It’s a new dawn; it’s a new day … or is it?

Clare blog

It’s a new dawn; it’s a new day … or is it?

More of the same, or new, exciting and innovative? What’s going on out there?

The month of January always races in with a bang, yet seems to take forever to come to a close. The credit card bills, the count down to payday, the end of the detox and the inevitable lapse in gym attendance loom ahead in the next few weeks. With lack of cash being high up on the list of biggest worries, both the customers and the retailers are deal savvy and as we the customers eke out the pennies till pay day, the canny retailers look at ways to keep the cash coming into the tills.

The January Sale

OK, so we all spotted these online and on the high street well before January and lets face it, we all expect a deal in December (other months also apply). But as December is still the month to bank the big bucks, creating innovative money saving ideas and great value deals for January will have been locked and loaded in the marketing plan for months. This year, once again the pubs and restaurants fight to keep busy and once again we see the food and drink sales, the money off vouchers, the two for ones, the fixed price menus and the bargain meal deals. But do these sales really bring in new customers or keep the existing customers coming back whilst the clock ticks until that first pay weekend?

Innovate, don’t just replicate!

We’ve seen a lot of it before and we like the fact that we can still have a treat on a budget but where is the magic and excitement that wakes up the new customer in dreary January? What made you persuade a friend or the family to part with some of that scarce cash? Smaller companies may find this easier with fewer hurdles to climb and hearts and minds to win. Whether you participate in the Wahaca spoon amnesty and redeem your free tacos in exchange for that coveted coloured spoon that accidentally slipped into your pocket last year (love it!), or scour the web for every voucher deal there is, going somewhere new always has an element of risk. It’s time to be brave!

Think bigger or even better.

So maybe the retailers’ hands are tied by P&Ls and last year’s performance to beat. But this should not bring down the shutters on thinking beyond re-vamping last years campaign and deals because they seemed to work. The pie is only so big, but getting the biggest slice is the prize for those with openness to new and sometimes daunting ideas. So how do they get there, taking the Board and the team delivering the experience and offer with them? Remind them what success looked like last year and them how it felt. Show them the size of the prize this year, what rewards it will bring with it and how to get there, working together. Make a resolution to get the biggest slice yet!

Easy resolutions for brave retailers who really want a big slice of the pie.

No. 1 – Love the customers you already have.

They will stick with you and may give you another chance if you slip up on the way. Engage with and reward them, always remembering that loyalty is a two way street.

No. 2 – Take a good look at the competitors.

Be brave and remove your blinkers. Forget your preconceived notions and vanity about being better than them. There is a good reason why you call them ‘competitors’.

No. 3 – Learn about and understand the customers you have not yet converted.

What switches them on, how can you get under their skin to the point that they will give their usual haunt a miss and take a chance on you?

No. 4 – Tempt them to try.

Show them the best you have to offer and make it feel safe to take a chance with you.

No. 5 – Deliver great experiences consistently.

If you do get it wrong, just make it right.

No. 6 – Go back to No. 1