Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bring It On Home

The “Behind Every Project Is A True Value” campaign kicked off with an ad showing a guy demonstrating how he’s put the hardware store retailers’ items to use in his home. The setting for retail competitor Ace Hardware’s “Neighbors” TV ad was an Ace store inside a home.
     To shape their operations and marketing, store-based retailers have been bringing it on home for a long time. On the advice of marketing consultants using anthropological methods by visiting consumers’ homes, the manufacturer of Weber grills told retailers that shoppers seemed to put more importance on the social fun of a barbeque than on the ease of the cooking or taste of the food. More recently, Sealy Corporation sent consultants into consumers’ homes to explore the many different ways people use their mattresses.
     In the mid-1980’s as Intuit Inc. was first getting started in Palo Alto, California, company staff hung around local computer stores where Quicken was being sold. Whenever somebody would buy that flagship Intuit product, the Intuit staff member would ask the purchaser if staff could come watch what happens when the person installed the software on the home or office computer and began learning to use it. Intuit made full use of what they discovered. Quicken garnered a reputation as a user-friendly way to get boring bookkeeping out of the way.
     Asking customers if you can follow them home probably wouldn’t out well for you in all circumstances these days. The visits would take time, and depending on your product line, some of your customers might wonder what unauthorized, shady followup you're proposing. And your marketing budget might very well preclude you from hiring anthropologists to assist in crafting campaigns.
     Still, you may have opportunities to visit your customer’s home or business locations to install, service, or repair products they’ve purchased from you. In these cases, observe all you can about how they’re using the products.
  • What are the uses you didn’t expect and can now leverage as selling points to others? 
  • In what ways, if any, are purchasers misusing the products or not using them to full advantage? What do you say that could be delivered by store staff as instructions when a customer purchases the item? 
  • What frustrations are the people experiencing that could be eased through in-store training or client-site fee-based consultation? 
  • Which pleasant experiences in the intimacy of your customers’ homes can you capture in stories to tell to shoppers and to use in ads with home backdrops? 
For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

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Follow Your Customers Home

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