Brand Mavens: Powerful Shoppers Who Are Transforming Retail

By Gary Lombardo, VP of Marketing

BM CoverWe are excited to share our new Executive Report, Brand Mavens: Powerful Shoppers Who Are Transforming Retail. This report, done in collaboration among CashStar, Retail TouchPoints and Texas A&M Center for Retailing Studies reveals a new segment of shoppers, termed Brand Mavens, who are digitally engaged, brand loyal shoppers with strong peer influence. The purchasing power of Brand Mavens is significant and is manifested not only by their own frequent, repeat shopping from preferred brands, but also their strong influence over other consumers to do the same.

The research uncovered that Brand Mavens are geographically dispersed across the U.S., mainly female, and young, educated and affluent. They’re also:

  • Pervasive: They shop across all major retail verticals, most frequently restaurants, department/big box stores, and fashion and apparel brands.
  • Omnichannel: They shop across all channels, most frequently physical stores and retailer brand websites.
  • Informed: They consume huge amounts of information before making a purchase, often relying on their network for information about a brand.
  • Social: They are active users of social media, which enhances their position as opinion leaders and influencers.

Perhaps the most interesting find of the research is that the foundation of Brand Mavens’ influence – their strong affinity for and connection to brands they love (hence their coined name) – is driven by a brand’s ability to connect with Brand Mavens through the use of “branded currency,” which represents a single, unified way to manage all purchasing interactions across channels and devices, most often mobile. Branded currency can originate with the use of a gift card, which not only provides Brand Mavens a way to manage an initial prepaid amount, but also serves as an instrument across all purchase interactions—replenishing of prepaid amounts, collecting and utilizing loyalty rewards, and receiving and redeeming coupons and other promotional offers. Branded currency can be used across channels and devices and provides a seamless, convenient way to shop. This ease and convenience drives increased loyalty to the brand, more frequent purchases, and a greater likelihood for Brand Mavens to refer others to their favorite brands.

Some important facts above Brand Mavens that support their use of branded currency:

  • 68% of Brand Mavens would like to utilize branded currency — one card for completing payments, accessing loyalty points and redeeming coupons and promotional offers.
  • 75% of Brand Mavens are more likely to re-shop a brand if they can use their gift card for payment
  • Of those using mobile wallets, 54% use retailer native mobile apps to manage and redeem gift cards with brands; 48% use third party mobile wallet apps, such as Apple Passbook, MCX CurrentC and Google Wallet
  • 55% consider joining a brand’s loyalty program and 51% are interested in tying their gift cards directly to a retail loyalty account
  • 47% encourage friends, family and co-workers to join retail loyalty programs, which is significant because 90% of consumers trust peers when making purchasing and loyalty decisions
  • 55% influence others to purchase gift cards and 56% want to re-load a card, which will result in additional sales and long-term loyalty

Retailers can’t afford to ignore the purchasing power and influence of Brand Mavens, and need to work to capture their attention and keep it. While some retailers are on the “leading edge” of doing so, many are only beginning to focus on this segment. The research uncovers ways in which retailers can connect with Brand Mavens to drive success. Learn more by downloading the report and/or attending the live webinar scheduled for June 24, 2015.

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