Small Retailers Stake Claim vs. Goliaths

What an inspiring article by a brand whiz, on how he helped two mom and pop businesses take on their own Goliaths by showing them how to tell customers why they’re better and more unique.

  • Moths to a Flame: For a too-quiet restaurant at the end of a dark road, enticing prospective patrons to tread a dark alley and draw nearer to lit torches. Once in, the food and ambiance won them over
  • Early Birds Catch the Worm: Urging a green grocer to tell his story of dedication and care in selecting fresh produce at the crack of dawn every day using the most elementary of tools, taking on the giant while armed only with polaroids, note cards and a Sharpie.

If you’re a locally-owned business who’s facing down a new Goliath in town, reach a little and stake your claim based upon your key values — dedication, personal care, affordable pricing, convenience. If you also get the chance to sell and serve customers online (previous post), these same rules apply for reaching shoppers far and wide.

Please read Martin’s article at Fast Company; link here.

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Retailers of All Sizes Win Global Shoppers

Hanson Marketing recently structured an online retail strategy with global reach for a retailer of natural personal care and gourmet food goods. No matter the size or current reach, any retailer with the right mix of unique solutions and compelling story can go global.

Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) states that “Domestic-only retailers and online pure-plays are using e-commerce to achieve global reach without opening stores by enabling cross-border trade (CBT) from an existing website (e.g., Saks Fifth Avenue) or by building complete, local e-commerce operations (e.g., Amazon).”

Think about what this means, particularly for local, one-shop bricks and mortar retailers and for those operating purely online: the global retail market isn’t just for the big boxes!  If you believe that the products you offer are unique and that your store is the best source for them — after all, this is what you tell your customers everyday, right? — then you’ve got a foundation for going global.

Contact Tom for a detailed case study on how Hanson Marketing formed a global retail strategy with proven growth results.

Hispanic Population Influences Channel Strategies

Mexicans are the largest Hispanic group nationwide and in 40 states, according to data released from the US Census Bureau. Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic population grew by 43 percent, or four times the nation’s 9.7 percent growth rate.

This brings up three points to consider when evaluating and forming your sales and marketing channel strategies:

Use local talent. Bring on specialist brokers, PR agencies, and retailers with proven success in reaching and selling to Hispanic consumers. Pay special note to your current strategies in the nation’s five largest metro areas… espcially in Midwest US cities. How well do your retailers and advertising providers reach Hispanic households?
Value family ties. Multi-generational and extended family ties are strong in Hispanic communities nationwide. Your value propositions and outbound marketing themes should encourage word-of-mouth referrals, family plans (think Verizon Wireless) and “trusted source” status to gain business from three generations, from abuelos to niños.
Think North American. If you’re realizing sales gains in the US Hispanic sector, know that here’s a fast-growing market in Mexico, too. Work up a channel strategy that will cover key areas there, to complement what’s working in the US. Head to www.trade.gov and get in touch with your local Export Assistance Center for a quick and easy evaluation; they’ll even help introduce you to best partners in Mexico and other countries.

Read all about it here.

Dual Channels: DRTV, In-store Retail

Retail channel marketeers often present expansion strategies to manufacturers of consumer goods that might combine both Direct Response TV and in-store retail. But the two silos usually co-exist, with unique ROI yardsticks, compensation plans, retail pricing, and even product lines.

When DRTV enables in-store sell-through, it becomes a self-liquidating promotion, one  in which the cost of the DRTV campaign is covered by the incremental revenue generated by the promotion.

Sales thus result via DRTV fulfillment, meeting MER and CPO target rates; and also result from shoppers who see it on TV and walk in to stores to kick the tires and squeeze the Charmin before buying.

The beauty of a dual DRTV/In-store Retail channel strategy is that manufacturers can route their advertising $$ to metro areas that have a high concentration of retailers who sell their products.  Or, retailers themselves can flip it around and launch a DRTV campaign about their products, with calls to action to both CALL call centers and VISIT stores.

What an efficient way to bootstrap retail channel expansion for manufacturers who are new to retail, and a great use of advertising money!  Response Magazine April issue covers this cross-pollinating topic nicely. Read more here.

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