Last Updated: Feb 0, 013
How can get customers to return to r business? How can stand out from competitors in a crowded retail vironmt? One secret is to focus on a niche and build up a cachet. Make r customers feel rs is a special place that caters to ir unique needs. Here’s how to do it.

In this new concept of a storefront, re is something forbidding, exclusionary. message is clear; if ’re merely curious, window shopping perhaps, n this store isn’t for . If feel put off by what see, uncertain perhaps, n keep walking. But if get it, if want to be a part of this, if this is who are, n this place is for , come on in!

In very dramatic fashion, se retailers have demonstrated underlying concept behind niche retailing. y are not trying to be meaningful, much less important, to everybody. But to ir target customer y seek to be extremely meaningful, incredibly important. So important, in fact, that y seek not just to shape idtity of ir customer, but to become no less than an integral part of ir customer’s idtity. An idtity built around being on inside, belonging to an exclusive club of ors just like m, who are just as fashionable, trdy, just as NOW! se retailers are selling cachet in form of a shared idtity, a lifestyle, an attitude, on cutting edge of fashion. And in effort to appeal and be meaningful to se customers, se retailers understand that y must ciously exclude or pottial customers, who might not get it, who neir look nor play part. y are selling fashion out on edge, so y adopt a retail strategy that’s out on edge. It’s not ough for an indepdt retailer to sell stuff anymore. Big box, mass merchants sell stuff.Indepdt retailers must sell cachet.

Are offering her that compelling eerice? emotional response can take y forms but must elicit an emotional response. Emotions make it memorable. And that memory will keep her coming back to r door again and again. What is that emotional response? It might be a homey, warm-all-over feeling, like smell of freshly baked apple pie. Or it might be a WOW like grand finale of a Fourth of July fireworks display. Or something in betwe. It’s not necessarily a cious response, more likely it’s purely visceral. re are y ways to create this emotional connection with r customers, but first impressions are critical. What’s first impression wh she walks through r door, feeling? It can be conveyed in den and build out of tryway, color scheme, decor.

It can be conveyed by warm and gaging greeting of sales associate she meets wh she comes into store. It can be conveyed through any of her sses, ht, sound, smell, touch, and it’s all more powerful if it’s conveyed through several at same time. Is r merchandise assortmt istt with connection ’re trying to create? Is it displayed in a way that allows her to easily take it in at a glance and be intrigued and captivated by what she sees? r displays and prestations must capture her imagination by offering uneected treasures that tice her to elore furr. Are r sales associates fully invested in eerice are trying to create for r customer? Is r customer most important person to r associates wh she’s in r store? Associates that are thusiastic and knowledgeable about r merchandise, ways that merchandise is used and how y make customer feel contribute powerfully to customer eerice. Customers are socially orited like all of us, and will form powerful connections with ors who share ir passions. If r store is, in fact, an insiders club of passionate, like minded thusiasts, r associates must be fully-invested members of club! It might have once be ough to offer best stuff at prices.

Those days are gone forever. re are an dless number of places that sell stuff, starting with internet. But only stores can create a powerful, compelling eerice. A customer will go into any store once, if only out of curiosity, but it’s power of eerice, and emotional connection y make, which will keep m coming back over and over again


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