If you watched the recent TV series Mr Selfridge you will be only too aware of the importance of marketing. The series about the life of Harry Gordon Selfridge was developed from the biography Shopping, Seduction & Mr Selfridge by Lindy Woodhead. The title says it all! The lesson to be learnt is that here was a new retail business with few customers; in fact it was aimed at a customer base who at the time didn't even shop! As the story unfolds it soon becomes clear that in the early days it wasn't that easy to get the business up and running. It sort of proves the point that you should never give up and even when the odds are stacked against you you've got to keep pushing ahead.
For me, what was more fascinating was Harry Selfridge’s skill in creating the wow factor to grab attention and increase customer footfall. No one would argue with his ability to go out on a limb to create unbelievable retail campaigns (often with considerable risk attached) to get the customers to come to his store. More surprisingly is that this happened over one hundred years ago! Unlike back then shopping has now become a pastime. Today there are many different ways to shop and so many different places to do it!
Now is probably a good time to apply a bit of Harry’s thinking to your own business. Of course, you may be thinking but that’s Selfridges and I’m a little independent shop with little to no budget for retail campaigns. Well, my response to that would be, it’s all about economies of scale and everything is relative to your turnover.
Delivering a focussed retail campaign doesn't have to cost a shed load of money, in fact I've seen some achieved on less than £20.00. What is important is that you do it. In a few weeks I’m running an online course in how to merchandise and deliver an in store retail campaign. The course will be short, sharp and completed in two weeks, requiring only a few hours input. Creating retail campaigns need to be part of your daily habit if you’re going to continue to succeed in growing your business. Doing a bit of marketing a few times a year will achieve nothing. I’m on a mission to get a group of independent retailers (large and small) to a position where they are comfortably rolling out high quality campaigns on a regular basis. Sounds like hard work but it doesn't have to be if you focus and simplify the process.
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