Lemonade Stand Marketing – Traffic, Traffic, Traffic!

Lemonade Stand MarketingDo you remember the basic business lessons learned as a kid? How can something as simple as a lemonade stand teach the business essentials to grow a large and profitable business? Let’s find out…

This past weekend was the annual Colorado Dragon Boat Festival which takes place in the park across from my house. It’s two days of racing dragon boats down a course, with hundreds of teams participating. It has also turned into the largest Asian culture festival in Colorado. Over 100,000 people attend the 2-day event.

Why is this information important to a child’s lemonade stand you ask? You could say Location, Location, Location; but I call it Traffic, Traffic, Traffic! The business location is important, but the key characteristic of the location is the amount of traffic of targeted customers that location brings. In our case, with 90 degree heat and 100,000 potential thirsty customers we put up the lemonade stand and invited some friends over to help run the store. So what happened?

Timing! Business success is all about timing. Do people drink lemonade in the morning? Not really. Do they drink it while they are on their way to the festival? No, because they just left home and are still refreshed from the air-conditioned car. When do they drink lemonade? On the way home from the overcrowded, sizzling hot, sunny festival.

Get in front of the customer when they are ready to buy!

So what time do you think the kids reaped the most reward for their efforts? That’s right, from 2-5pm; the hottest time of the day. When the girls put up the stand at 2pm, there were people standing in line while they were setting up! How’s that for a booming business!

Now, the girls took this one step further. They actually noticed that their were a lot of people with dogs passing by. One girl said, “We need free water for the dogs!” And so it was. The dog water was put out and then when the girls saw someone with a dog they enticed them over with the promise of free dog water. Now how can you pass up seven super cute 5, 7 & 9 years old girls with ice-cold lemonade and fresh water for your dog? That’s what I call knowing your customer and targeting their needs!

Are you applying these principles in your business? Have you identified the best traffic-getting location, timing and needs of your customer? Do you know how to get in front of them when they are ready to buy? How have you made timing, location and customer segmentation work for you?

Next up, Lessons from the Lemonade Stand: The 5Ps of Marketing.

Black Friday is all RED!

Black Friday and Retail Marketing

Most people think that Black Friday is the hugest shopping day of the year. And, well, it may be if you are one of the large national retail chains that has a big budget to promote large loss leading discounts to hundreds of thousands of people. But, if you are a small local retail shop, it’s one of the quietest days of the year. Why? because everyone is out at the mall, chasing the deal. The consumer doesn’t actually get around to shopping local, until the last week or two of the month.

How do you compete?

As a small business owner, you DON’T! At least not head-on. So instead of going after the Black-Friday shopper, try an alternative.

There are a lot of customers that don’t like the crowds and rush of mall shopping. Send email or a personal invitation to your best customers and invite them for a private shopping event. Or, host a customer appreciation holiday event. Offer hot cider, hot cocoa and holiday cookies while they shop.

How do you add value to their shopping experience? What can you offer that the big chains can’t? Personalized service for one. A flexible and intimate shopping experience is another. Focus on your strengths and add a holiday twist.

Always go back and evaluate what your customer wants. Why do they shop with you? Focus on the customer and giving them the ultimate shopping experience.

And Happy Thanksgiving to you.

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Using Wealth Consciousness to Attract Your Ideal Customer

I just came back this weekend from a seminar that focused on wealth consciousness. I define wealth consciousness to be the mindset one has that helps them attract more wealth into their life.

What does this have to do with marketing? Marketing is about creating a relationship with your customer. So, the more you know about your customer the more successful you will be at addressing their wants, needs and desires.

The wealth consciousness seminar looked at the relationship people have with money based on their socioeconomic class.

People in the Lower Class who are Poor tend to work for cash and then spend it on items that eventually wind up being discarded in a landfill. For example, they buy sneakers which wear out and then get thrown in the trash. They also are most likely to work with their hands and be laborers and artisans.

From a marketing perspective they tend not to have a long term view and don’t plan for the future. They tend to live paycheck-to-paycheck. So the quality of the product they are purchasing is not as important as the price and the style. They are satisfying immediate needs and urges.

The Middle Class has a tendency to work for cash and then buy liabilities. A liability is something that takes money out of their pocket. For example, they buy a house to live in and have to pay the mortgage. Or, they may buy cars and boats for personal use, all of which create an outflow of cash. A middle class worker is likely to work in a professional job that uses their head (thinking, education, knowledge). Managers and teachers would fall into this category.

The middle class will have a mid-term view on purchases. They will use their disposable income to buy perceived luxuries and toys. They do not expect items to last forever, and they want instant gratification. There is a tendency amongst this group to make purchases to improve their perceived status.

The Upper Class tends to take their cash and buy assets which then generate more cash. Then they take that cash and put it into more assets to generate more cash, and so on. An asset is something that puts money into your pocket. It could be a rental property (as long as the mortgage payment is lower than the rental income). It could be a business. It could be a tool that is used to create more cash. A “tool” like a snow plow could be considered an asset if it is used to create income rather than solely for personal use.

The Upper Class uses their network to generate income. They realize that wealth is created by connecting with people and offering them a service or product of value. They build their income through referrals and connections.

It takes time, patience and persistence to create assets, networks and thus wealth. In most cases, if you are targeting a wealthy customer, then they will be of an older demographic because it takes time to accumulate the wealth. They take a long term view on their purchases and want a quality product that will last for years; a good value. They will pay more to get quality of materials and craftsmanship and are drawn to items that give them years of enjoyment (think durable). They will be drawn to classic style, not too trendy, but it must be of high quality.

When you sit down and think about the ideal customer for your business, try to identify how that customer relates to money and income and how that relates to the product or service you are offering. How does this wealth consciousness change your relationship with your customer? How do you need to position your business so that you are appealing to the wants, needs and desires of your ideal customer? Is your marketing strategy in need of adjustment?

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