February 9, 2016 5:12 pm

Personalising the Storm – Retail Marketing Advice From Storms Imogen, Desmond & Steve

Published by
retail marketing

Many of us were feeling the full throttle of Storm Imogen yesterday evening as we sat at our desks deliberating between starvation or canoeing to the shop for lunch.

Like many people, you might wonder why Met experts have assigned such random, everyday names to the recent destructive gales that I’m sure have had the Imogens of the world gritting their teeth and baring ‘hilarious’ storm-related puns from friends and co-workers.

Why have experts named these destructive, unpredictable products of mother nature after our good friend Steve or harmless aunt Mary when names such as Cruella or Voldemort sound a little more fitting if we’re going to personify the weather?

Well as it turns out there is a good reason behind it all. A cunning approach that reveals Meteorologists are quite the Marketers themselves, quite the intelligent Marketers indeed.

Like all of us involved in retail marketing, Meteorologists need to generate awareness and hype around their own upcoming “products”, i.e. high-risk storms and hurricanes – this is to ensure the highest standard of safety among us unsuspecting folk.

And what better way to grab our attention than to personalise the disasters.

How? By associating them with ourselves, friends, family and colleagues, of course! – news of Storm Nigel spreading across an entire company within 5 minutes because it is the bosses name and he’s a douche? Friends of Frank making jokes about Storm Frank approaching just because, well, they have the same name?

Yep – the Met Office has turned us all into their own self-made marketing machines. Personifying Storms – the genius, low-cost marketing solution for Meteorologists!

So, Marketers… Storm Imogen may have cut out your Power, but here’s how you can use her approach to Power your Marketing (aware of cringey word-play).

3 Things Retail Marketing Can Learn From Meteorologists

1. Distinction

Giving storms individual names is what sets them apart from each other. A unique characteristic, if you will.

retail marketingWhat unique characteristics can you apply to your marketing messages to set yourself apart from competitors?

Think eye-catching design, encompassing subject lines, exclusive member offers, new customer offers, secret sales, flash sales, birthday specials, exclusive coupon codes; all characteristics which can be tweeked and tested to find your customer sweet spot.

 2. Association

Retail MarketingNaming storms allows us to easily associate things with individual storms and remember them. For example, we might associate Storm Imogen with our shattered garden fence, or of course storm Desmond with the magical renditions of Teresa Mannion’s “Unnecessary Journeys” remixes.

What do you want customers to associate with your brand?

Loyalty? Celebrity lifestyle? Quality? Convenience? Make sure this message prevails in your marketing messages.

For example, if customer loyalty is your main priority then the following should be top of your check list:

  1. Establish a high-value Customer Loyalty Club.
  2. Build an extensive customer database. If you have an existing customer database, carry out a database cleanse to ensure it’s up to date and expand on it.
  3. Personalise marketing messages to make customers feel special, i.e. buying preferences, first names, birthdays.
  4. Segment your database for increased targeting and high-relevance marketing. Use a data-driven approach to target based on buying preferences, transaction history and purchasing patterns.
  5. Reach out to customers on a regular basis through multiple channels – mobile, social and email being the most important.
  6. Reward loyal customers with high-value offers minimum once a month to maximise long-term loyalty.

3. Word of Mouth Marketing

We’ve already established how personalising storms fuels word-of mouth marketing –  “Lads? Imogen? Did ya hear Imogen’s in such a bad mood, they’ve gone and named a storm after her” – Major LOL for all.

How can you get customers talking about your brand? How can you generate such hype that your brand is the topic of conversation at lunch time?


Running once-off competitions are a solid way of generating a buzz around your retail marketing. Good cash prizes, holidays, hard-to-get concert and event tickets or the latest tech gadgets are the worthiest of prizes. Text-to-Win competitions are generally the most effective way of running these campaigns as you’re getting customers to opt-in to your brand and expanding your customer database in the process.

Plus, you can promote these competitions across your social channels giving you unlimited reach potential.

Remember: a once-off WOW competition is always more effective than several low-value competitions.

So Marketers, take heed of the storms ahead and recognise the importance of Personalised Marketing!



Image Source.