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Smarter Building Materials Marketing podcast helps industry professionals find better ways to grow leads, sales and outperform the competition. It’s designed to give insights on how to create a results-driven digital marketing strategy for companies of any size.
Vinnie Circosta is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Raskin Industries, and he shared a few tips on how this successful flooring brand makes its customers a part of the purchasing experience, from digital to physical.
Curating Your Customer’s Journey
“What we do that's unique is really focus on style, design and delivering a very boutique experience,” says Vinnie Circosta. He credits the CEO and President of Raskin Industries, Michael Raskin, with the success of the brand.
“He delivers a very genuine authenticity to our brand and to our style and design of our products. In a world where everybody is trying to figure out how to make this stuff as inexpensively or as cheaply as possible, he's made the product very personal to himself. He styles, designs and curates all of our products himself,” says Vinnie.
Raskin Industries’ flooring products are as affordable as they are stunning, and we wanted to know how the brand has weathered the changes that the pandemic brought in the last couple of years — and how Raskin is handling a post-pandemic market.
“We're investing a lot of time, energy and resource in what we're calling our digital to physical experience. And that really starts with doing a deep dive into an understanding of who a Raskin customer is,” says Vinnie. “We look at where we think today's customer is starting their floor covering purchase journey. We largely believe that's happening online and, in a lot of instances, this is happening in the social media realm.”
In fact, the customer journey is happening on social media, and if you follow our podcast, you know how we feel about online channels and making them a part of how you market to customers.
Being on social media doesn't just put you in front of them; it gives you the opportunity to learn from your customers. “Once we did that, we could really hone in the messaging and the reach. We can say, ‘okay, since we now have an avatar built of who we believe our customer looks like in this digital space, we can then go after [them] with pinpoint accuracy to market to and find them in these digital platforms and jumpstart their brand journey’,” explains Vinnie.
What does jump-starting your customer’s brand journey look like? Vinnie walked us through Raskin’s approach. “So let's say we find them on Pinterest or find them on Instagram. We hit them with relevant advertising and marketing,” says Vinnie.
Your customers spend a good chunk of time online: in 2020, Digital Marketing reported that “people spend 2 hours and 3 minutes on social media each day.” But internet traffic soared during the pandemic when people were stuck inside. And a lot of us stayed online because that’s where a lot of the action happens anyway.
So even though Raskin doesn’t sell direct-to-consumer through their website, they’ve leveraged their presence online to make sure they’re in the same place their customers are. “They see us, and then we have a call to action — which we drive them to the website,” explains Vinnie. “And all along the way, they're going to be hit with interesting content and branding and merchandising that they see from the very onset of this brand journey.”
The Digital to Physical Experience
Creating a memorable brand experience for your customer (whether they’re online or in-store) is key. “And what that's going to do is make them feel like they're a part of something. I think today's customer, they largely want to shop [from] more boutique[s], and they want to feel more connected to the brands that they're engaged with,” explains Vinnie.
But what does a super engaging strategy look like? Vinnie gave us a few tips that have helped Raskin Industries:
- Curate the customer’s online experience with images and videos for reference. 80% of customers say they’re more likely to buy a product from a retailer if its website had more accurate photos and videos. “If we can inspire an architect or designer, a homeowner, or maybe even a retailer... because I know that a lot of retailers are always looking for new and unique products to bring in-store,” says Vinnie.
- Raskin Industries keeps every step of the customer’s journey in mind. “We sell through traditional distribution channels. We're not set up to sell direct[ly] to [the] consumer. That's just not our business model. What we want is to cast as wide of a net as possible,” says Vinnie. “That customer that's scrolling Instagram, and we've identified them as that avatar. So maybe we have some paid for advertising that's going to hit them with the call to action, which is going to drive them to the website.” The Raskin website includes a dealer locator, so that site visitors can find products near them.
- Treat the customer’s purchase with care. “We're trying to really engage that from the very jump and then all the way through this arc, all the way through this eventual floor covering purchase, which is a very intimate and personal thing,” says Vinnie. “It's one of those big purchases you make only a few times in your life. And we want them to feel comfortable and a part of something special.”
A consistent brand experience can make your customers feel like they’re on the right track, and Raskin keeps this in mind. “We're having a lot of this brand merchandising that breaks through the clutter. We have some animation that helps tell our story,” says Vinnie. “Again, with your branding and imagery that reinforces everything from that initial ad that they saw on Instagram, then they saw it again on the website and now they're seeing it in-store.”
Creating Customer Experiences
Venveo’s Zach Williams likes to say that packaging is the fifth “P” in marketing. “Because it's really true, you think about it … you get an Apple computer, it comes to your house, and you've got a box there. They don't just put it in a cardboard box. There's this unboxing experience,” says Zach.
Raskin has taken a cue from Apple, and even though they sell flooring materials, they’ve found a way to make the product experience more … sexy. “If you've ever been around flooring products and flooring packaging, it all looks a little bit mundane, whether it's a white box or brown box packaging,” says Vinnie. “And these containers get opened before the flooring is put down, and it gets tossed away. It's almost like an afterthought, but we said, ‘this is part of the experience.”
The bespoke, boutique feel of the packaging that comes with Raskin products makes the customer’s experience more seamless during their journey, from beginning to end.
“And it closes that circle. That initial touchpoint all the way to the last touchpoint before that flooring gets laid down reinforces this brand journey or this brand experience,” says Vinnie. “And that's really that authenticity, that being genuine to who we are at Raskin... it flows through all of these little nuances — these little thoughtful things that we do to make sure that people feel connected to the flooring that they're purchasing.”
Want Even More Insight?
Raskin Industries has worked hard as a brand to determine what their customer’s journey should look like, but step one was figuring out what made Raskin matter to them.
“Once we understood our story, our value proposition, what makes us unique, special and different — that was step one,” explains Vinnie. They asked themselves, “Where [do] today's customers start their floor covering journey?”
Be sure to listen to the full episode for more insights on the digital to physical brand experience. You can find Raskin Industries online and on social media to learn more about them.
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