Thanks for checking out Part 2 of How To Get Word Of Mouth Exposure, a 5 part series that details how you can create a buzz-worthy business.
Last week, we introduced a Los Angeles based company that only uses word of mouth advertising to build a successful business in a highly competitive city. This week we’ll break down what they are doing right and how you can apply these important concepts to your business to get customers to refer others straight to your door.
Find Your Niche!
While this is common advice in basic business planning, in order to to make your business speak to people, you might need to consider what your shop offers to the public as well as what your competitors’ offer.
Customers always have options, even if that option is just to shop online. So if your products are incredible, but your shop takes a lackluster approach to selling it, you might need to revisit your business plan.
It takes a break from the norm to make an impression on someone that in turn leads to them recommending your business. Offer something that one else else does!
How One Company Found A Sweet Spot
Going back to our example company, Arclight decided that watching movies in sub-par theaters with boring ads before the show, lame snacks, and tons of disruptions was not the way they wanted to run their theater.
So their property features unique “black box” theaters with state of the art sound and projection. They choose not to sell advertising space before the main feature and only show 5 minutes of movie trailers before each film. Most chain theaters have 20 minutes of advertising before the previews even start!
Arclight’s concession stand, the actual money-maker of every theater, offers more than huge sodas and popcorn. They have gourmet hot dogs with unique toppings, real butter for the popcorn, premium ice cream bars, and fresh caramel corn that is made every day in-house!
Ushers are trained to not allow seating after 5 minutes into a showtime so an audience isn’t inconvenienced with latecomers. Try getting that type of service at your local theater.
By creating a high standard of quality, this company fulfilled a niche that was missing in the most film-centric city on the planet. Whatever special touch you can add to your business is completely up to you, the owner, but that difference is crucial in setting you apart.
Think about what your business does best. Is there a way to expand on your existing structure that might get you noticed? Finding a good niche can be challenging so start small and be consistent. Always offer that product or service so your customers, new and old, can rely on it.
Is there a line of popular products that aren’t currently offered in your area? Stock up! What about a year-round personalized wrapping service? Walking out of a shop with a pretty wrapped package makes it a fun and memorable gift shopping experience.
Ask yourself where are other shops falling short and how can you pick up the slack. This will lead you to getting noticed.
In Retail Marketing – No Apologies Necessary
If you are offering the best of the best, don’t apologize for the high ticket price. Remember there will be customers that complain about prices no matter what. You should be focusing on a quality and service standard you strongly believe in. Prepare yourself and your employees with a list of easy to understand reasons as to why your prices are set. If you are the best, you should charge for it.
Of course freebies never hurt and people love to feel like they got something for nothing. Even if that something is very small. (Arclight offered free parking with validation which in downtown LA is a huge deal) Can you offer free samples of gourmet foods, coffee, or tea? Big perks for regulars? Cool stickers for online orders?
There are many approaches to setting yourself a part from the crowd. Find what fits in with your budget and your company’s style to give people something to smile about. This in turn will make them eager to share their experience with others.
Next week, we’ll discuss how to increase word of mouth exposure by reaching out to your community.