For some, snow still blankets the ground while for others; tulips are promising signs of spring. Warmer weather seems to be the best excuse to meet up with friends at the local cafe, start a new workout routine and by all means, reward yourself with some new spring clothes! After all – we could all use a little pick-me-up now and then.
Now that you are motivated for some change, consider what this means for your business. A few years ago, Little created a “Refresh for Less” program. Granted, that was when the economy was tanking and business seemed to slow to a halt…especially in retail! Companies were closing their doors, reducing staff, and inventories were reduced to nothing but the basics. As customers, we learned to expect the mundane but still desired inspiration, and let’s face it – appreciation for any dollar we spent given all the choices available to us. Refresh for Less meant it took a little effort and investment to differentiate your brand, win customers and get immediate results.
Fast forward five years. The economy has improved, and retail has stepped up their “game” with exciting new products and even some with renovated stores or new concepts. Yet customers are still looking to find their retail “love story”. This message of Refresh for Less still remains a key element of our service offering…one I don’t see going away. EVER. We have identified five key points that will help you differentiate your brand without the brain damage:
1. Simple ideas, thoughtfully executed at key customer touch points. This is the first step into spring cleaning. A fresh coat of paint, improved lighting (or remembering to replace dull or burnt out light bulbs), fixture planning, new interior elements – or services, storefront signage, dynamic window displays will not go unnoticed!
2. Customers are expressing their individuality more than ever. Deliver on innovative and differentiated multi-channel experiences by allowing customers to share information (with you – or with their global network of “friends”). Be smart! The more you know – the more successful you’ll be at marketing to them in the future – or even immediately through push notifications at the POS.
3. Connect with customers through unique brand messages. Static or ever changing graphic communications are an inexpensive way to build that relationship between the brand and the bottom line. While you are at it – consider floor graphics, too – because you know that these customers are walking and texting with their heads down, oblivious to their surroundings.
4. Storytelling through effective visual displays in order to connect with them emotionally. Anthropologie has always fascinated me with what they can design our of binder clips, plastic water bottles and corks. Elements of “surprise” and “delight” have always been critical to the overall brand experience.
5. Green cleaning. Customers continue to expect a “green” approach to design – take a sustainable approach (in sourcing, packaging, products and communications)…and down the road in new store concepts. Be real and transparent in your marketing messages to create a positive connection with customers and in the communities you serve.
If there’s one thing I have learned in life is that you CAN make a difference. Just you… (maybe with the help of a few others). And less IS more. This is the perfect time of year to get noticed by customers – and if they are currently not yours, they just might be opting for a new ‘do or change up their style a bit. How will you captivate them? Think Spring! Easy breezy.