‘Besides COVID-19, climate change is one of the biggest challenges we’re facing this decade, but the good news is there is ample opportunity for innovation. Some companies have caught on, proving that some segments of the economy are actually thriving under the circumstances.’ BARE shares an article by Claudia Alarcon for Forbes on sustainable and plant-based online grocery stores.

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Do you know how customers view your company? Brand reputation is essential to the success of any business. Stand out from the competition; invest in these core, or ‘Golden’, branding strategies. 

Thanks to the competitive market, customers have many options of products and services to select from, and they often rely on the brands that convey greater credibility via brand reputation. Optimize your brand reputation and win the customer’s trust before they even walk into your store!

1. DEFINE YOUR VALUE PROPOSITION

Every company needs to look for elements that differentiate it from the competition. Looking for innovations is essential to adapt to the needs of the customer. The value proposition is just that: a set of products and services that highlights the company before its opponents.

However, do not confuse price with value. The price is the amount that the buyer needs to shell out to buy something. Value is determined by the public; that is, it is the way the products and services are seen by the consumer. It is worth remembering that the perception of employees, suppliers, and partnerships also count.

Therefore, the first step in designing a successful business is to define a unique and extraordinary value proposition. Additionally, be sure to define your company’s missionvision and values ​​to create a solid foundation for growth.

2. INVEST IN A UNIQUE & MEANINGFUL VISUAL IDENTITY

One of the first contacts that the customer has with the brand is through the visual identity, either by the front of the establishment or by the packaging of products, business cards, advertisements on television, or scattered throughout their location.Have you ever walked into a store just because you were attracted how the storefront looked? The aspect of an intriguing visual identity, or branding, is essential to convey trust and facilitate the company’s identification. Here are some examples: When you open a bank card, you soon recognize the sender just for the colors used, right? It’s that kind of identification you need to create for your brand.To develop an efficient visual identity, hire skilled professionals. They have in-depth knowledge about concepts, colors, shapes, fonts and even studies that support findings on how the brain works with recognition and likeability.

3. KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER

Knowing who you are dealing with is critical to devising effective strategies. Only then will it be possible to understand what the customer expects when they purchase the product or service. Gather as much information as you can, such as name, age, sex, marital status, profession and even hobbies. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools can help you collect this data.

With all this knowledge, it will be possible to build your consumer database, customize service, create strategies for loyalty, generate trust, and optimize brand awareness. When you are able to build a customized experience journey for your customer, they remember and prioritize you for future business.

4. USE CONTENT MARKETING

Investing in online strategies is essential to gaining and retaining customers, expanding the company’s exposure and gaining credibility. Leverage the virtual environment to implement content marketing actions. This method serves to generate authority for the brand by producing useful information for its target audience.So, how do you do that? A popular strategy is to create a corporate blog to inform and educate your reader! For example: Do you run a cosmetics store? Provide posts about which shampoo is ideal for each type of hair, or showcase a tutorial on how to apply eye shadow. You produce materials of interest to your audience and, at the time of making the buying decision, they will help keep you and your products in mind. After all, you are a thought leader in that industry!

Additionally, content marketing helps to understand the needs of customers and offer products that will actually meet their expectations. Extend strategies for social networks and share posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Pro tip: Be sure to remember that it is important to adapt the materials to each type of network. Instagram, for example, is a highly visual channel. Therefore, ensure the post has an image as the focal point for Instagram, versus an attractive tagline and interesting hashtags which are prevalent in Twitter.

5. STRENGTHEN CONSUMER RELATIONSHIPS

Imagine: your company receives a critique on a popular social media channel, and your loyal customers resolve to defend the brand. This is the ultimate goal of relationship marketing: to win over loyal consumers who can act as brand ambassadors for your company at certain times. The strategy consists of defining actions to generate and maintain a positive connection between the company and the public. In addition to loyal customers, relationship marketing aims to build trust and authority for the brand.

