Saturday, September 8, 2012

Trumpet Endorsements from Your Store Staff

Get on the bandwagon. Make your store staff celebrity endorsers. Reality shows are all the rage on TV. The success of “Undercover Boss” is evidence that consumers want to know the human interest stories behind the businesses providing them products and services.
     Marketing Daily reports that Ford Motor Company is going beyond the recent use of Ford customers in advertising. An ad campaign for the 2013 Escape compact crossover features a powertrain engineer, a supervisor of exterior and interior design, and a driver-interface engineer.
     Last year, Red Lobster kicked off their “Sea food differently” campaign with ads, Facebook postings, YouTube videos, and website content featuring a crab fisherman, a chef, a server, and the woman who designed artwork for Red Lobster menus.
     Video game retailer GameStop cultivates their employees to make endorsements. This works so well because GameStop employees are selected and coached to be gaming enthusiasts. Among other things, GameStop has rental programs to allow their staff to master the games. Serious gamers come to store employees to learn the tips, traps, and tricks. When a GameStop staff member praises a game, the endorsement is coming with expertise worthy of celebrity.
  • What opportunities do you provide your sales staff to thoroughly learn about each of the products and services they're selling? 
  • Aside from sales personnel, what are the roles played by others in your store operations, and what interesting tales might they have to share with shoppers? 
  • To what degree do you take the recommendations of your staff—those who purchase the merchandise, those who sell to individual consumers, those responsible for business-to-business accounts, those who handle returns, and the rest—as to what items should be pruned out of your merchandise mix because the staff feel uncomfortable endorsing them? 
  • How do you make your expert staff members into celebrities, such as by featuring their photos in ads, introducing them in social media materials, or even announcing their birthdays over the store speaker system? 
     For success of store staff endorsements, you’ll want to ensure that authenticity comes across. From the initial episodes, the format of “Undercover Boss” has been criticized as contrived and the stories, therefore, as fake. The reality of reality shows is that many people who are obviously genuine in face-to-face interactions become stiffly unappealing when on camera. Carefully choose those you’ll invite to be in ads and encourage the rest to give their endorsements in-store.

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Make Your Sales Staff Celebrity Endorsers

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