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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Local Insights & Brand Experience: Ace Hardware, Scott's Miracle-Gro, Best Buy

Local insights create meaningAs important as it is to have a consistent brand experience, have you considered how to make your brand even more meaningful at the local level? These two examples from national brands - Ace Hardware and Scott's Miracle-Gro, with a dash of Best Buy thrown in - had me thinking on the subject of...

Applying Local Insights To Your Brand Experience.

The value that a brand offers customers has a lot to do with relevance. On a national level, that includes consistently meeting expectations about quality and experience. Relevance creates meaning. The more meaning, the more relevance and the stronger the brand, no?

How then to become more relevant?

To become the 'global authority' in lawn and garden care, Miracle-Gro has decided to focus on local needs as described in Scott's Miracle-Gro Amps Up Local Marketing. As a result, two marketing iterations have become 17 to take into account different climactic zones and demographics. Proactively thinking about the repercussions of natural events [e.g., widespread flooding increases the likelihood of fire ants in certain parts of the country] has allowed Miracle-Gro to anticipate and better help customers - creating a great deal more relevance!

The article mentions other examples: creating a seed that will withstand the major barrier to lawn success: underwatering as well as goof-proof fertilizing solutions. All the result of better listening and observing for local insights.

By the way, Scott's Miracle-Gro has created a rich community page with discussion forums, blogs, photo-sharing, ask the experts and newsletters.

Ace Hardware discovered an opportunity to improve its visibility among an important demographic: Hispanics. Ace Hardware Opens Door to 'La Ferreteria' describes how the company evolved from translating Anglo-campaigns to internalizing that the hardware store holds a different meaning for Hispanic families: it is the center of a community, a place where one can find helpful resources. Home improvements are opportunities for family bonding and teaching life lessons. Talk about valuable insights! What a marvelous opportunity for creating significant meaning!

Inside Best Buy's Customer-Centric Strategy reminds us that Best Buy, by becoming more customer-centric, realized that it wasn't connecting with the source of 55% of its purchases: women! It began bundling related products together in the store and offering installation assistance [via the Geek Squad] based on the insights gained from paying closer attention to the dynamics of its local customers.

Yes, it takes effort. And a strong desire to become customer focused. But isn't it fascinating to read about the kinds of insights that these brands have had simply by paying attention to local marketplace dynamics and then thinking about how to create meaning and be more relevant to customers?

I bet you've had similar A-Ha moments resulting from local insights. Would you share them with us?

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