A little branding/marketing 101 story for you all…
We have a new business that just moved into town. They are a consignment shop and they’ve been open for a couple of months now. First I noticed their sign, as they’re tucked in at a pretty busy corner that I literally drive by multiple times per day, as do many other locals and out of towners. Their location isn’t the best in some ways, as we live in a village and they’re definitely off the beaten path as far as foot traffic goes, but because they are tucked in at that busy corner… if they play their cards right and build interest and engagement, it could definitely work to their advantage and they could become a great destination shop. They have easier and way more parking than many of the other shops in town.
They put out a mannequin about a month ago with a different dress every day. Brilliant. That’s when I really started noticing and thinking to myself, “hmmm, that’s a cool dress”, then the next day I’d think again to myself “ooh, I like that one too”, and so it continued until one day when I had a little extra time and decided to go see what they were all about!
Ok, that’s all great, right? Right, absolutely brilliant! Then I go in and their stuff was very cool! But, and this is a big ‘BUT’ here…they don’t have any website, email strategy, Facebook page, or Instagram. Boo. THEY GOT ME TO COME INTO THEIR STORE. And, once I was there I really liked what I saw. I didn’t buy anything yet but I went in, I liked what I saw, and I engaged with the owner. What should they have done? Yes, you guessed it (I hope) and here is where we’re going to share some simple things that a business can do from the beginning – or at anytime if you’re not doing it already - to continue to engage and convert someone like me into a loyal customer and a brand advocate.
Before you open or start a business you should have some kind of a business plan, inclusive of a marketing and sales strategy. This is just business acumen 101, right? Believe us, so many businesses write a business plan but don’t include marketing and sales?! Here are some basic items that were clearly overlooked and should have been not only considered, but set up prior to opening…
It’s best if, in this situation at least, they had a website built (that was optimized for SEO).
They should be signed up with an email platform like MailChimp or Constant Contact and they should have already had some email lists created and a template and campaign set up. ***I’m sure they have friends and family that they could (and should) be reaching out to with the great news of their new store, the grand opening information, new products weekly, etc…and they should be collecting email addresses/contact information from every customer (me) that comes in then staying in front of that every growing audience!
They should definitely have a business Facebook page set up (pretty much EVERY business should have a Facebook page).
They should also have an Instagram account set up. They are a high end boutique style consignment shop with really really nice clothes, shoes, accessories and furniture and they do a fantastic job with merchandising, so there are TONS of great photo opportunities they’re completely missing out on.
Investigate local groups (in this case there is a very active village merchant’s association right there!), chambers of commerce, etc…to get involved with or join that can provide multiple ways to expedite growth.
Local business organizations (like the aforementioned village merchant’s assoc.) are often very active and making those connections with fellow business owners can provide many different opportunities to cross pollinate; from word of mouth, to setting up a display or leaving rack cards, hanging a poster, and so on in their businesses, or being able to participate in an event to both work with and get to know other members as well as start branding your new (or existing) business.
Attend a local chamber of commerce networking event, meet people in the town, hand out discount cards, and, make sure you’re collecting contact information/email addresses from those that you make a connection with!
We could easily have broken down any one of these tips, or sub tips, and gone into detail on how to optimize and rock that website, email strategy, Facebook page, Instagram account and even given tips on networking but we have already done that in previous blogs and we strongly recommend you dive in to our archives!