Friday, January 21, 2011

Mythologize Your Store

Every new employee at every Nike store is told the magical tale about the track coach in Oregon who poured rubber into his family’s waffle iron to produce better shoes for his team’s runners—the innovation that inspired the Nike waffle sole.
     Every employee at every store is told the story? Well, even if the magical tale itself is told truthfully, the report that every employee hears it might qualify as no more than mythical. Never mind. When people accept a myth as possibly true, they are open to being informed and motivated.
     A myth is a special kind of story. Researchers at Boston College and University of Technology-Sydney say that the themes of a myth appeal to psychological needs across cultures. For instance, the Cinderella story is a myth with Chinese, Irish, Middle Eastern, and over three hundred other versions worldwide.
     The best retail store myths help explain the origin of the business and give the store a memorable personality. The Boston/Sydney researchers suggest that you use what are called Jungian archetypes to populate the myths you create.
     Fans of psychiatrist Carl Jung maintain that when people shop, they see the salesperson as playing a dramatic role. People shop to solve problems, and clinical research convinced Jungians we expect specific sorts of problem solvers in our lives.
     Here are the five big ones, using my adaptation of the language of Jungians:
  • The Superhero takes responsibility for rescuing us. The customer expects the Superhero to go above and beyond what most salespeople are able or willing to do.
  • The Coach reassures us. The customer expects the Coach to be available until the problem is solved and to encourage the customer to buy whatever is needed to solve it.
  • The Guru brings experience and a sharp mind. The customer expects the Guru to pretty much know the customer's needs without asking lots of questions.
  • The Playmate loves fun. The customer expects the Playmate to be more interested in how the shopping experience feels than in how the product or service works.
  • The Rascal exploits other people. Customers with strong morals don't like being around the Rascal. But there are plenty of shoppers who count on the Rascal to help them solve problems by taking advantage of others.
     Create these special sorts of stories for your business. Not doing so is to myth a rags-to-riches opportunity.

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more:
Tell Positive Stories About Your Products
Tell Stories for Price Increase Acceptance
Analyze the Role the Customer Expects

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