Getting an Edge or a “Second Thought” in a Fiercely Competitive Retail Scene

Retail outlets at the Orchard Road strip are facing high operational costs and increasing competition not only in Orchard Road but also from the heartland malls and online shops in tiny Singapore.

Robinsons however reported a 32.7% growth in sales in January 2015 compared to a year ago. They attributed the growth to the store keeping up with trends and bringing more relevant merchandise for their customers. They are constantly reinventing themselves to attract customers with more than just offering discounts.

So how do retailers stay relevant?

With competition so fierce, there are only a few ways to encourage a “second thought”. Consumer insights is key and through Public Relations, the store can be brought to the attention of the target consumer. Public Relations for the retail world is about getting the word out about your store and your products to consumers. It is about enhancing your strategy and tactical plans by spreading the word and getting more business.

Once you have your plans in place, how do you engage a PR agency to help you spread your word?   There are basically two engagement models: Projects vs. Retainers.projectretainer

When Projects Make Sense   Projects are best when there is a specific campaign or event that you need to promote. Whether it is the opening of your retail shop, re-branding the company, or setting up your Facebook page, a project typically has clear deliverables, timelines and budgets. The engagement has a short timeline, usually less than six months. In terms of budget, a project-based contract may not necessarily mean a smaller budget as it depends on the objectives of the project.

When Retainers Make Sense   Retainers are ideal arrangements for getting ongoing support & making continual improvement to your business. A retainer makes the most sense when the services are ongoing. Engaging a PR agency to be working your brand consistently every single month builds your brand power. It allows your brand to build a relationship with all the powerful target media.

Whether you choose a retainer or a project-based contract, it is important to know your objectives and the results you expect. A PR agency may still expect payment for developing the press releases and engaging the media even though your story was not covered. Ask the agency if they have a pay for performance approach where you pay for the results. This will help ensure you get returns on your investment.

You can read the ENCE facebook post about how IDEO designed a unique customer experience for the Converse store and the ENCE Marketing Group blog post about Branding for Retailers or about some of the holiday ideas we have for retailers.

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Getting an Edge or a “Second Thought” in a Fiercely Competitive Retail Scene

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