April 05, 2023
Excerpt from CMO Council’s report Cracking Tomorrow’s CX Code:
Red Wing Shoe Co. makes top-of-the-line footwear that many people depend on and wear daily while on the job. Proper style, fit and availability are critical. This is where hybrid CX — the blending of physical and digital experiences — in the customer journey matters most.
“It has become more difficult for most brands to differentiate based on product attributes alone,” says Dave Schneider, vice president and CMO at Red Wing Shoe Company. “We fundamentally believe customer experience, and especially hybrid CX, is a key dimension of our brand that delivers significant, incremental value.”
“Frankly – our business would be much easier to distribute though wholesale alone and not worry about the complexities of selling direct. But we would then lose the opportunity to make a personal connection that allows us to deliver a superior service experience all the while growing customer lifetime value to the business. We know hybrid CX drives stickiness and customer loyalty,” Schneider says.
That’s why Red Wing Shoe has three, key owned distribution channels: more than 550 brick-and-mortar Red Wing stores in North America, both B2C and B2B e-commerce store fronts, and a fleet of trucks to deliver shoes directly to a job site. The in-person experience is augmented by digital data that matches work environment conditions and safety requirements with an individual’s unique foot shape, gait and pressure points through a new foot scanning technology, dubbed the Ultimate Fit Experience, that assess 16 measurements in less than five seconds.
“People are checking out our products online, identifying interests, and walking into a Red Wing store to really understand shoe styles and options,” Schneider says. “As we ‘own’ significant chunks of our distribution ecosystem, we are able to innovate at a much faster pace to stay ahead of consumer requirements that altogether drive a better customer experience and far greater business value.”
It’s also important for CX to go beyond marketing, Schneider says, since a company needs to holistically orchestrate CX for a frictionless experience.
CX hits on everything from sales, marketing and customer service to product development, cost and supply chain. Yet, a CMO Council study found that only 23% of highly confident marketers and 7% of not-so-confident marketers say coordinating CX across all departments is a mature capability in their organization.
To this end, Schneider works closely across Red Wing Shoe Company’s cross functional leadership team and the new, incoming CEO to identify the right strategies and priorities to derive the best customer experience.
“Hybrid CX is high priority, super important to me and to our future success at Red Wing,” he says.
Cracking Tomorrow’s CX Code is based on a survey of more than 1,000 marketing leaders, a survey of more than 2,000 consumers across the globe, and 10 in-depth interviews with executives from companies such as Red Wing Shoe Company, AT&T, Pfizer, FedEx, Standard Chartered Bank, Hitachi Vantara, Globe Telecom, and Mars Wrigley. Download the full report.
Tom Kaneshige is the Chief Content Officer at the CMO Council. He creates all forms of digital thought leadership content that helps growth and revenue officers, line of business leaders, and chief marketers succeed in their rapidly evolving roles. You can reach him at email@example.com.
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