Spokane Regional Networking, Social Media, Professional and Business Development
I recently purchased a small business downtown that was last remodeled in the 80's (yikes!). Along with the dated interior the previous owners ran very conservative styles in the product lines. As the new owners we are at a cross road where we are trying to decide whether to put our money into revamping the look and feel of the store or add product.
Both decisions should drive new customers to buy and encourage current customers to buy more. So I would like your opinion.
What do you prefer the presentation or the product when you are looking to buy?
Your service is great. You know your product and I don't think your shoes are over priced. We bought shoes for our kids at Bergs and now we buy them for grandkids. They need a good start for their feet.
I think new toys would be nice and maybe something wooden like a car or small slide would be neat. I also like the added value like the horn or half price socks. You have great socks too by the way, they are not skimpy but just what a child likes.
We have been lucky and usually find a meter in front of the store. However, some type of parking deal would be a good incentive.
The tradition of being in the same location is helpful so if you are thinking of moving think carefully because not all small businesses survive a move like that. It can be costly.
One more idea is a referral program....a discount for referring new customers?
It is worth it to buy shoes at your store.
I think everyone is different but I try and keep in mind the quote "people don't like to be sold but they do like to buy" I have coffee samples I can give out that help to create conversation and interest as well. I use the "Help Me Out" approach also.
Be wary of those who advise you to put all your eggs in the social media basket. A good strategic marketing plan with the proper mix of advertising media will be much more effective for you in the long run. There are a number of very effective and affordable media options in this community. You just need to spend time talking with those of us who can familiarize you with ALL of them.
Berg's Shoes has a very strong, established presence in the minds of Spokane residents, especially boomers. (I should know, I'm one of them... and I love the Berg's Shoes brand.)
My two cents would be to focus your efforts on 'resurrecting' the great branding that has existed for years, before it dies completely.
I agree with Jeanna's comments about presentation, but believe you can improve the presentation while rebuilding the brand through solid, consistent marketing.
I'm thinking your available funds should be broken up something like this:
25% to refurb and presentation
30% to marketing
45% to product
Hope this helps. There's a lot more where this came from.
I would be happy to sit down with you at the LaunchPad co-working space some afternoon. I am available after 3:30 most days. Just let me know what would work best for you. I would like to walk you through some techniques on how to 'resurrect the brand'. No sales pitch, no fee. Just valuable conversation and an exchange of information... one-on-one. The reason I value LaunchPad and it's format so much, is because it's a great resource for communicating with business people quickly (through the web site) and an even better resource for developing business relationships face-to-face. Now that we are friends, you can email me directly with a date and time. I look forward to meeting you.
I want to agree with Arron on this but it comes back to your customer base. If your base is men than you could forget about drastic changes to the decor and expand your selection. If your base is men you might even consider going more 80's as many men don't care about the appearance of the store beyond it being clean, well lit and having easy to find products.
If your base is women then I would suggest trying to find a mix, expand your selection and start making little changes to the store, paint one wall at a time kind of deal. I think if you have a loyal base and people see you are making little changes here and there but improving the amount of different products you offer, they will continue to come back. The message is the key, you must communicate the change to your customers. They need to know why you are changing and what you are changing.