With November around the corner, this week is the start of the holiday shopping season – and the pressure is on retailers both online and offline. To get through what could be a doomed season, many merchants are turning to price reductions and extreme sales.

Retailers are resorting to an intense focus on value to the customer (with price cuts and other incentives) and away from brand value, hoping this will encourage business. Obviously this approach makes sense. But there might be an untapped channel that can make a big impact this season: Mobile phones.

Mobile campaigns – such as mobile coupons or other text-based incentive programs – serve not only as a direct-response mechanism, but also as a proven brand vehicle that improves customer retention and loyalty. More than ever, having a dialogue with consumers and standing out from the crowd are key – and for retailers, this means expanding their branding efforts. Getting your value proposition to customers is simple and economical when sending messages straight to their mobile phones.

SMS allows you the flexibility to reach all your stakeholders. It stands out both as a communication and marketing tool, via business alerts, sales and new product announcements, and incentive-based offers   like mobile coupons, to name a few. The key is staying brief in your claims and maintaining a consistent identity that conveys unique value. Brand does not have to cost a lot of money. Brand is not something you can not do. Brand is absolutely necessary, now more than ever.

Brand today is more important than ever to consumers. A well-crafted and strong brand proposition means you can survive in the current sea of retail uncertainty. But it\’s important to remember this isn\’t the branding of yesterday – spending oodles of money on expensive efforts with no clear return. The branding of today will come through digital channels like mobile and email, channels that can be measured and personalized, and that have been proven as the most effective media/marketing vehicles today.

Shaneli Ramratan
Director of Marketing, mobileStorm