Hardware Retailing

SEP 2017

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

Issue link: http://www.hardwareretailingarchive.com/i/863265

Contents of this Issue


Page 95 of 118

Involve Your Employees Talk to your staff about your established brand messaging and strategy. Your employees are the face of your business, and it will be up to them to deliver your company's brand to customers. If your motto involves treating customers like family, train your staff to reflect that in their conversations and connections with customers. If you are trying to position yourself as a family-friendly establishment, but your employees are grouchy and don't like to interact with children, customers' experiences won't live up to your brand promise. Create Loyalty What your customers say about your company will either enhance or destroy your branding efforts. If their in-store experience lives up to your company's promise, your customers will speak favorably about your store in the community. Give them even more reasons to spread positive awareness about your business and increase their loyalty to your brand by offering perks and promotions. Give free t-shirts with the store logo to customers who spend a certain amount of money or offer a discount to customers who refer others to your loyalty program. Go the Extra Mile Many independent retailers will say customer service is what differentiates them from big-box competitors. Use every opportunity to prove it. If a customer purchases a new power tool or appliance, follow up with a phone call after a week to ask if they're happy with their purchase. If a customer gives your business a bad review online, reach out directly to see what you can do to fix the situation. Reward customers with significant annual or semi-annual events, coupons or promotions to make them feel like they really matter to your business. Insert Your Brand Into the Community You fill a specific need for your customers, unlike Crossfit and Starbucks, which are non-necessities that fit into their customers' lifestyles and daily habits. Because of this, you may need to work a little harder at ingraining your brand into your community and customers' lives in a way that makes them feel emotionally connected. Become a presence by sponsoring sports teams, having a booth at community events, participating in holiday parades, launching a local DIY club or anything else you think would be a good fit for your customer base and amplify your brand. EXERCISE 3: How Do You BUILD Relationships? Once you have defined and designed your brand, use these additional tips to strengthen your branding efforts and better connect with your customers.

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