One of the key tools to strengthen consumer bonds is through targeted email marketing. Personalized email marketing makes it possible to send congratulations on special dates, provide promotions, gifts or benefits for the next purchase, and even offer after-sales service. Email marketing can be a strong ally of content marketing, as well. Be sure that the content of your emails are valuable, and think “quality over quantity” when it comes to emails: there’s no sense in creating a nice opportunity for your clients if they’re just going to hit ‘delete’ as soon as it comes to their email box! Another option to improve consumer relationships are through loyalty programs. You can offer unique advantages so that consumers choose your company instead of looking elsewhere.

6. BE VIGILANT OF CUSTOMER FEEDBACK, ESPECIALLY CRITICISMS!

Provide communication channels so that consumers have a way to provide feedback. In this process, criticism is even more important than praise because it shows the points of dissatisfaction and encourages the improvement of products and services. What’s more, this openness influences how the customer perceives the brand. By realizing that the company is interested in the buyer’s experience, not just the money, the customer knows they matter to the company and the brand, and the result is a strengthened relationship.

Brand awareness ultimately affects business results, so investing in branding strategies is crucial. A brand that positions itself as a thought leader in its industry attracts more consumers, and build a loyal fan base faster. Follow all these Golden Rules, and watch your company’s positive reputation grow!

Let BARE International showcase your brand reputation by aggregating all of your customers’ experiences into one platform. Contact us today for more information, we look forward to speaking with you.

BARE International is proud and humbled to be chosen, for the second year in a row, as a preferred Mystery Shop Company for shoppers around the world.

Bare International is the recipient of the 2018 Shopper’s Choice Award. In 2017, BARE International celebrated 30 years of supporting businesses worldwide in creating excellent customer experiences. The Shopper’s Choice Award was created to allow Independent Contractor members to vote on their favorite Mystery Shop Provider.

MSPA Americas (formerly known as the Mystery Shopping Providers Association of North America) is the trade association representing the customer experience industry throughout the Americas, founded to strengthen the customer service industry and provide timely, actionable and impactful resources for shaping the future of business communities.

“I found BARE to be a professional and honest company that treats its shoppers with respect,” says Mystery Shopper Gabriella Lopez, “I look forward to seeing the exciting shops that come up on their job board and learning about their new and innovative methods of measuring customer satisfaction.”

Jason Bare, Global Business Development Manager and Jeff Rose, Project Manager were in attendance to accept the award at the Annual ShopperFest Event in Grapevine, Texas.

“BARE currently partners with a wide range of industries that provides great opportunities for our Evaluators – everything from ordering a pizza to staying at a hotel. As we continue to grow, we are always looking to expand our database of enthusiastic Evaluators,” says Jason.


As an evaluator for BARE International, you become a valuable part of providing game-changing insights to our clients. You can have an impact on how our clients provide customer service and make business decisions. The same ethical standards we uphold when designing, implementing, and analyzing research strategies for our clients also applies to you as one of our evaluators.

We strive to create opportunities as worthwhile to you as your work is to us. 

For interest in becoming a BARE Evaluator, please visit Evaluators Page for more information.

As we’ve previously shared in a BARE Fact“70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.”  (McKinsey). But do you really know how the customer rates their experience? Will they be one of the happy customers that tell nine people about their experience, or the unhappy customer that tells 16 (nearly two times more) people about their poor experience?

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We had the opportunity to have a conversation with our colleague, Tamás at BARE, who happened to be a big car fan himself. At BARE we care about our people’s interests and personalities, especially because we can learn so much from them. Read more

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Road rules and highway codes have a long story: the first ones were made even before the appearance of cars. They were made in order to drive safely, control road traffic, and protect people. The rulebooks have changed a lot since the first publications, so we collected a few facts from the most interesting parts. Enjoy![spacer height=”20px”]

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1. The first Highway Code contained only 18 pages of advice. It was published in the United Kingdom and cost 1 old penny. We bet 18 pages weren’t too hard to learn!

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2. The theoretical part of driving tests was suspended for the duration of World War 2 in Europe.

