Secrets of the 10 Most-Trusted Brands: Target

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5. Design an experience: Target

It’s easy to forget that Target is a discount store. With its sleek, stylish ad campaigns and collaborations with high-end designers who create limited-edition merchandise that sends fashionistas into a frenzy, Target’s public face often belies its mass-merchant status.Emineo Media bullseye-target

Further distinguishing it from its superstore brethren, Target consistently delivers an exceptional retail experience–from store design to merchandise selection to price and customer service.

“Target makes a real effort to provide an enjoyable shopper experience, but you still get quality merchandise at a good price,” says branding consultant Rob Frankel. “As part of their brand persona, they make an effort to be warm and human, and that resonates with people and drives them to embrace it.”

Thanks to easy-to-maneuver layouts and a consistent design, Target’s retail outlets are easy and intuitive places to shop, giving customers confidence they will be able to find what they want, even on a vast selling floor. “It’s not only more pleasant than their competitors; people actually enjoy being there,” Frankel says.

Target customers also appreciate the brand’s ability to design attractive yet affordable merchandise–most notably, an ever-changing array of trendy clothing and home accessories. “Target says [it’s] going to give you a decent alternative that can hold up against more expensive fashion brands,” Frankel says.

Customer service is friendly and consistent, as several survey respondents noted, from the way “cashiers look for people in line and direct them to a less crowded line,” to the perceptions that “they always have enough employees in the store at one time” and that “their customers are considered guests.”

Frankel says businesses should recognize that providing a warm, human experience will foster the kind of trust that lets them command higher margins, drive traffic and enjoy better brand perception than their competitors. “No matter what you sell, if you don’t give people a reason to go, they’re not going to figure it out by themselves, because price alone just doesn’t do it,” he says.

Source Entrepreneur

Secrets of the 10 Most-Trusted Brands: Apple

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4. Keep it cool (and fun): Apple

What other company has the public and the press waiting breathlessly for each new product release? The bottom line is whatever that new Apple product is, consumers trust Emineo Media Applethat it will be smart and sleek and that it will improve the way they communicate, work or spend their leisure time. What’s more, they’ll enjoy the experience of making the purchase.

While Apple has always been about creativity and expression, the brand has kicked up the emotional quotient by creating retail stores that foster a sense of collaboration and transparency between customers and sales staff. “They hire empathetic people, and they don’t measure their sales associates on sales,” Stengel says. He calls Apple’s approach to its stores “the best retail endeavor in history. They really want people to come in and be inspired, build confidence and really feel better about themselves from the experience they had in the store.”

Apple uses its retail outlets to show, not tell, consumers its brand philosophy, from the large tables, open spaces and walls of windows to its well-trained associates (Apple’s biggest brand advocates), who are armed with handheld checkout scanners that enable shoppers to make purchases without having to stand in line.

Some sour bits: The brand got lower than average scores for a sense of connection to Apple’s corporate side, as well as for the perception that the company doesn’t value customers’ business or reward them for their loyalty. Those sentiments may simply be the result of Apple focusing on its core functions.

“Steve Jobs just thought about what was right for the brand and the consumer,” Stengel says. “That focus is part of the reason they’ve done such a good job of creating new categories and products that continue to distance themselves from their competitors.”

Source Entrepreneur

Secrets of the 10 Most-Trusted Brands: FedEx

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3. Live up to your promise: FedEx

With a straightforward passion for the task at hand, FedEx has created a strong corporate identity. Not surprisingly, the company received its strongest ratings in ability, specifically for being able to achieve what it promises and for the efficiency of its operations.

In addition to providing what is seen as a reliable service, the brand has engendered trust through initiatives such as its “We Understand” campaign, says Kari Blanchard, senior Emineo Media fedexdirector of strategy in the New York office of FutureBrand. “They’ve elevated the brand by recognizing that it’s not just about the logistics of moving packages and boxes,” Blanchard says. “They appreciate that it’s people’s treasures, livelihoods and futures, and that the contents of those packages mean a lot to people.”

To further deliver that message, FedEx engages with consumers through its personalized rewards program and by interacting on social media channels. “When you’ve already nailed attributes like trustworthiness and reliability–things that are essential to the business but don’t exactly make you fall in love with a brand–that’s where thinking of your customer as a person and not just a number becomes crucial,” Blanchard says.

Source Entrepreneur