10 Survival Tips From NEMOA
During a session at the Sept. 16-18 NEMOA Fall Conference in Mashantucket, Conn., a panel of marketers offered up more than 60 rapid-fire pointers and questions on how to survive in “a risky economy.” The panelists included Jean Giesmann, executive creative director for Stony Creek Brands; Chris Bradley, president of Cuddledown of Maine; Sharon Dunn, president of Duncraft; and Glenda Lehman Ervin, vice president of marketing for Lehman’s.
Below are 10 tips from the session that can be easily implemented by readers.
1. Define your brand. What do you have that no one else has? “There has to be a reason you do what you do,” Ervin said. “If you can’t define that and know what it is, I guarantee you your customer doesn’t know what it is either.” She suggested asking the following: Are you the biggest? The best? The most responsive? “My dad founded Lehman’s in 1955 based on private-label branded items,” she said, “and yes, there is a ‘Lehman,’” which the company makes very clear to customers.
2. Take photography in-house. It’s a time savings and flexibility advantage in terms of being able to shoot at the last minute without having to hire somebody for the day, said Giesmann about her experiences with Stony Creek’s Uno Alla Volta and Cooking Enthusiast brands.
Bradley noted that Cuddledown had some extra space in its building so it set up a photo studio there. “We’ve saved a tremendous amount of money doing it in-house; it’s more affordable with digital photography and not all that hard,” he noted.
3. Give customer service reps (CSRs) the ability to see inventory in your retail stores. Earlier this year, Cuddledown began to integrate the inventory in its two outlet stores with its catalog system. “Now we have the ability for CSRs to see on the phone if there’s a SKU that matches in the store,” Bradley said. “Every day we ship products that don’t show up in our warehouse inventory but are in our stores.”