Leveraging Video To Successfully Market Your Small Business

Using video marketing can boost your small business exposure in many ways.

Not only are videos a quick way to communicate information to your customers, they are immediately engaging and can be fun!  Feel free to get creative when making your marketing video and consider adding music to draw in your viewer.

Ivystone, a national Gift and Home sales and marketing agency creates unique videos simply by utilizing a variety of Gift and Home product images along w upbeat and captivating music to promote their national showrooms-featuring a variety of Ivystone vendors and products for the wholesale gift and home market.

View Ivystone’s summer 2016 Atlanta Showroom promotional video here.

Read more for 7 proven tips to use videos for your small business and go ahead and make some video fun!

Celebrating 20 Colorful Years! Be Inspired by Company C’s Decorating Tips

Company C_20_Colorful_YearsPlan to inspire your customers this season and into 2014 with great merchandise (of course) and captivating displays of color. This awesome “color” inspired blog  from company C founders Chris and Walter Chapin is an overflowing cup of creativity to use and share with your customers.  

Company C was started in a garage in 1994 by Chris and Walter Chapin and is now a premier design studio and leading producer of exceptional home furnishings displaying their love and adaptation of color. Twice a year the Company C Design Studio brings you the hottest colors from fashion, the coolest colors from nature and the trend setting color combinations nobody has seen yet!

May your cup runneth over with creativity and inspiration……start your own colorful conversations by posting a photo of your unique seasonal displays here and on Facebook or Pinterest to share and inspire others.

” I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.” Georgia O’Keefe

For suggestions on colorful products and designs contact your Ivystone and Simblist rep

CompanyC-Green&Serene

CompanyC_wisteria

CompanyC-Inspiration

 

 

Winning Holiday Strategies for Retailers and Brands

Winning Strategies for Holiday Planning 2013To help retailers prepare for the busy upcoming holiday season, Retail Touch Points has compiled the 2013 Holiday Outlook Guide, featuring insights from a number of leading industry experts, case studies, including a variety of tips and tactics that will help deliver a joyous holiday season to retailers, brands and consumers.

This year the guide focuses on 11 different topic areas, including:

  1. Omnichannel
  2. Mobile Commerce
  3. Mobile Apps & Sites
  4. Pricing
  5. Inventory
  6. Personalization
  7. Outbound Marketing
  8. Showrooming
  9. Workforce Management
  10. Payment

Download a complimentary copy of the Retail TouchPoints_Holiday_Outlook_Guide_2013.

Use the guide to plan a successful holiday sales strategy.  Make plans to engage with your customers early and consistently throughout the season.

Let us hear about your own insights and successes.

For an abundant selection of wholesale gift and home products for your retail operation, connect with Ivystone and Simblist sales teams.

 

Retail Touch Points delivers cutting edge content directed towards acquiring, serving and retaining customers in the new world of multi-touch retailing.

Denim and Developing Truly Loyal Customers

Today Levi Strauss is celebrating 140 years of the denim blue jean.  What an incredible and enviable success story. This company and iconic product has had an amazing and profitable history that will likely continue throughout all of our lifetimes.  Seemingly impossible that there is a product which has attracted billions of customers and has kept them loyal for 140 years!   Levi denim jeans

While true that the blue jean’s awesome versatility and work-horse functionality is responsible for this type of sustained history and loyalty, it could never have been accomplished without tremendously committed customers loyal to the brand.  Understandably, we all aren’t so fortunate to have started a business responsible for the invention such an enduring product, one that has been able to cultivate loyal customers for centuries, however your business can’t possibly grow without some similar (albeit smaller) form of customer loyalty.  Now your job is to consider how to cultivate that loyalty.

Think of loyalty as a faithfulness or allegiance to a company or a brand based on a high level of satisfaction.  Customer satisfaction breeds loyalty.  When a business or a brand consistently satisfies and exceeds customer expectations, it is natural to consistently make that company or brand the first choice.

So how can you create and encourage truly loyal customers?     Levi's denim 2

LISTEN TO THEM

Asking and hearing what customers are saying about your business along with making changes and improvements to increase their satisfaction can go a long way in making customers loyal to your business.  Loyal customers come back and can be more profitable.  Often the 80/20 rule applies- 80% of revenue comes from 20% of a business’s customers.  The key is to understand the customer needs and expectations and make changes that positively impact the customer’s experience with your business.  In 1873 Levi  Strauss and Jacob David listened to a particularly difficult customer  who was consistently ripping trouser pockets and seams due to extreme use.  Levi's denim 3   By placing metal rivets at points of strain: pocket corners, base of the zippers, etc. to strengthen the trousers, the company created the first riveted clothing, aka the blue jean.  By listening and making a small change, within a very short time, all types of working men were buying the innovative new clothing and spreading the word.