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3. Zebra crossings were developed in 1949 in UK. Certainly the most famous is the one that appears on Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover. :)

 

4. There is a treaty designed to regulate international road traffic called Vienna Convention of Road Traffic. It was signed by 74 countries in 1968. Later it was followed by the Convention on Road Signs and Signals.
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5. Roundabouts: a French architect called Eugène Hénard designed one-way circular intersections as early as 1877, although they only become really popular in the 1990’s – for rotaries are the safest type of intersection.
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6. At the beginning there were only 10 road signs.

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7. In the UK more than 46 million tests have been taken since the beginning, 1931. The pass rate was 63% – nowadays it’s around 46%.
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8. In the early times of highway codes, drivers would indicate their intention of stopping by extending their right arm and moving up and down slowly.
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9. Priority to the right: although this rule was made for right-handed traffic, several left-hand traffic countries use it as well.
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10. A long time ago there were no separate driving licenses for cars and motorcycles. Once you got the license, you could drive both!
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Author: Adrienne img_6491_resized

Adrienne is a guest blogger of BARE International. She is interested in many things: from playing music, riding horses, to reading ancient texts in their originally written languages. Basically she never gets bored.


Interested in becoming an Automotive Evaluator with BARE International?

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Want to be a guest blogger for BARE’s Automotive community We Are Cars?

Apply to: akocsis@bareinternational.com

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I love autumn.
Whenever I say this out loud, most people go for one of these two reactions: They either try to be polite and only think that I am crazy, or they go ahead and say it right in my face. In the latter case, this small insult is usually followed by statements such as:
– “It gets colder again, it’s dark and it rains ALL THE TIME”, and consequently: “I always get sick this time of year!”
– “Trees are dying but at the same time, spiders pop up from everywhere”
– “The trains are always late because of wet tracks”
– “I can’t wear my nice summer outfit anymore, and it cost me so much money!”
– And… so… on…

 

All of these are very valid arguments, but it’s not all that bad. Truth be told, I might be a little bit biased. Having been born in October, I’m a child of the season, which makes me link the first symptoms of the after-summer period to the joyful idea of birthday celebrations and nice presents. But also objectively, I can think of several reasons why this season is actually really nice. First of all: Trains have a tendency to be late all year long, it’s in their nature (believe me, I know). And second of all (and third, fourth and fifth): Autumn brings cosiness with warm drinks; the great smell of wood being thrown on fireplaces; the perfect excuse to stay home all day doing nothing; and – last but not least – incredibly beautiful nature. It’s not a coincidence that so many people get out there for the sole purpose of admiring those colourful sides of the roads (and living in a forest-rich area, I know perfectly why); but to do so safely, some measures need to be taken. You certainly know these 4 points already and might be able to extend this list yourself, but just as a small reminder:

 

Careful in the corners

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Those leaves in 50 shades of green, yellow, orange, red, purple and brown can be stunningly beautiful, both up in the trees as down on the soil, but they can also get really slippery after some rainfall, especially when piled up somewhere in a corner. So no matter whether you are by bike, motorbike, car or fancy inline-skates… take care.

 

Blinding beauty

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It’s a stunning sight, the reflection on the roads caused by the sunshine that warms the wet roads right after a bit of rainfall that is so typical for this season. But then on the other side… it’s also extremely blinding. It might look a bit silly, being out there in your warmest clothes and at the same time wearing a pair of sunglasses, but just imagine that you are on a skiing trip. It pays off to have them close-by, just in case.

 

Quick checkup

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Game of Thrones-fan or not: Winter is coming. This means that, even more than in warmer seasons, it’s important that your car is in good shape. Related to the next point, clean windows are essential, but also keep an eye on your headlights (more time driving in the dark), your battery (colder temperatures require more of your battery) and your tyres. Whether you want to go for winter tyres or not depends a bit on the climatological circumstances of your country, but in any case, keep in mind that grip is essential and that when temperature drops, the pressure in your tyres will make the same move.

 

Last but not least: Good music

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Good music is always a big plus obviously, but even more so when it gets colder outside. This is especially the case at the very start, when the hot girl or guy that you are enters the car, and you notice that the windows are steaming up right away because it’s suddenly much warmer on the inside than on the outside of the vehicle. Online you can find some tricks to make the haze go away quicker, but in my opinion, the easiest way is to just put the air circulation on at maximum force, aim it at the window, sit back, and enjoy some nice tunes until those blurry shapes outside are recognizable again. 

