by DW Green — December 30, 2010Reflecting on the year that just was, I learned to appreciate the gift of life. I learned the gift that a blessing can be, the doors it can open, the healing and transfiguration it can bring. When we bless, we work from a place of inner vision, clearer than our hearts, brighter than our minds. Blessing is the art of harvesting the wisdom of the invisible world. From day to day it offers us new gifts.With this blessing by John O’Donohue, I’d like to wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.A Blessing At The End of The YearAs this year draws to its end,
We give thanks for the gifts it brought
And how they became inlaid within
Where neither time nor tide can touch them.The days when the veil lifted
And the soul could see delight;
When a quiver caressed the heart
In the sheer exuberance of being here.Surprises that came awake
In forgotten corners of old fields
Where expectation seemed to have
quenched.The slow, brooding times
When all was awkward
And the wave in the mind
Pierced every sore with salt.The darkened days that stopped
The confidence of the dawn.Days when beloved faces shone brighter
With light from beyond themselves;
And from the granite of some secret sorrow
A stream of buried tears loosened.We bless this year for all we learned,
For all we loved and lost.
And for th...read more
by webmaster — December 23, 2010Within two weeks we’ll begin seeing TV ads for 1.800.flowers and websites promoting the sale of home delivered roses for Valentine’s Day.Since every Walgreens, CVS, Wal-Mart, SuperTarget—even Home Depot—will be promoting Valentine’s Day as well, what are you planning to do to make an impression with your customers and sell some Valentine’s Day products?Did your Valentine’s Day 2010 set new sales records? What are you planning to do differently in 2011 for Valentine’s Day?Valentine’s Day is perhaps the easiest holiday to plan for. It also offers the most “upside” selling opportunities for supermarkets. Why not plan a Valentine’s Day event on Saturday, February 12th and have a record week?Some ideas to consider for Valentine’s Day 2011 include:
- Brand your Valentine’s Day event and publicize the event in late January. Give it a name. One of our customers calls their event “Sweetheart Affair: An Affair to Remember.” Start with a great name for your event and go from there.
- Set the stage for romance. That’s a tough order in a supermarket, but you should position the event properly in your marketing materials (e.g. print ads, in-store bag stuffers, website mentions, and e-blast invites).
- Set up an area in your store for gift giving tips, beyond the normal flowers and boxed chocolates
by DW Green — December 16, 2010Positioning is one of my favorite topics. Positioning is KEY to differentiating your brand from your competitors. The most dangerous competitors are those that are most like you. And the best way to separate yourself from your competition is to own a distinct market “position.”In talking about positioning, marketers and agency folks define it in different ways. It’s the story you want to imprint in people’s minds about your store and why it’s better, the solution your store is offering to address buyers’ problems, the bundle of attributes and benefits you want to tell people about, or simply your unique selling proposition—the reason consumers should shop your store rather than someone else’s. It’s highly advantageous for a company to stand for something important, to be remembered for something significant. To have a powerful positioning is clearly a good thing.A positioning tells a customer what a brand stands for, what the brand believes in, and what the brand can deliver. It gives the buyer a reason for trying the brand once, and coming back to shop there over and over again. An effective positing offers a company the opportunity to both defend and attack. It helps a company retain existing customers by giving them a constant reminder of why they shop with you, while providing protection from competitive onslaughts. And it helps break the gravitational force a competitor’s brand has on your customers; it gives consumers a rationale for moving from that ...read more
by webmaster — December 3, 2010For two decades, there have been “New Resident” programs available to supermarkets. For the most part, the programs included:
- Mining a list of residents “new” to an assigned marketing area.
- Mailing (direct mail/US Mail) a letter or packet from the supermarket, welcoming the new resident with a preformatted “welcome” letter from the store manager/owner along with some special offers to encourage repeat visits.
- In some cases, tracking the response rates of redeemed offers to determine who isn’t responding to the initial offer.
- In the case of a new resident not responding, determining if an alternate offer should be mailed.
