3 Ways Goodwill Branding is Driving Authentic Experiences

August 22, 2018

Authentic brand experiences should be present at every customer touchpoint—from the company’s branding to its social media posts to the way its employees answer the phone.

But many times, that’s not the case.

That’s where attrition happens because customers aren’t getting a consistent experience with that brand across their entire journey. It becomes confusing.

As a leading branding and experience design agency in the Phoenix area, our charge is to guide clients throughout the entire process to ensure that the true essence of the brand is realized across every channel.

Recently, as the agency of record for Goodwill of Central & Northern Arizona, our team guided the nonprofit through this entire process—starting with research followed by an interactive brand workshop with organizational stakeholders that resulted in the new brand foundation.

It was through this process that the collective client-agency team finalized the positioning and messaging that will guide the brand into the future, including the essence of the brand and what customers should feel when shopping at Goodwill.

It’s one thing to define a brand, but it’s another thing to fully implement that new brand in the market in a way that is consistent and true to the experience the customer will actually have. Here are just three ways that the new Goodwill branding is driving authentic customer experiences.

Using Customer Feedback

Rather than assume what factors drive customers into Goodwill stores each day, we went out and asked. Why guess when you can know, right?

Through an initial research phase consisting of current Goodwill customer surveys, we discovered that the “thrill of the hunt” is a significant motivator. Other descriptors of shoppers’ experience with the brand were “bargain hunt, “unique clothing,” “one-of-a-kind items” and “cost savings.”

Variations of these and other themes became the brand pillars, which drove the brand’s new messaging across myriad platforms—all aligned with a new brand essence and positioning statement.

Using these research findings allows our team to write ad copy, place media that resonates with our target customers and educate non-customers about the attributes of the brand in a way that wasn’t happening before. Since this valuable intelligence comes from those familiar with the brand (regular customers), we can deliver the kinds of experiences they (and others like them) would expect, remember and share with family and friends.

Using Real Customers as Influencers

Have you ever seen an ad in a newspaper or even a social media post where the imagery or messaging didn’t reflect the brand at all? Where the people in the photo don’t look anything like the brand’s actual customers? It seems unnatural and inauthentic, doesn’t it?

Brands have to be really careful about any potential disconnects between the brand and its customers because customers are quite savvy and can sniff out something that doesn’t feel right.

What does feel right? Actual Goodwill customers talking about the brand and showing off their unique finds. Fashionistas and interior designers incorporating their Goodwill scores into their on-trend outfits and home design #inspo. To do this, Goodwill partners with local influencers in specific categories, where they share their tips and deals with their social communities. It’s all about real people having real unique experiences.

Reimagining the Shopping Experience

When you think of a “treasure hunt” like so many Goodwill shoppers describe it, what pops into your brain? Perhaps it’s finding that one thing you didn’t think you could find anywhere—a pair of bright pink Mary Janes, a dinner plate that matches your grandmother’s hand-me-down floral Mikasa set, or even a signed copy of your favorite book.

Our team brought this idea to life when we produced two new TV spots for Goodwill of Central & Northern Arizona that gives the viewer a glimpse into what the Goodwill shopping experience could be like.

While there are no actual (live) unicorns or hot air balloons for sale at any Goodwill (or are there…?), you get a sense that you will find just about anything at your local store—no matter how far-fetched that gotta-have-it item might seem.

We’re thrilled to help Goodwill shoppers in central and northern Arizona have authentic brand experiences when they step foot inside their local Goodwill.

What brands have you had good (or not so good) brand experiences with? We’d love to hear!