Merchandising: Don’t Be Boring
Customers want to be stimulated, surprised, intrigued, involved, entertained and loved. “Just don’t bore them,” says Kevin Roberts, author of “The Lovemarks Effect: Winning in the Consumer Revolution” (powerHouse Books, 2006).
As you draw up merchandising plans for the new year, use these words as a lens to view all brand-enhancing merchandising strategies. You’ll be surprised to discover you usually have more work to do to be truly customer-centric.
Below are six timely merchandising strategies to focus you on delivering an inspired merchandising experience.
1. Break through your customers’ continuous partial attention (CPA). Customers not only are multitasking more these days, they also are multi-minding. With their attentions scattered in so many different directions, your brand is getting only a small piece (if any) of their mind share. In short, your products need to be memorable. Find and create gasp-worthy products.
Laura Brady, general manager of food gift catalog Wolferman’s, says she’s made several changes to Wolferman’s catalog with CPA in mind. The company enlarged the size of its catalog, going from 40 pages at 7 inches by 10.5 inches to 44 pages at 8 inches by 10.5 inches. Wolferman’s also upgraded the quality of the photography and simplified the book’s layout.
“These changes increased sales,” she says, “because the eye-catching pictures grabbed customers’ attention, and the new layout made ordering easier.”
2. Fill the gaps; recognize the power of micromarkets. Consider the long tail theory of merchandising, which says the collective power of niche products allows them to hold their own against the 80/20 rule of blockbusters. John Vitek, president of Saint Mary’s Press, a Catholic educational publisher and online marketer, continually creates products that speak to this theory.
Saint Mary’s Press found a merchandising gap among its niche audience of Catholic teenagers and created the market’s first ever Catholic Youth Bible. This purple cow product captured the hearts of teens and has sold more than a million copies to date.