These are all really small things, and nothing a bit of preparation can’t fix. So don’t let this stop you from enjoying the world outside, it’s beautiful!

 


Author: DavyDSCF4922_resized2

Davy is active in the BARE International office in Antwerp. He has a Master’s degree in Multilingual Communication, and can get himself understood properly in 5 languages. Professionally he’s mostly busy with cars and wireless speakers, topics he’s fond of in his private life as well – apart from other hobbies, such as travelling, cooking, cycling and football.


Interested in becoming an Automotive Evaluator with BARE International?

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Want to be a guest blogger for BARE’s Automotive community We Are Cars?

Apply to: akocsis@bareinternational.com

 

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I’m sure you all remember the first time you sat behind the wheel, started the engine, and took your first “steps” with the car… Either it was easy or hard to learn how to drive. Your father or an instructor was with you, it’s still probably one of the most exciting experiences in our youths. It simply feels great to make such a big thing move!

All of these first impressions are really important. Like in everything we learn in our entire life, bad experiences can ruin everything – so we have to be more careful with this. I’d like to share some ideas I made use of, some advice for those who haven’t got their licenses yet. :)

 

  1. Don’t think about money

Unfortunately this is going to be expensive whether you are a prodigy or not. Don’t choose the cheapest driving school unless you are completely sure they are really good at teaching. It’s better when you don’t have to make a decision based on money.

 

  1. The rules – take it seriously

Traffic and rules are about human lives. Our lives. So don’t be lazy, learn all of the rules thoroughly.

 

  1. The instructor

Basically your experience with the instructor will define your relationship with the driving experience itself. It’s like at school – when you really dislike a subject (e.g. math), it might happen because the teacher is bad, or you can’t get along with him/her. So choose your instructor carefully – it’s more important than getting the license sooner. And don’t be afraid to ask for a new instructor if things don’t work out.

 

  1. Patience

When you find your instructor, he/she will know what to do. Trust them! And more importantly: trust yourself. You will learn to drive eventually. Be patient, and listen to your instructor, they don’t teach unnecessary things. Don’t be afraid to ask: understanding is the key to life, and when it comes to driving in traffic, you need to know the ways of solving all sorts of situations.

And the most important thing: be relaxed! At last, driving is freedom, isn’t it? :)

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Author: Adrienne img_6491_resized

Adrienne is a guest blogger of BARE International. She is interested in many things: from playing music, riding horses, to reading ancient texts in their originally written languages. Basically she never gets bored.


Interested in becoming an Automotive Evaluator with BARE International?

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Want to be a guest blogger for BARE’s Automotive community We Are Cars?

Apply to: akocsis@bareinternational.com

 

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Gábor started working for BARE International in 2012 in the Budapest office. He is very much dedicated towards the automotive projects, so it is no wonder he is dealing with a lot of projects from this industry.

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You work for a mystery shopping company – have you ever done any kind of mystery visits?

dsc01687_editedBefore coming to work for BARE, I used to be an official mystery shopper, and by the time I joined the team, I had already learnt a few things about the industry. Actually I had always been asking the colleagues if they had any open positions, because I was more than interested to working for BARE.
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How about the automotive projects?

At that time, especially in Hungary there weren’t many automotive industry-related projects, but I could join in working on ones that were running in other countries. Since then, there have been a lot of changes in this region.
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During your mystery shopping career did you encounter any kind of interesting or disturbing situations?

As an employee of BARE International, I keep telling our Evaluators to try to avoid mistakes like the ones I did during my first visit. I walked into a dealership. It was a simple walk-in visit, with no need to ask for an appointment in advance from the consultant. So I arrived at the place, and the sales consultant just said to me that he was sorry but I had to come back on another day because there was an exhibition he needed to leave for.
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Could you finish the visit?

