The 6th ingredient: Accessibility
Do we need to say that inaccessibility is the death of the FMCG brand, yet over accessibility is pointless for a luxurious brand? Everyone knows that, and still accessibility, as an ingredient is so not talked about. But in the online era, one wonders about the utility of real stores.
Stores are now places of instant gratification and brand storytelling. The brands can’t afford to be boring in their places of meeting the consumers one on one.
Being inaccessible is foolish and lazy if your brand worked hard at all the other ingredients then it should surely win at this one. Coca-Cola knew the importance of this ingredient and it won in the global distribution against Pepsi.
Apple is accessible yet it hits the yearning, dreaming, planning, pre-ordering and waiting in line to the right level – just right, to build the story of people waiting in line for their digital pet and for us all to follow it.
Back in 2005. when were working on a toyshop we realized we needed to be omnipresent. Our idea was for our toyshop brand to have branded corners inside big supermarkets. This way we would build on convenience for parents who are already there and shopping and in case they needed a toy, they could get it right there and then, and as a result we became recognizable in a short period of time.
Brands need to work on being accessible where they are needed yet not expected. I loved how Ikea came to the center of the city a couple of weeks before Christmas but was very disappointed when I realized that it was just a show room. One thing that didn’t happen is it didn’t make me run to the “real Ikea” it just made me pretty annoyed.
The idea that would appeal to me would be – a real Ikea in the city center which functions as the drop off point. I can order little knick-knacks from the big Ikea, which is always on the outskirts of cities.
Accessibility may not be amazingly exciting but it does weigh in on your liking the brand, and the stores should become places of fairy-tale like storytelling that get emotions going, and the level of brand infatuation climbing.