By Craig Lutz-Priefert
If Brand is identity, Package is the wrapper identity is presented in. A strong Brand really helps small businesses pull new customers into the store. Satisfied customers spread the word about your business. We call this “Waving your Brand Banner”.
But a freshly minted referral customer is a fragile being. Even if the new customer visits your store on the basis of a good word from a trusted friend, that first-timer will still be a bit skeptical. Be sure to keep that in mind. Recall your own experience as a consumer. The first time you enter a new place you are unfamiliar with the surroundings and the specific retail culture. Unless it is a cookie-cutter like franchise chain, you probably won’t know where the washroom is, how long it will take you to get help, or exactly where the particular item you are looking for will be.
Now come those vital minutes when two components of your Package become critical in holding that prospect as both a first-time and a repeat customer: Climate and Staff. This is you chance to really shine for that first-time customer; to validate to her that yes, her friend was right to recommend your small business. You want to give her that feeling that, yes, this is where I want to shop.
When we mention Climate, we are really discussing the physical surroundings all around your customer. Staff involves the interaction of your employees with customers while they are in your store. Once you become familiar with these elements of Package, you can further subdivide the concept into other groups; whatever makes sense for your unique business. After all, you know your business best.
Breaking down the concept of Package into these two major components of Climate and Staff will allow you to isolate and focus on specific areas of your marketing that need improvement.
Most small business owners achieve superior results by tightening your focus and taking on one challenge at a time. If you try and overhaul the physical aspect of your store, and customer service and sales all at once you will probably find yourself facing confusion and resistance. And you’ll find you accomplish none of the three.
Remember: Brand (who you are) + Package (your Face to the Customer) + People (customers and employees) = Marketing Success
© 2006 Marketing Hawks
Craig Lutz-Priefert is President of Marketing Hawks, a firm providing essential marketing vision for small business. Marketing Hawks also sponsors the ongoing small business adventures of entrepreneur Crystal Trino at the JourneyToday website.
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