Permission to republish granted by Management One | Written by Marc Weiss, CEO & President of Management One & Retail Orbit | November 2017 | Image provided by Pixabay
Did you ever consider…
the journey of just one piece of product in your store? Someone creative had to design it, piece goods needed to be purchased, samples needed to be made, and specs defined for the best possible fit. Finished goods were made into samples and sent to sales reps to show at the market or take on the road. Votes were cast by retailer buyers on what they liked. Purchase orders were taken; goods were produced in factories around the globe. Your purchase orders were entered into your POS, waiting for their completion date. After goods were manufactured, they were sent to warehouses to be sorted, packed, and shipped to your store. Then, they were unpacked, processed, ticketed and placed on the floor to be tried on and sold. Phew!! That is a lot of effort. What is the value of all those steps?
The cycle is astounding when you think about all the moving parts needed to stock one location full of goods. We pretty much take it for granted. There is value in each of those steps and, based on the piece goods, design, style, and construction, the price tag for that one item might vary wildly.
That is why, when we select a retail price, we are determining the value of that item.
How do we message the value of that sweater, that suit, that jacket, that pant or top? Our messaging can create demand. The complexity of the journey to your store has a lot to do with intrinsic value.
What differentiates a $500 suit from a $3,000 suit? What makes one sweater worth $1,000 and another worth $99? These are questions whose answers need a different set of words and music. Those words and music must also be reflected in your digital marketing, your online presence, the salespeople on the floor and on the phone, and the presentation in your store.
My first realization of how to present value was in the original Banana Republic stores, where there was a story about every article of clothing. J Peterman, popularized on Seinfeld, still provides that storybook feel. They romanticize everything from a hat to a dress. At Lululemon, they provide the feature, the benefit, and the sizzle. They continue to maintain brand integrity and market share against an onslaught of vendors trying to copy them.
And let’s not forget the master of words and music – Starbucks. They created an entirely new language with their products. No one says they are going for coffee; they say they are going to Starbucks. From Java Berry Frappuccinos to the Purple Pink Drink, they make up their own sizes of Venti, Grande, and Tall. Their amazing use of words and labels creates interest, curiosity, and segregation from the market… so they do not compete on price.
What we say has a profound impact. How we say it can achieve authenticity and desire.
We are bombarded by messages of discounts, coupons, loyalty programs, etc. Simon Sinek, in his book “Start with Why”, calls these tactics “manipulations.” They do not create value for your brand or the product. They create phony demand.
How you message, and the content of your message, matter. They validate the value. Given the ability to spread your content inexpensively through a digital platform allows you to compete on a level playing field with the big boys… like never before.
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