Build Your Tribe

Create a Local Tribe

Local brick and mortar stores, even with a strong online (even international) presence, should develop an engaged local following that keeps the physical location buzzing. So, how do you grow your tribe?

  • Partner with local celebrities, bloggers + influencers. Send them a sample gift of one of your products/services. Don’t skimp on the packaging and presentation.
  • Partner with local groups such as hobby meetups, service organizations and mommy networks. Speak at their events and invite them to your in-store events. Partner with them on their charitable causes.
  • Host frequent, fun and free events in-store (especially an annual open house – stay tuned for a future post for more details). Invite the entire community. Partner with other local businesses for maximum impact.
  • Encourage your team members to share your brand story on their social media channels.
  • Visit with other local business owners and make them aware of the services that you provide that can apply to their business.

The customers that are attracted by these initiatives are not only easier to retain, but much more likely to refer business to you. This “tribe of influencers” is the key to the highly effective art of word-of-mouth advertising.

The Gather Box, Signature Product, The Print Refinery

Signature Products Separate You from the Competition

Do you offer products or services that are unique to the marketplace? Set yourself apart from your competition by offering something (or a version of something) that no one else does. If you provide something unique and can create demand for it – you can be the solo supplier!

Creating something entirely new can be challenging. Develop a system within your business in which innovation, creativity and out-of-the-box thinking is encouraged and rewarded. Consider running an internal “Shark Tank” competition or an online customer contest. Promote not just the chosen products/services, but the process and the participants. Position yourself as an innovation engine within your industry.

Need help getting started? Here’s some inspiration:

Still need help? Check out Signature Products developed by The Print Refinery for inspiration, like The Gather Box, Memory Mash-Up, Locally Inspired products and History Wall:

merchandising display

Curate Product Selection In-Store + Online

Many business owners in our industry and in others get carried away when it comes to displaying every little thing that they can do, in every size, without any thought to curation. This leads to a cluttered and busy store (and/or website) – no matter how beautiful the products are. Displaying too many choices is overwhelming to the customer. Curate and make it easy for them. Showcase your capabilities and inspire creativity and customization, without overdoing it. Here are some questions to ask yourself when curating:

  • What’s new?
  • What’s on trend?
  • What are your top sellers?
  • What brings you the highest margins?

In-store, use the support of digital signage, printed literature, a material + size sample display and the expertise of your team members to decrease clutter. Only display your very best work; never display irregulars.

Online, feature the products that answer the questions above first. Remove poor sellers and dated designs.

Happy curating!

Retail Store Floor Plan and Layout

Design Musts for Your Retail Store

Are you preparing for a remodel or move? Are you opening a new store? Stuck on where to get started with your store design?

When designing your experiential retail space, start by considering the journey that you want your customers to have. Where should they start? What should they see? What would you like them to touch? What sounds and smells will they experience? How will all of these touch points influence their purchasing? Do you want to encourage lingering for more sales opportunities?

Once you have your customer journey mapped out, it’s best to consult a professional on designing a floor plan that will provide this experience, while sticking to other retail design best practices. A professional can also assist with effective lighting, appropriate paint colors, proportions and incorporating architectural elements and focal walls or furnishings.

Here are some other store design musts:

  • Declutter and regularly clean guest areas.
  • Consider how surfaces and work stations will be used and make them multi-functional – especially in small spaces!
  • Curate your displays to show all that you can do and inspire creativity, without overwhelming your customer with too many choices.
  • Incorporate digital signage and samples of products, sizes and materials into your design to show more with less clutter.
  • Rely upon professionally designed brochures and catalogs to show the full extent of what you do.

Next week we’ll be talking much more about the topic of curation. Stay tuned!

experiential retail, customer experience, class, coach, consult, collaborate, educate, train

Experiential Retail Wins Over Big Box and Online Giants Any Day

“Create a closer bond between the consumer and the brand by immersing them in a fun and memorable experience.” – David Moth of Ecoconsultancy

Experiential retail attracts a “tribe” of influencers that makes your products and services its passion and visiting your business part of its lifestyle. People are more likely to associate positive emotions from an experience with a brand, encouraging higher customer lifetime value. The future sustainability of brick and mortar businesses is the emotional experience that customers have while inside those four walls.

“Shoppertainment” creates value. Your store should be an entertainment destination – an interactive playground that transports customers to another world. Pamper them and provide a fresh, fun and shareable experience. Provide a full range of learning experiences for everything photo, printing, technical, décor, business services – all of it! Offer tech support, one-on-one coaching, project consultation + collaboration, engaging group education and entertaining social events.

Give your customers something that they will love to do. Inspire creativity; enrich + enhance their lives; add value to their lifestyle. Capitalize on your expertise by teaching skills that lead to profitable repeat purchases in a comfortable, nurturing and social environment. Consistently improving their photography skills and regularly creating products to show off should become your customers’ new hobby! Get to know your customer, form a bond and forge a lifetime relationship that is based on repeat and referral business to establish a loyal brand culture.

We want your business to be the “third place”.

Customer Experience Musts:

  • Free wifi
  • Beverages + treats (for adults, children and dogs)
  • Celebration of local culture, teams, architecture and geography
  • Restroom that resembles highly appointed residential powder room
  • Beautiful, ready-to-gift packaging
  • Pleasant citrus or vanilla scent
  • Universally pleasing music that is upbeat and mid-volume
  • No clutter!
  • Absolute cleanliness!