Your Business Storefront: The Physical Frontline For Business Marketing
Business Marketing: Matching the message and delivery
Every facet of your business can be tooled to better compliment your business marketing campaign. Even your physical storefront as the distribution channel for positioning your product or services in the real world can have a significant impact on the success of your business marketing strategy. Location, Venue, and Employees all have an impact on the consistency of your branding and the storefront’s usefulness as a business marketing platform.
Perhaps your first decision (and one of the more difficult to alter) is the location that you choose for your business’s storefront.
The City: Choosing a city that already supports your industry runs the risk of setting up in a saturated market. Setting up in a city that does have much experience with your industry runs the risk of not having enough clientele to stay in business. Finding a balance between the two situations may be the best of both worlds for your company. But, be sure to check local bylaws and accessibility to resources to ensure they do not conflict with your mandate and services.
The Spot: The area of the city you choose to set up shop will affect who accesses your store and how they access your store. Some business benefit from the cost-savings and community aspects of a stripmall location – if you cater to students, being situated at a mall or near a school can be beneficial. Other companies require a stand alone store with surrounding space for products and services.
- Is the location on a bus route?
- Is it in pedestrian-friendly areas that garner a lot of foot traffic?
- Is their ample parking?
- Do you need a sign-spinner to point people to your entrance?
Servicing the needs of your target demographic should in part determine where your store will be situated. And if your aim is to be open to a wider demographic, accessibility of transportation and travel time needs to be as easy on potential customers as possible.
With the location selected, making the venue space reflective of your brand is the next step in tying your marketing strategy together. Within moments of stepping into your space, the public will begin formulating opinions about your services *and* your priorities.
The Branding: Consistency in tone, look, and objective is necessary to a cohesive and efficient business marketing strategy. Folding your store’s appearance into that strategy can be as simple as:
- incorporating your logo, tagline, and branding imagery into the decor
- strategic presentation of your products and services, including packaging, layout within the space, reasonable and visible pricing, and customer accessibility (if that benefits your sales)
- colour themes that match palette choices online and in all other marketing materials (colour is a basic and instantaneous recall tool to assist with memory)
- ensuring the proper physical address is listed uniformly across mediums, and that small maps to assist in orientation are provided where space allows.
Your storefront is the optimal place to house elements of all your other business marketing platforms – refer to your website, your print materials, your events and promotions in visible spaces within your store so that these initiatives can be worked into customer interactions. Since this space is the only place that customers can interact with the human, real world elements of your brand, what they see when they first walk in will in part shape their opinion of your services and mandate. If inclusivity and fairness is part of your mission, having a wheelchair accessible space, a diverse staff, and equal treatment of all walks-ins go a long way to affirming your priorities through actions.
After adjusting their eyes to your physical space, customers engage next with the human presence that represents your brand. Individuals may have been interacting with digital or print aspects of your company, and the employees in the workplace will be frontline for real world contact with potential customers.
The attitude of your employees is a direct reflection of your company culture. They should be presentable, in whichever way your business chooses to market itself, and relatable to your target demographic. Your staff and their interactions with public is often what makes a happy customer and a unique, memorable selling experience.
Your staff can be genuine and perfectly pleasant in their interactions with the public, but if they are not knowledgeable about your products and services, they are inhibiting your sales potential and possibly eroding the potential customers’ trust in your brand. A smart employee with have clever and confident responses to common questions like:
- “What is your best seller for this type of product?”
- “What would you recommend?”
- “What services are available at this price point?”
- “What are the pros? What are the cons?”
- “What specials or events are happening, online and in the store?”
It is helpful for employees to implement a sense of individuality in their interactions with customers, but also to be working from a baseline message that is uniformly mandated across all stores and platforms. Having an established baseline of knowledge and training helps produce a recognizable culture for your brand.
Consistency Of Branding Is the Key
For your workplace/storefront to be a useful tool in your business marketing arsenal, the location, the space, and the staff should all look and feel representative of your brand. The tone, look, and objective should be complimentary of online themes and all other facets of your business marketing strategy. Because the interactions in a storefront are physical in nature, it is not always easy for a customer to remember details once they have left the space. Ensuring your customers leave with reference tools can go a long way to converting a sale or retaining a customer. Have plenty of print material to take away, and ensure that materials refers to any other points of contact for your services (emails, websites, events, social media).
Your Storefront As A Business Marketing Platform
Your workplace/storefront is the only platform available that offers real life, face-to-face interactions with your customers. The appearance of your venue will impact all of an individual’s senses – making it memorable and engaging in a way no other platform can match. For an intuitive and friendly staff, this real world interactions allows for a genuine sense of an individual’s reactions to your products, services, and marketing and also make it less likely that they will drop their engagements with staff with your midstream. Staff interactions can be adjusted in real time to best cater to a customer’s needs. And the ability to instantly alter sales approaches increases your potential for sale conversion.
Learning how to capitalize on the high percentage of targeted demographic that goes through the effort of finding and traveling to your store, is something a marketing agency can help you break down in detail. Knowing how to tie your storefront into your brand and business marketing strategy will breed confidence in your mandate and your services from your customers and your staff. Reach out to Cm2 Media to see how your business can most effectively use your workplace and storefront as a marketing tool.