One of the byproducts of the great recession is a sense of empowerment when we spend. Consumers have heard endless reports about how businesses are hurting (even though many are not), and how absolutely no one is shopping right now (even though that would hardly be accurate).
The result of all this economic hype? When we go shopping, we don’t just want to be seen as shoppers. We want to be treated like caped heroes! “If it weren’t for me,” after all, “this place might just go out of business!” (Or at least, that’s an exaggeration of what many shoppers are feeling.) “If you have precious few customers, then I want to be treated like I’m precious.”
A recent story in the Media Post Marketing Daily supports my assertion. But don’t take my word for it, or anyone else’. Just notice the swagger of bag-carrying consumers the next time you walk through the department store or shopping center.
Implications: If you have precious few customers, what are you doing to make them feel precious? I was in a furniture store the other day that had set-up an area where they were serving soft drinks and fresh-baked cookies. Not a big deal… but it made an impression. I’ve heard of a car dealership that washes your car after appraising its’ trade-in value… whether or not you actually trade it in, you’ve received value.
The consumer can get a good deal anywhere. To stand out, you have to give them a cookie… or some other form of value-added that shows you appreciate their business. Companies are getting very creative about the way they deliver value to their customers.
Are your competitors doing that, too? Are you?