If there’s one question every brand head should be continually asking themselves right now, it’s this: are we shareable?
Because being successful isn't just about creating a pleasant shopping experience or a beautiful product. It's about designing a shopping experience so exquisite, it inspires every customer’s inner show off. A product so wonderful, shoppers instinctively know it will garner thousands of likes, retweets, Snapchats and maybe even Periscopes.
So ask yourself now, is your brand shareable? If you can answer yes to the following four questions, hurrah! You are a social, digital dream. If the word no is a bit more frequent, this is your four-point plan to shareable success…
1. Do my campaigns have hashtags?
A little prompt goes a long way, so give consumers a helping hand and tell them how to be part of your brand. An amazing case study? Calvin Klein’s #MyCalvins campaign, starring Kendall Jenner, Joan Smalls and Justin Bieber, which essentially asked people to share how they wear theirs. Cue a rush of selfies, parodies and celebrities sharing details of their style when it comes to those very famous pants.
2. Are my store fronts Instagrammable?
What about the interiors? And the changing rooms, and the hangers and the mirrors and – well – everything? If you have a few sad roses in boring vases dotted around you can't expect a tidal wave of approval or even acknowledgement on social media. But a heart-stopping floral display or an illuminated inspired window? Now you're talking. The devil is in the detail and making customers feel like they either discovered it or are part of a very cool gang who experienced it. Need inspiration? Check out Selfridges window displays or Jo Malone’s events and launches décor. Always completely, ridiculously, beautifully over-the-top. Always causing an Insta-stir within minutes.
3. Does my brand speak social?
Here’s the thing, it’s not enough to post one picture a week or boring tweets every few hours. You need to be snappy, understand how your customers communicate, react instantly to what they respond to and learn the different lingos for each platform. The way you post on Instagram is different to Facebook is different to Twitter is different to Snapchat. A one size-fits-all strategy will never result in a shareable – and widely shared – situation.
4. Are my staff actually good?
Are they charismatic? Do they represent my brand? Staff who make customers feel like they were best friends in a former life are guaranteed to generate Facebook comments and a whole load of #recommended. Visit any Sweaty Betty store to see insanely good customer service in action. Then, check out its Facebook pages to see rapturous customer fan-girling. Staff will find you the perfect sports bra while minding your baby while seamlessly recommending the best yoga studio in your area. It's a wonder customers leave with their bank accounts semi in tact at all.
Sara McCorquodale is senior editor at WGSN