Fifty one percent of shoppers recently surveyed reported that they typically make their purchases online. Did you do the same for this holiday season?

A lot of times it is way more convenient to click a button, add it to your virtual cart and await a delivery than to actually drive to a store to do your shopping. Definitely a personal preference, but as indicated in the survey above, the times are changing.

New York City based fashion designer Aimee G. knows this fact all too well, saying that “brick and mortar [stores] may have had their day in the classic sense of a retail store. I think the experience aspect can make a retail store still shine. The current evolution of retail may encourage people to combine their products and experiences, like a retail store and a bakery.”

What does this mean for small retailers nationwide? As Aimee says, it may be time to elevate your brand. Here are a few ways how:

Have fun

Obviously. :)

To make an impact with your current customers and reach others doesn’t mean you have to construct the next viral campaign that reaches millions of online consumers. For smaller businesses with smaller budgets, doing something a bit different for current customers is a great way to ensure loyalty.

Aimee G. started designing women’s clothing only after years of being a secret agent… A quick read of her bio on her website shows while that statement might be a joke, her creative skills certainly are not. The point here, have fun with your brand! Change up the colors of your logo to represent a current holiday or promotion. Run a fun contest on social media asking followers to caption a photo.  The possibilities are endless. And adding fun makes your brand more human and relatable.

Ask what they want

You won’t be able to take your brand to the next level without doing something your customers will actually like or want. Measure the pulse of your current customers whether that be through a simple question on your social profiles or an email, and truly listen to their feedback. This will go a long way when discovering what they think of your current brand and provide insight into how you can elevate it.

Use storytelling

Storytelling is a great way to breathe new life into your brand. People connect with stories, so give your products or services some meaning. This will resonate with customers more on a personal level.

This concept is something that Aimee G. is testing though social media. “We are working on telling a story with our brand.  I have a social media manager working freelance. And I have spoken to anyone and everyone that I can to help me figure out the uncharted lands of social media.”

Be authentic. Be personal. Be creative. Be inspirational. For maximum effectiveness, incorporate those four elements into the story for your brand, whether it is simply on social media or if you’re changing your entire go-to market strategy. Keep in mind you don’t have to invent a story, your brand story already exists, you just need to make it come to life.

To learn more about Aimee and her clothing designs, click here.

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