Football clubs setting the trend for retailers
Retailers need to take inspiration from football teams in creating brand loyalty.
If you are interested in hearing more about the campaign – please reach out to Henry.
Henry Worth – Technology Lead
Historically, sports teams have mostly come with a loyal fan base. Unless you’re a Man City fan, you can count on your fans buying your shirts, season tickets, and other merchandise. At its core, we are witnessing the pinnacle of brand loyalty.
Let’s use Arsenal as our example. The football club provides an experience to its fans by winning matches, creating loyalty and a positive experience. As fans experience more, they identify with particular club values, and the brand loyalty and support will only increase. This in turn makes them more likely to purchase merchandise such as football shirts. After developing a strong enough customer experience, Arsenal FC have developed a brand position so convincing that fans will continue to buy new merchandise annually, as they identify so strongly with that brand from their previous customer journey.
"Football clubs are the perfect role model to retailers in creating brand loyalty"
Football clubs are the perfect role model to retailers in creating brand loyalty through a series of experiences and interactions that retains a customer base.
In the business world, let’s look at Apple. The Mac, iPod and iPhone permanently changed the world of consumer technology. People liked the iMac (1998), they loved the iPod (2001), and since its inception, they can’t live without their iPhone (2007). 19 years later, the tech mogul has created such vast brand loyalty that even the press conference for a new product generates global conversation. Apple have created a strategy that sees them as more than just a vendor – they are established market leaders, providing an experience to their customers, and building a customer base that respects and shares its values and principles.
What’s the answer for retailers?
Retailers need to shift away from focussing all their attention on their direct product, and start focussing more on the brand itself. The key is in delivering an experience to the customer. Consumers want more than just a product; they want a sense of affiliation to the company they have purchased from. This is done by the brand noting its core values, and implementing that into its strategy across all platforms.
"Consumers want more than just a product; they want a sense of affiliation to the company they have purchased from"
For Arsenal, it would be to play good football (something they haven’t done for 10 years) to keep customers returning and buying the latest merchandise. For Apple, that comes through delivering a seamless experience – implementing values that are demonstrated from brand vision to product design.
For retailers to succeed, they must work on their overall brand strategy to better connect with a customer base that demands more than just a seller.