Cultivate a sense of ownership

Are you launching a new service or new products?  Invite your most loyal customers to become beta users and solicit their feedback to make adjustments and improvements.  This will give your best customers a sense of being a “shareholder” in your business as well as helping you create better offerings to your at-large customer base.  Way back in the 1850s Levi Strauss developed denim as work-wear for the pioneers of the American West. Only in the 1950s did this fabric evolve into fashion garments; jeans and jackets were taken up by bikers and rockers, giving denim a sense of cool and rebelliousness. By the 1970s Hollywood stars such as Steve McQueen and Paul Newman wore the brand.  Can your customers help you test and launch new concepts and be the trendy messenger for your business?

Create a loyalty program

Reward customers for multiple purchases of a high margin product.  Remember to measure your results and make changes that positively impact the customer (while being fiscally responsible).  Consider a program that provides free products or services as a reward for repeat business.

Creating truly loyal customers through these types of programs can prove to be a long-term distinct competitive advantage.

 

Offer premium services

If a small portion of your customers are responsible for a majority of your revenue, provide them with premium level of customer service.  Perks for your best customers let them know how much you value their business.

  • Let your best customer’s preview and purchase new products.  This could be anything from opening early or staying late to accommodate their schedule, shipping products to their home or office for free, giving them first chance to purchase new arrivals or attend sales.
  • Host an exclusive event for your best customers inside or outside of your business.
  • Make a point to call out your best customers in email marketing campaigns (preferably with a great quote or referral) or social media.
  • Reward referrals-consider providing discounts and other rewards to customers who recommend your business to friends and associates after they make a purchase.  Customer referrals are a valuable tool, so let them know how much you value their recommendations.

Back in 1873 it was for Levi Strauss’s challenging but quality customer for whom they added the rivets to denim in order to satisfy his need and that one decision is responsible for  the growth of the company and 140 years of success!

Simply two visionary immigrants- Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis turned loyal customers, denim, thread, and a little metal into the most popular apparel on earth…..just think of what you can do.

Have a great working customer loyalty program? Let us hear about it!

See How Small Businesses Are Competing Successfully With Big Brands-Infographic

Having quick access to online, mobile and social platforms along with the value consumers place on one-to-one relationships and customer service, makes it easier and likely for small businesses to succeed in more ways everyday.

12 Social Media Strategies to Reach Women

Are You Doing What it Takes to Run a Small Business?

In this thought provoking post on “What it takes to run a small business in rural America” from American Express Open Forum blog, experience the unique set of challenges these small businesss face working in rural areas along with actions and ideas to overcome these and other small biz challenges.

Help yourself and others by sharing successes of running your small business -post your stories through our comment section so we can share new concepts to strengthen and grow small business.

All stories will be shared here on The HI Note and on social media.

Here are 5 related posts to add to your small business brain trust:

How to Make a Lasting First Impression for Your Business

5 Actions That Can Affect How You Grow and Lead Your Business This Year

Social Media and Marketing Lessons from Retail Industry Expert Crystal Vilkaitis

7 things you’re already doing that could be more remarkable

5 Ways to Create More Value

 

Read full Open Forum article here

 

 

Need Some Clarity in a Family Run Business?

Running a business is hard enough. Running it with your spouse or your siblings or multiple generations of your family can add exponentially to the danger and tension. But when they work, family businesses can be beautiful things.  I have a friend that hires a coach for virtually every aspect of her life; exercise coach, marriage coach, and business coach.   During several probing conversations about challenges in her family business, I found the suggestion of hiring an outside “coach”  a unique and productive way to have an unbiased professional look at your business operations, better define roles and  provide specific accountability.   (These same objectives translate easily to other aspects of your life as well!).

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A business coach can assist in removing hurdles to clarify roles and accountability.  This can clear the path for more productive work, business growth and help to remove  emotional confusion that only family can bring out in the best of us.  See how two sisters used a business coach to improve and grow a family business.   There are several resources which can help you begin the process of using a business coach or mentor,  SCORE mentors deliver FREE, confidential, valuable advice for your business needs.  Local business schools can be another resource.   Are you working in a family business?  Have you found methods that have worked to  clarify and define roles for your families business growth?

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