Just last week, I was having a casual conversation with my client as a get-together coffee meeting before 2017 comes to an end. She was in the retail business selling shoes and other fashion accessories.
Sometime into our conversation, the issues of branding and business growth came up.
Opposite where we were seated was a restaurant and out of curiosity, we talked about how to increase the business as it was rather empty at that lunch time.
Many ideas came up from my client’s head as she had been the beneficiary of my consulting services. She checked the website, Facebook Page, and Instagram of that restaurant. Wanted to know how the business could be better improved.
I did asked her to go through each message on the social media and what she thought of each.
She mentioned a couple of things, summarized as below:
- No customer recovery for all bad comments on their Facebook Page;
- They would only respond to positive feedback and comment;
- Pics of their menu were not exciting and inviting;
- Website blogs were not updated with other social media; and
- No bookings or reservations applications.
We will just mentioned these 5 observations for the purpose of this article.
Being a causal meeting, I congratulated my client for her keen observations and asked her what would she do if she were to be the owner of the restaurant. Below are some of her answers:
- Define the business;
- Know your target market;
- Know what your target market consider value;
- Get close to the customer and increase the Life-time-value of each customer;
- Revamp the website completely;
- Add a booking and reservation application;
- Have a customer recovery program in place to pacify any customer with bad experience;
- Have a Thank You program to reward happy customers for their comments;
- Have a recovery team to manage customer expectations and service delivery; and
- Update blog regularly in line with all social media.
To be honest, I was very much impressed with her answers that came out of her in a short time. Truly, she knew what she was talking. Her improved business performance has been a great testimony.
As we chatted, I mentioned to her that her business had grown over the past years in spite of our retail slump in Singapore was mainly due to a switched in her mindset about her business. She agreed.
Basically, she knows that there are only 2 ways to grow a business and brand – through the efforts of SELLING, or through the efforts or ATTRACTING.
Defining your business, knowing your target market, and what they value you are just some starting points to grow a business and a brand. These are ATTRACTION strategies, not SELLING strategies.
There is a world of difference between the two.
Through my consulting experience, I can openly say that almost 80% of businesses are in the SELLING strategies mode of operation. They would have a massive sales force, heavy advertisement budgets, products driven etc. They are constantly looking for the next customer and then abandon when they got them on their books. They are not customer-centric. They are like rolling a ball up a hill. Very tough and not smart at all.
On the other hand, ATTRACTION is very much like rolling a snow ball from the top of a ice capped mountain. It started small but as it gained traction from your targeted market, momentum and growth of your business follows. It requires much less efforts on your side. However, you must define your business, know your targeted customer, and what they value in your products or services.
As time pass, your targeted customers will do the attraction for you and your business. As such, your business costs will go down and profits go up. A smarter move by any count.
Attraction has been the marketing strategy I use at my consulting firm for the last 20 years now. It has now been used by all my clients in the F&B, and Education industries for these are my 2 targeted markets mostly.
If you are NOT in the F&B or Education industries, no worries, attraction strategies can be applied to all industries with a little modifications of course.
I hope that with this article, you would start to think of attraction to build your business and brand.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
CEO, Crossbow Consulting Group