics like in-store cooking events are the perfect chance to showcase niche and seasonal products, helping customers understand their unique features and benefits and inspiring them as to the potential. This all increases the likelihood to purchase. Why not use our 2018 Events Calendar for some inspiration. Download it here.

 

Top tips for creating successful brand experiences instore

Regardless of the event and activity, we believe there are certain elements that should form the basis of every brand experience:

  • Create an emotional connection. The more successfully you can engage consumers’ passions and interests, the better. Take time to understand their needs (e.g. a healthier lifestyle) in order to position your brand as a part of the solution. 
  • Involve your customer. There’s an old saying by Benjamin Franklin: “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Make this your mantra for customer experience to deliver a two-way interaction that drives sales and loyalty.
  • Reward sharing. We’ve already touched upon the opportunities to extend the reach of in-store campaigns by rewarding consumers for sharing their experience beyond the face-to-face. Simple money off rewards and prize incentives are a simple and effective way of encourage shoppers to tell others and spreading your word-of-mouth message.
  • Inspire and educate. Building on point 2 above; the best customer experiences tell consumers something they didn’t know and inspires them to do something new. Use this as a simple barometer for evaluating potential campaigns.
  • Ensure brand ambassadors are experts. It goes without saying but warrants stating; make sure the frontline personnel are knowledgable and personable (something we happen to be pretty good at!) to ensure consumers receive the information and experience they deserve.

Talk to us about how we can create great customer experiences for your brand in 2018.

Email: fizz@fizzexperience.co.uk or call 01306 644630.

Instore inspiration – a FREE guide for retailers & brands

One of the biggest challenges we hear from our clients is how to maintain momentum instore and create experiences that will engage shoppers. Another is how to achieve strong sales across every month of the calendar year. For most retailers (and brands) there is a natural fit with certain seasons but to really stand out, you need to get creative. That means thinking about the year ahead and identifying events and consumer interests that resonate with your customers in order to adapt your approach to suit. It can be a little daunting, but don’t worry because Fizz is here to help.

Avoid the obvious and get creative.

When we think about aligning activity, the tendency is to go for the obvious; Christmas, Easter, Mothers/Fathers Day, Halloween. All great, but consumers are used to this and competition is likely to be fierce. More importantly, because they expect it it’s less likely to engage and inspire. However, with a little time and effort, it’s easy to identify and plan for less obvious themes that are worth promoting instore. And by being a little creative you can capture the imagination of your target market at a time when there’s less ‘noise’ in the marketplace.

Focus on your customers instore.

So where to begin? Think carefully about your customer and their interests and passions. For example, if your brand is known for championing foods that are natural and healthy, then the new year is a great opportunity. Why not promote a healthier approach with food and drink products that align to consumer awareness around Dry January. Similarly, if your customers love products with an artisan story, there are numerous events that could provide smaller, lesser known brands with the perfect platform to stand-out instore. For example, your niche supplier of handmade chocolate brownies with no added sugar would love to be promoted on International Chocolate Cake Day on 27th January. The possibilities are endless; just think about your audience and the rest will follow. At Fizz, we work closely with our clients to identify these themes and create an instore experience that amplifies this connection.

Download our free 2018 Calendar of Food and Drink instore themes.

Fizz Experience 2018 FREE Guide to 2018 Instore EventsTo help get you started, we’ve compiled this handy guide to highlight the most interesting food and drink events for the coming year. Use it to help create instore events that will surprise and interest your customers and provide the perfect opportunity to introduce new products and brands that you know they’ll love. Download it here, print it out and use it as your starting point for planning 2018 instore activity. Everything from food and drink sampling and product demonstrations to bespoke POS and special offers can all be combined to provide high visibility, strong sales and a better experience for your customer. Better still, consistently applying this approach over time will help you to ‘own’ the themes in the eyes of your customers, ensuring they begin to think of your brand in-line with the season.

And remember, if you need a helping hand turning your plans into a reality, we’re here to help – it’s what we do.

 

Sources:

Awareness Days UK (https://www.awarenessdays.com/)

Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen Food Calendar (https://charlotteslivelykitchen.com/calendar/)

Hat-trick of field marketing industry awards for Fizz Experience!

Everyone at Fizz Experience is celebrating after a triple success at the 2017 Field Marketing and Brand Experience Awards. The glitzy field marketing awards ceremony was hosted by actor, comedian and BBC Radio DJ Craig Charles at London’s Troxy Theatre where we were thrilled to take Gold, Silver and Bronze awards – making it our most successful night at the awards in our history.

The annual Field Marketing and Brand Experience Awards are the leading award scheme and largest event in Europe for field and live brand experience marketing. Judged by a panel of the most experienced names in the industry, winners know that they have been evaluated by people that truly understand the right measures for success.

Image of FMBE Awards logos and categories names

Gold, Silver and Bronze field marketing awards.

Fizz Experience took the coveted Gold award in the ‘Operational Success’ category for our work with retailer Costco Wholesale in delivering an exceptional and flawless overseas in-store product demonstration and sampling programme for the opening of the first Costco warehouse in Reykjavik, Iceland. Silver came in the ‘Brand Ambassador of the Year’ award for a stand-out performance by team member Jean Lowe and her tremendous work for client The Food Warehouse by Iceland. The icing on the awards cake came with the Bronze prize in the ‘Professional Agency’ category for our in-house ‘Annual Achievement Awards’ initiative that recognises and rewards the performance of our best teams and individuals working in the field. Managing Director, Dave Curtis was delighted to receive the much deserved industry recognition. Speaking after the event, he commented: “Not only are we proud to be an award winning agency again this year, we are particularly delighted that our 2017 prizes recognise and prove our focus on operational excellence, the performance of our teams and our commitment to reward our people. I’m immensely proud of everyone across our business who work so tirelessly for our clients. These awards are richly deserved by them all.”

For more information on Fizz Experience and our services please visit www.fizz.co.uk or call our team on 01306 644630. Who knows, we might win an award together!

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