Thursday, February 24, 2011

Give the 3/50 Project a 360

The 3/50 Project has as its tag lines “Pick 3. Spend 50. Save your local economy” and “Saving the brick and mortars our nation is built on.” The mission is to convince consumers to each select three independently owned businesses they would miss having available if the businesses disappeared, and then spend a total of at least $50 each month at those businesses.
     The project has more than 8,500 participants from more than 100 cities and has gained media attention from CNN, Oprah, Consumer Reports, and on and on.
     However, I’m not aware of any research verifying that the 3/50 Project has improved the sustainable profitability of those participants. I would not be surprised if it had little lasting effect. That’s because the premise stops at loyalty to the retailer rather than pushing for turning shoppers into advocates. When you’ve people shopping with you because of fears you’ll close the doors, obligations to be nice to neighbors, or guilt about the shoppers going to nationally-based retailers, those shoppers can turn away from you on a dime, and there go your dollars.
     Keep your focus on building store advocacy, not just customer loyalty. Store advocacy means how often and how strongly your customers praise you to other potential shoppers with specifics. Beyond “I love to shop there,” to “I get an excellent price on top-quality herring,” “Almost everyone there listens to my questions and gives me useful answers,” and maybe most important of all, “I don’t go out of my way to recommend stores to people, but I feel real good about recommending this one to you.”
     Current customers may enjoy shopping with you, but with the exception of your family and close friends, unless you work consistently and vigorously to maintain that habit, current customers are not highly resistant to giving their business to somebody else.
     The term “customer relationship marketing” is excellent shorthand for reminding us retailing professionals of the importance of every interaction between the shopper, on the one hand, and on the other hand, the staff members, the signage, the reward programs, the cleanliness of the parking lot, and more.
     The 3/50 Project encourages consumers to shop at retailers about whom they’d say, “I really like that store, so I should take the time to go there.” But give the principles behind 3/50 a full-range 360-degree look. Don’t depend on shoppers’ fears, obligations, or guilt.

Click below for more:
Build Store Advocacy Beyond Customer Loyalty

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