In a recent Gallup series on customer engagement for restauranteurs, it was music to my ears when I read these three highlights from its sixth installment:
- Customer engagement is about the way you make a customer feel
- You must deliver consistent emotional experiences to engage customers
- Customer-facing employees must be engaged to deliver the brand promise
Touché, Sean Kashanchi, managing consultant at Gallup, who penned the series. Here at Anthem Branding, you’re preaching to the choir.
Put simply, customer engagement can either boost or bust your bottom line. For those who engage their employees and customers, they reap not just improved revenue, but also an uptick in business performance such as productivity and efficiency.
Companies that accept disengagement as the status quo, see their bottom lines become weak, their customers take their business elsewhere, and the only thing on the rise is employee turnover.
You can take a look at this report for the figures if you're a numbers-based person, but even without the data, you know as well as we do that when any kind of relationship is well-balanced, it lasts; when a relationship is one-sided, it eventually crumbles.
To remain competitive and organically grow, business leaders must create fully engaged customers despite an attention deficit landscape
Keeping an audience psyched about your lifestyle or outdoor brand is a top challenge across the board no matter what industry you’re in or how big or small your brand is. Customer loyalty cannot be bought — it matures and grows from an emotional connection — the golden nugget of business success that can’t be charged to the company card.
Keeping anyone’s attention for longer than seven seconds is no easy feat, let alone trying to build a lasting relationship with them. The balancing act is tricky — you want to keep engagement with employees and consumers high, but have whatever tactic you deploy stay true to the brand’s core values.
It needs to be cost-effective, market relevant, and something different all the while maintaining consistency — often much easier said than done, that is unless you have the right agency partner at your side.
Apparel design and production is a whole different beast
Rich Scutellaro, who oversees MTB event and merchandise for SRAM, is all too familiar with how complicated designing apparel and managing the production process of a brand's line can be, especially since promotional items are only a fraction of his job.
(Photo courtesy of SRAM Corporation)
Scutellaro — who has seen our work first-hand evolve over the years before he moved into his current role — simply doesn't have the time to take on the multi-national company's apparel line. Between researching for the best piece to use and sorting through the right production manufacturer; it’s a job within itself.
Our creative and account teams help Scutellaro with these details.
“Anthem Branding seems to have a great grasp on what is trending and what promotional product is available in the marketplace,” Scutellaro told us, who started working with us in 2012. “Custom cut-and-sew clothing and hats — all the way to the custom pens to hand out, I feel like Anthem has produced everything for one client or another. That’s very helpful when I’m looking for something new, but I don’t know what’s out there and available, and Anthem can fill in those blanks.”
Staying consistently on-trend is a challenge many brands face
Anthem’s Senior Account Manager Anne Robertson works closely with Scutellaro to design, produce, and source custom and on-trend merch and private label apparel, shipping projects not only to SRAM’s USA offices but also to the company's offices throughout Europe and Asia.
SRAM leverages custom items such as bike jerseys or notebooks or socks to communicate they are a fun, creative, and exciting company. Founded over 30 years ago, the global company now has over 3,000 employees with an estimated revenue of $725 million.
With this level of brand equity and market share, keeping SRAM’s customers eager to seek out new merch year in, year out is a high priority not just for Scutellaro, but for the team here at Anthem. Keeping the brand story fresh and exciting while riding on the legacy the company has built for itself is the primary objective of our work together.
Photos courtesy of Nicholas Groll
Sure, SRAM could work with any other creative agency that offers similar promo items than us, but with our depth of knowledge in the promotional product industry and over 10 years of relationships with offshore suppliers who care about quality as much as we do, it’s a long and tiring search to find someone else that truly compares.
And for someone as busy as Scutellaro, trusting their agency partner means more than money can buy — and SRAM has trusted us with translating the ethos of their brand with authentic and unique items as early as 2009.
“We want people to seek out the new merch that we make every year,” says Scutellaro. “Too often it seems like companies make things and don't think about the amount of time someone will hang on to the item.”
You can find loyal SRAM customers donning the brand’s iconic custom headwear at popular riding spots. Employees, too, wear the quality pieces all the time, says Scutellaro. “People love hats. They’re kind of like pins or patches, but more popular. We have customers that look forward to the beginning of each season to be able to get that new SRAM hat.”
Let’s create something together
Connect with a branding expert here at Anthem to learn more about how we can partner with you to fully keep your customers and employees fully engaged.