Yes I could, but the only question he asked me was: have you decided to buy the car or not? And I was facing with the very hard situation of not knowing what to do, because we had a 10 minutes’ conversation instead of an hour.
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dsc01683_editedWhat do you think about mystery visits in general?

It can be a very good training for you to see how you can act in different situations. It is not about being an enemy of the sales assistant or the brand as a mystery evaluator; instead, you are helping with the brand with your insights in order to provide an even better customer service.

I enjoy being there to learn and help, and I also like the challenge that I need to pay attention to lots of things at the same time. Then it is again to improve my skills. I also get feedback on my mistakes in the report. And last but not least, you can earn money with mystery shopping. So, why not?

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This is definitely a huge a benefit. Do  you have a favourite role you particularly enjoyed playing?

Well, I’m not telling this because I work with automotive projects, but of course, these kinds of visits are my favourites. Why? Because you don’t buy a new car every day. It is a good thing that you can just act as if you were going to buy a car or get a whole fleet for your business. Trying out brand new cars, driving them, and learning about newer and newer tech solutions is really exciting. Besides I really enjoy roleplaying, which can make you act more confidently. And the cherry on the top is to earn money while doing so. Actually, I just did one yesterday.
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Oh, that’s why I couldn’t reach you! Nice! – Do you have any advice for our evaluators?

Yes, my first advice would be just to behave totally normally, there is no need to be stressed, you are in control; just be yourself. Act as if you wanted to buy the product or service. And of course the most important thing is to be truly familiar with the Guidelines, because without that, you will have no idea about the mission. It is not a good feeling if you for example need a proof of visit, but you just forgot to take a picture of the dealership on the spot and because of this, your report is not accepted. It is really frustrating, and I know the feeling.
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Author: Anita @AnitaKocsis910

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Anita is an employee of Bare International. Besides her work, she loves doing yoga, dancing, running, travelling and reading – which is why she often wonders how would it be possible to fit one or two more hobbies into her schedule. Her love for the automotive industry came from the passion for innovations and technology. She has a master’s degree in International Economics and Business.
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Interested in becoming an Automotive Evaluator with BARE International?

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Want to be a guest blogger for BARE’s Automotive community We Are Cars?

Apply to: akocsis@bareinternational.com

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Why? – Why not! It’s fun.

This is a brief story of a BARE employee, who is a bit of a petrol head and wanted to do some visits himself.

For one, it’s interesting to go through the same procedures as our evaluators, having the same butterflies in the stomach when entering the dealership, and thinking – “Oh god, they must KNOW I’m a mystery evaluator!” And then discovering that everything is fine, and you are just being treated as an ordinary customer.

Of course a car is not something you buy for 1-2 years in an ideal case, so getting proper advice on the details (running costs, insurance, warranty, etc.) is of huge importance. But there is much to learn from these visits, if you are just planning to buy a new (or even used) car.

 

shutterstock_335320880_editedLesson no. 1: the price is far from fixed.

Lesson no. 2: prices are even more flexible than you might think – don’t hesitate to haggle a bit – you can find truly amazing bargains, whether new or demo vehicles are standing in the dealers’ courtyard.

Lesson no. 3: there are some hugely impressive guys working out there as sales consultants.

Lesson no.4: apart from all this, it’s a great opportunity to learn a lot about cars and technology.

Oh, and the smell of a brand new car, the soft voice of the engine during the test drive, while a consultant explains to you all the tech that’s inside, and what further equipment can be also implemented, is priceless. This is just the experience a real car-lover should have.

So, why not?

 

 


 

Author: Ákos

Ákos is a full-time employee of Bare International.Ákos_blogger_pic_edited
He works for the company for more than a year and is a member in the Social media team. He likes travelling, cars, and craft beers. He has a diploma in German Literature and a Master’s Degree in International Relations. Besides English and German, he is trying to master French and speaks Norwegian reasonably well.

 


Interested in becoming an Automotive Evaluator with BARE International?

[maxbutton id=”9″]

Want to be a guest blogger for BARE’s Automotive community We Are Cars?

Apply to: akocsis@bareinternational.com