It isn’t breaking news that being in retail is an ever-changing, highly competitive business. Throughout the Great Recession, rock-bottom pricing dominated advertising at every turn. Retailers were practically giving merchandise away; promotions became increasingly more aggressive; and the image of many brands suffered as a result.
Let’s face it, it’s hard to avoid making a store purchase these days without hearing the question: Would you like to save 20% on your purchase? The answer is yes, of course! All shoppers want savings, but at what expense to the purchaser and the brand making the offer?
It’s a split-second decision, and it can backfire for both parties. For the consumer, agreeing to apply for a store credit card can have a negative credit-rating impact, interest rates are high, and late fees can be incurred as soon as the clock strikes one second past the due date and time. Nothing about that seems like a good deal. Does it?
For the brand, it can mean losing a loyal customer by providing a credit product that appears to be more predatory than transactional. And, it many times exposes the customer to a poor user experience because the financial partner behind the scenes has no vested interest.
This is where the love affair between brand and consumer can become tarnished beyond repair. It can also affect an entire family of brands such as the Gap-Athleta-Banana Republic –Piperlime-Old Navy quintet. That’s why it is really important to look through your brand lens when considering any decision…especially ones occurring outside of your four walls. Every touch point has the opportunity to make a positive or negative brand impression. Strive to make them all as positive as you can. The loyalty will be truly rewarding.