To go beyond brand is a sure path to habituating your business within your customer’s daily lifestyle. And doing so requires you to think outside your main product and service offerings by stretching your content and offers and partnering with “extender” brands.
Nike is a great example of moving from a shoe brand to a health and wellness brand. According to Adam Sussman, Chief Digital Officer of Nike, at his ShopTalk 2018 presentation, runners can share their successes through the Nike Run Club app with friends. For added stickiness, the app provides guidance, motivation and inspiration from the likes of Mo Farah and Kevin Hart. As the app collects data on the mileage and running habits of the athlete, they are able to recommend and reserve products for the customer based on their habits. And this is the tip of the iceberg in terms of unlocking a healthier lifestyle. Nike Plus members can unlock rewards to the brand’s partners: Apple Music, Headspace and Classpass. Said Sussman, “What’s truly great about the Nike app experience is we use everything they share with us. Their stated interests, previous purchases, browsing history and more power our proprietary algorithm to deliver the best product recommendations for each of them.” It’s hard to walk away from a brand that so highly personalizes and makes it easy for customers to buy what they want and need.
Nike also knows passionate athletes are part of a larger community and has built out social and digital events around it – including an AR scavenger hunt through the app, and the ability to connect with other athletes, in addition to being cheered on by family and friends during runs.
Eileen Fischer is another retailer extended their brand beyond the clothing women buy for work to incorporating work/life balance wellness practices into the daily lives of consumers by giving women additional career confidence through sustainable apparel, but also through their LifeWork professional development series.
CVS is moving from a straightforward pharmacy brand to a more holistic and wellness brand encompassing multiple aspects of health, solving for unexpected preventative “self-care” solutions, such as natural supplements, sleep tracking devices, sleep masks and aromatherapy. It’s CareMark program also focuses in on what members aren’t buying. If a customer purchases Omega-3 and fish oil, CVS can recommend Bayer Aspirin to round out their heart health.
Think of the qualities about your brand that drives customer advocacy. How can you amplify those qualities to demonstrate your customer obsession? What brands offer similar value but can extend on your core offering to blanket your customers needs? According to the Harvard Business Review, one retailer increased its emotionally connected customers from 21% to 26%, which contributed to a 50% increase in the rate of same-store-sales growth. Clearly, investing in building emotional bonds with customers through personalization and engagement can accelerate brand growth.