Monday, April 27, 2015

The One Loyalty Program You Need to Grow Your Business

Your brain has a gatekeeper. His name is Broca. He protects your brain from all the boring, mundane and predictable in the world.

Roy H. Williams, aka, The Wizard of Ads, was the first person to introduce me to Broca. Most advertisements fail because Broca saw them coming a mile away. But it isn't just ads that Broca blocks.

Tell me all the mundane things you did yesterday. Bet you can't remember them all.

Tell me all the surprising things that happened yesterday. Bet you nailed that list.

According to Roy, "Surprise is the foundation of delight."


If you want to delight your customers, you have to do something surprising. If you want to make your customers' experience memorable, you can't be boring, mundane or predictable.

Strativity Group Inc. in a new survey, found that people who had been "delighted" by their favorite brand were more than twice as likely to be brand-loyal than those who weren't delighted.

Another Royism... "If a person expected something to happen, and it happened, there can be no delight."

  • If you give your customer less than she expects, she's going to shred you.
  • If you give a customer exactly what she expects, at least she won't shred you, but she won't be loyal, either.
  • If you surprise a customer with more than what she expects, you'll be memorable and she'll be loyal.

Go ahead and surprise her. That's the loyalty program you really should be offering.

-Phil Wrzesinski
www.PhilsForum.com

PS The easiest way to surprise and delight her is to evaluate all the interaction points a customer has with your store from the front door to the checkout and figure out exactly what she expects during each encounter. Then figure out what you can do that is a little bit more than she expects. It is far cheaper to you and more effective on her than any discount you might offer her.

PPS Need a head start on evaluating what she expects? Download the FREE e-book - Customer Service: From Weak to WOW!


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Is It Just a Block?

Last night I showed my staff the movie Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium featuring Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman and Jason Bateman.

I own a toy store, so the movie hits close to the heart.

For those not familiar with the movie, there are three other characters of note in the movie... a young boy named Eric, the store itself, and a magical block of wood called the Congreve Cube.


Paraphrasing from the movie... a block of wood has a million possibilities, but first someone has to believe in it.

There are things you originally believed when you first got into retail. There are feelings you had of excitement and joy and wonder. When you build a truly magical store, your customers get that same feeling of excitement and joy and wonder when they visit.

But sometimes you lose that feeling.

You get buried in paperwork and staffing issues and ordering and receiving and paying bills. You spend hours staring at computer screens or sitting in your office or rushing from one fire to the next. The magic may still exist for the customers, but you packed your magic into a box years ago. Next will be your staff to pack it in. And then your customers in this downward spiral.

Yet your business still sits there like a block of wood with millions of possibilities unexplored. It just needs someone to believe in it again.

I gave each of my staff their own Congreve Cube last night with the promise that I will not be a this-is-how-we've-always-done-it guy. I told them the block of wood represents a million possibilities that our store can still become. I challenged them to explore those possibilities and turn them into realities.

It only took a couple of seconds before ideas started flying. We'll be running with those ideas today.

Go ahead and watch the movie. You don't have to be a toy store to be magical and full of wonder. You just have to believe.

-Phil Wrzesinski
www.PhilsForum.com

PS The first idea was Play More. I think that fits with almost every type of retail. Don't you?

Friday, April 3, 2015

I Need Your Help for my Next Book

It is time to write a new book. Something fun. Something helpful. Something about marketing and messages and creativity.

I know exactly what I want to write, but I need your help.

But first, the inspiration behind this book... A couple years ago, during an online discussion, a friend gave me a crazy suggestion for advertising Toy House. His exact words were...


"Hey, Phil, according to this data, your next advertising campaign should use kittens. Or kittens and bacon. Or even better, kittens and bacon and Kim Kardashian, though I fail to see how can THAT be done in a way that's appropriate for a toy store."

I immediately came back with...

"Would Kim Kardashian feed her kitten bacon? Would you even care?  Would you care what toys she bought? We wouldn't. Celebrity endorsements do not make toys fun. Play value makes toys fun. Toys that engage your mind and involve you in the creation of play are fun. Celebrity endorsements make things sell faster. They don't make them better. We'll focus on the better toys and leave the Kardashian endorsements to the other stores. By the way, Kim's kitten doesn't eat bacon - but ours does! Toy House in downtown Jackson. We're here to make you smile."

Another friend added...

"Okay: rap music, slow dancing, high fructose corn syrup — go!"

I quickly countered with...

"Would you slow dance to rap music? It's kinda like high fructose corn syrup. A shortcut that works, but just doesn't feel right. Unfortunately many toys are made the same way, with shortcuts such as tying into a popular movie or TV show just to get sales. It works, but it doesn't mean the toy is good for you. We won't sell high fructose corn syrup type toys. Licensing means nothing if the toy doesn't also have play value. That's how we cut the rug. Toy House in downtown Jackson. We're here to make you smile."

We decided that if you take a message a business is trying to share, plus three unrelated words, with a little creativity you can craft that into a message that gets attention, is memorable, and still makes your point clearly. The result is often more interesting than the usual boring messages we ignore.

Sometimes, to unlock your inner creativity, you just need a few examples to get you started. This will be your book.

Here is where I need your help.

GET IN THE BOOK

I need at least 100 solid submissions of 150 words or less.

Each submission needs three things in those 150 words:

  1. A quick description of your business (include contact info, taglines, etc)
  2. The message you're trying to share or point you're trying to make
  3. Three unrelated words (English and recognizable and suitable for the FCC, please)

Your submission will be on one side of the page. My response will be on the other.

Send your submission to phil@philsforum.com with the phrase "Creative Message Book" in the subject line. (Don't forget your contact info)

If you get picked for the book, you will get three things:

  1. An email back showing you what I created (and a final chance to decide whether you want to be in the book or not)
  2. Freedom to use the creative I created for you in your own business free from copyright infringement
  3. A free copy of the book once it is published

Please send in your submissions and share this with your fellow business friends. It's time to write a new book.

-Phil Wrzesinski
www.PhilsForum.com

PS I considered a kickstarter campaign for this endeavor to help offset costs and get a little more publicity. For now I'm backing this myself (you know me and freebies). I still might do a kickstarter if I don't feel this post gets enough worthy submissions. If you submit before I launch a kickstarter, you'll get all the benefits without paying a penny.

PPS I do not guarantee that the messages I write will be a cure-all for your business or should become the sole basis of your advertising campaign. The goal of this book is simply to give you ideas on how to write more creatively. I will share some of the reasons behind the choices I make to give you pointers for crafting your own message. You may choose to use your message or create something new. Either choice will be fine by me.

PPPS You must have the authority to authorize your company's info to be included in the book. If you are not that person, make sure you have their approval before you submit.

PPPPS Whew, that is enough disclaimers for now.