Saturday, October 20, 2012

Augment Your Community’s GNH Index

Do you do business in Bhutan, the Southern Asian kingdom surrounded by India and China? Then you know you’re expected to increase the country’s GNH along with the GDP. GDP stands for Gross Domestic Product, the direct economic index. GNH stands for Gross National Happiness, an index Bhutan considers to be equally important.
     GNH measures a sense of well-being among a country’s citizens and therefore may be a more direct predictor than GDP of the likelihood of the types of social turmoil which make life difficult for small businesses. It’s in your interest to augment your country’s GNH.
     The current issue of Time magazine reports that Bhutan conducted a nationwide survey to create a baseline GNH measure. It turned out to be at about a 74% level, so there’s room for improvement.
     To do the survey, Bhutan had to define indicators of well-being among a citizenry. Among those was “Community Vitality,” and this points to another link to retailing: A vibrant community of merchants draws shoppers.
     Because Gross National Happiness is a large-scale measure, let’s think in terms of the contribution of a small to midsize retailer located in a large center. There, attend to the sense of community provided by the combination of your store and neighboring stores. When a shopping center gives a sense of community, consumers will spend more time in the center. Skilled retailers turn that extra time into increased sales through proper merchandising, promotion, and salesmanship.
     In a megamall like Westfield Stratford City built in East London as part of redevelopment for this year’s Olympic Games, there were special challenges and opportunities to learn from. With over 300 retail merchants, Westfield Stratford City is Europe’s largest urban shopping center. The comprehensiveness of Westfield Stratford City in itself provides a sense of community. The range of retailers includes restaurants, groceries, and entertainment. Office space and housing are part of the planned development. When the physical design facilitates flow from one part of the consumer’s life to others, this enriches the sense of community.
     An important function of the individual retail units in a megamall is as short-term respites within a bustling community. When operating in this sort of setting, your store entrance should use calming colors, sounds, and aromas. This allows shoppers to regroup and prepare themselves to launch into the exciting store interior and back into a purchasing momentum. With a sense of well-being.

Click below for more: 
Enrich Shoppers’ Sense of Community 
Mobilize Collective Efficacy for Health

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