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20 06, 2011

Want to Improve Your Sales and Your Business? Go Back to the Future

By |2017-03-03T12:07:08-05:00June 20th, 2011|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Want to Improve Your Sales and Your Business? Go Back to the Future

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Old time prices

Can you remember this?

All of a sudden retro commercials seem to be in. The latest Geico commercial, “Do dogs chase cats” features a car chase (the photos look like old sepia print) with old cars and the old adage about dogs chasing cats. If you’re like me, you’re not only looking at the cats and dogs but you’re looking at the other familiar things in the commercial. You’re probably looking at the cars and the background.  All of these things bring you back to a nostalgic time. Just for a moment you  forget the reality of the non-existent  housing market, high jobless rates and the price of food and gas. In other words, these ads are producing positive feelings.

Let’s go back to why and how people buy. Buying is first emotional and then justified with logic. The internet has changed the customer. Customers are coming into buying situations armed with  plenty of ammunition and are no longer  dependent on the salesperson. They have the Internet and their Facebook friends and Citisearch; all of which can provide information on products and services.  The information  they’re receiving is logical, what we need to do is add the emotion. What better emotions to add than those that make us feel good?

Studies show that advertisements showing  surprise and joy are both hugely effective in concentrating attention and retaining viewers.

If you’re looking to keep the audience’s attention, surprise is the most effective. On line videos that engage the audience with surprise have a higher retention rate than any other. However, the particular effects of each emotion varied. If you are looking to monopolize the audience’s attention, surprise is the most effective emotion. The more surprising the ad, the longer the customer stays to watch. Hence the Geico commercials such as “does it really take two to Tango?”  It seems that all of their ads are joyful, funny or both. They are also nostalgic.

What does this mean for your business? How about having a “nostalgia” event focusing on a particular time period? A disco night would be perfectly acceptable with the best John Travolta moves and polyester suit! Or maybe a 40’s night with all Frank  Sinatra tunes?

Get your mind off reality! Play have fun.

Make your store fun and interesting; celebrate anything; how about “TGIF,” remember that?

Great oldies music is a good start. If you notice your customers singing along it’s a hit. Remember customer service is giving the customer what they want and if they like it they’ll let you know.

Decorate your stores for the holidays, don’t forget July 4th and what it means to our country.

Hula Hooping is back, and it will take a few inches off your waist.

Maxi dresses, boyfriend jackets,  capri pants and wedgie shoes are  still in.

How about this: leggings, large hoop ear rings, leg warmers, big hair and bright lipstick? Don’t foget the blue nail polish I wore in the 50’s.

I saw a 65 Mustang yesterday; baby blue.

Have a “dress up day,” you pick the type of “dress up.” Remember fun and surprise are both in so include both. Your employees will probably have some great ideas for the “dress up day.”

Anything you can do to take our mind off  gas prices will help us all.

 

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2 10, 2010

Funnier Than Funny, But Does It Sell?

By |2017-03-03T12:07:12-05:00October 2nd, 2010|Categories: Blog, Competitive Advantage, Customer Service, fun, Reaching the Consumer, Sales|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |8 Comments

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image of Stanley Steamer commercial with alpaca

This makes me laugh!

I have been intrigued with “Have you ever cleaned an alpaca?” a commercial from Stanley Steamer. The two cleaning guys are in the truck and one is explaining how exciting it is to clean up after an Alpaca. It is cute, funny and definitely different. I went to Youtube to  view the video and look at the comments. The comments are interesting, what they say is ,  “I want and Alpaca, they’re so cute.” So much for Stanley Steamer, the cleaning company  being cute.

It would be interesting for the franchise people to ask their customers how they came into the store. Was it a friend’s recommendation or a past experience with the company.  They may have seen the commercial but  seeing the commercial might not be connected to their coming into the store. How many commercials have you seen, and liked, but didn’t drive you to the store or buy the product?

Maybe it would have been more relevant if they went to the local Humane Society and put their products in the animal cages or used their product to clean the cages. It would mean something to me and thousands of pet owners. As my friend Godzilla said, if you have an Alpaca in your house you have more problems than most of us that won’t be solved by either cleaning or special carpet.  It would have hit home and many of us would have gone to the shelter to adopt some pets. This is another important connection to the customer.

Another commercial similar to this was when Mohawk Carpet went to the Birmingham Zoo and featured Ricko the Black Rhinoceros as the featured mess maker to see if SmartStrand carpet with built-in stain resistance would do its job. Included in this was a Save the Rhino pairing with the Birmingham Zoo. This can be watched at

I love the Geico commercials and the latest being the “little Piggy cried all the way home.” The parody at Saturday Night Live,  are even funnier.


Remember “where’s the beef?” Did it change your mind about Burger King.

Both are darling commercials, bringing in the customer  through their love of animals as well as their carpet and carpet cleaning concerns.  Differentiation is what businesses need to build a competitive advantage but not all differentiation is considered a competitive advantage. When you have a competitive advantage it’s easy to build Red Hot Customer Service.

How do you know? You may not but you should try by asking your customers.

Ask customers about your commercial, in their mind how does it connect with their problems?  Most customers probably don’t have Rhinoceros or Alpaca stains. Does the customer get the part that both of these products will solve their most difficult problems? Does the customer think they have stains as awesome as the Alpaca? Do they think this is over kill? Do they think they need a product that will prevent staining like Ricko or do they find all of these stains disgusting?

There is a commercial for Schweppes that was a take off on the old James Bond movies. this commercial starred John Cleese. It was slapstick funny, didn’t seem to fit with Schweppes and wound up on the cutting floor. Maybe too funny or just too stupid. Frankly I didn’t really get it but love John Cleese.

Fun will sell if you use it to lighten up your customer and still use it to  reinforce your important message and  the promise to your customer.

It should be funny but not too funny so the customer forgets what you’re selling–and so do you.

Funny is a way to produce emotion in your customer and emotion is one way to build rapport. Humor is a grand way to build a connection with your customer but if it’s  so funny that you can’t connect it with your product or don’t  connect it’s a problem.

Suggestion: use humor it to add a light moment for your customer rather than an out-of-this-world funny. Save the funny for the comedians.

The key to funny, the commercial should make the product unforgettable and make the customer want to buy it.

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