I have been working directly in the retail industry with nearly a dozen national retailers for over a decade. I have lost count of the number of campaigns I have produced, and worked with some of the countries most talented marketing managers. Over the next few post’s I am going to unveil some of the tips and tricks that I have learned along the way that are specific to retail.
It’s not all about SALE SALE SALE When running a marketing campaign as a retailer, the focus is always on the bottom line. Which is why there is natural pull towards the “SALE SALE SALE” style of campaigns. Budgets and targets do need to be meet, and there will be times when you need to pull out the “big dirty guns” to get customers in through the door, but this should never be your entire marketing strategy. Over a year your customer will begin to hear a certain dialogue coming from your brand. A visual and a verbal dialogue. If they are constantly hearing phrases like, “super clearance sale”, “spring sell out sale” or “huge price blitz” then they are going to very quickly form a picture of your brand based around this language. If you rely heavily on the “SALE” slogans to get in your customers in the door it can change your brand perception so much that will start to expect on going sales and cheaper prices all of the time. There will be no rush to jump at your next campaign, because they are 99.9% sure that every future sale will be just as good. A great example of this.. Years ago I worked for a large nation retailer with over 130 stores in Australia. We had a HUGE budget to meet and the pressure was on, so we pulled out the “big dirty guns” at 30% off storewide. To say there was chaos in the stores was and understatement. Customers were fighting over product and the lines to the registers went out the doors. It worked so well and we congratulated ourselves on our brilliance. Fast forward one year and we have the same scenario. Big budgets had to be meet. We did the same 30% off storewide offer, but this year, the reaction was only ho-hum. The customers knew they could rely on us for regular great offers. Fast forward another year and we knew we had to go big, so we jumped to 40% off storewide. Again the reaction was like watching a pack of crazed hyenas fighting over their kill. You can see the sort of downward spiral that has started here. This branding behaviour is not sustainable to your profit margin and needless to say this brand is no longer in business.
Stick around, as I will post more on this topic soon.