- Parent Category: Retail Tips
Pair Your Retail Store with a Community Event
Tip #463 - Forge Relationships with your Community
Dear Tip of the Weeker,
We've said it again and again, what sets you apart from the big box stores is your ability to create and sustain positive relationships with your customers.
So why not go one better? Take advantage of the many local summer activities to forge a positive relationship with your whole community!
If you want to become a "household name" in your town, participating in community events is a great way to do it. People may not always mention it, but when your store is a presence in community activities and events it creates an awareness of your business that can translate into sales.
Take a look at your local paper or your DDA newsletter, or even go to Facebook to see what happening now in your community.
Participate in your community events like...
A Holiday Parade.
Make a float, or walk with a banner and hand out gift certificates for your store. One creative retailer made her gift certificates into paper airplanes and tossed them to the crowd. It was a huge hit and drove lots of traffic to her store that day.
A Local Art Show or Festival.
Set up a display that will draw people in and give them something to look at. If you're creating a booth, set your tables to the back and sides to get people to walk in. Use your selling skills to get to know new customers and invite them to come to your store.
Consider having a drawing for something big, like a $100 gift certificate to your store, that takes place at the end of the festival. Have people enter by adding themselves to your email newsletter list.
A "Band in the Park" Night or Sports Team.
Many towns have evenings where live music in the park is featured and almost all have seasonal sports teams, and they are always looking for sponsors. When you sponsor, hand out a goodie that will get people to come to your store.
Gain some top-of-mind awareness by having your store name and logo printed on banners or on the back of a team t-shirt.
In Grand Haven, the DDA organized a "Rocket Fish" campaign as a celebration of the arts leading up to Grand Haven ArtWalk in September. Store owners could buy a plain, plywood fish in one of three sizes, decorate them and place them outside their stores.
If I had one of these babies outside my store I'd take it a step further and ask my customers to take a picture of themselves standing with it, post it to their Facebook wall, and tag my store's Facebook Page to get a free gift! Then you can send them a gift certificate to your store as a private Facebook message.
Do you have some great community-building ideas? Post them on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/whizbangtraining