- First, a warning about some of the new resident lists that some companies offer: be aware of the sources from which these “new residents'” addresses and names are mined. During the 1990s, for example, most “new residents'” addresses came from those who had physically moved into new homes or apartments in a defined ...read more
by DW Green — November 24, 2010During this week of Thanksgiving, I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude for your friendship and for your support of our Idea of the Week. Too often, I take for granted the relationships that God has so graciously given to me. The gift of friendship is what provides meaning and purpose in my life. So thank you.I’d like to acknowledge each of you for your contributions to your peers, to your employees, to your customers, to your suppliers and vendors, and to the communities in which you serve. In the busyness of living, we often forget to acknowledge ourselves for the acts of kindness and generosity that we give to one another without hesitation or expectation of receiving anything in return.I’m thankful and grateful for the many, many blessings that bring delight, magic, love, joy, peace and connection into my everyday, ordinary life.“Whatever our individual troubles and challenges may be, it’s important to pause every now and then to appreciate all that we have, on every level. We need to literally ‘count our blessings,’ give thanks for them, allow ourselves to enjoy them, and relish the experience of prosperity we already have.” — Shakti GawainHappy Thanksgiving!DW Green
Founder and President/CEO...read more
by DW Green — November 5, 2010Earlier this year, I visited a wonderful supermarket chain in the southwest. It is an excellent supermarket company, with beautiful and well-merchandised facilities. Since it was going to be my first visit, I did some advance research about the company. In doing so, I learned that the business was committed to, among many things, delivering exceptional customer service and exceeding customer expectations.So you can imagine my surprise when the first thing I saw before walking into the store was a large sign announcing the store’s security cameras, the penalty for shoplifting, and a warning about the $25 fee for returned checks. I can tell you that the sign didn’t make me feel too good about the store, or myself. I imagine that from a legal perspective it is wise, perhaps even necessary, to warn the public in advance about these types of policies and procedures, but it doesn’t set the stage for a warm and welcoming shopping experience.Store signage can have a significant impact on a business. Signs set the tone for customer visits and the employees’ work atmosphere. Their appearance, placement and word-choice make a lasting impression. Signage also sends a strong message to customers about whether or not a company cares about them and their business.A storewide signage audit can identify any customer-unfriendly signs that require modification. For example, you may want to:
- Take off any “no” or “don’t” messages that appear in your signage. ...read more
by DW Green — October 28, 2010I’m passionate about product and service guarantees. Offering a satisfaction guarantee seems pretty basic to me, though many retailers do not embrace them. As you know, a guarantee is a promise or assurance that a company will stand behind the quality of the products it sells or the services it performs. Guarantees build trust and loyalty with consumers. In a sense, a guarantee is a company’s commitment to the wellbeing of its customers. Wow, what an intriguing approach to serving the customer; imagine a conscious intention by company leaders to enhance the wellbeing of their customers5 Reasons Why A Guarantee Works 1. It pushes the entire company to focus on the customer’s definition of good products/service, not an executive’s assumption.
2. It sets clear performance standards, which boosts employee performance and morale.
3. It generates reliable data (through payouts) when performance is poor.
4. It forces an organization to examine its entire service-delivery system for possible failure points.
5. It builds customer loyalty, sales and market share.So what makes a good guarantee? It is: unconditional, easy to understand and communicate, meaningful, easy and painless to invoke, and easy and quick to collect on.Cheating. Fear of customers cheating is a big hurdle for some when considering whether or not to offer guarantees. Sure, there will be cheats—the handful of customers who take advantage of a guarantee to get something for nothing. What they co...read more
by webmaster — October 21, 2010I think that one of the most difficult challenges in the supermarket industry is trying to change the “stripes” a store has developed over many years. By “stripes” I mean trying to shed the reputation that a store is dark, dirty, dumpy, poorly stocked and poorly serviced into something different. The adage “putting lipstick on a pig” might be a fair analogy. Consumers have etched in their minds what the store will deliver and it’s virtually impossible to change that impression.At the other extreme, the challenge can be equally difficult. Can you imagine trying to re-brand a store that earned the reputation of being an extremely high priced, even out-of-reach store, with a sales foundation of specialty items catering to the occasional shopper?Most major cities in America have one of these store groups. The finest quality meat, deli, bakery and specialty items at outrageously expensive prices, and a center store that simply never gets shopped. Some have chandeliers, expensive artwork showcased throughout the store, mahogany fixtures, Italian slate floors and even water features.Back to the extreme challenge…we have a customer here in our hometown of Phoenix that took this challenge on. A local chain, AJ’s Fine Foods, is a collection of small stores (16,000 to 25,000 square feet) that cater to those seeking the very best quality at any price. How...read more
by webmaster — October 15, 2010Good Food Market is an independent, family-owned grocery store offering customers a whole new way to shop for and think about food. Owners Darin and Valerie Hill are truly passionate about giving shoppers a unique grocery shopping experience, and it’s evident in everything from the exciting product assortment to the innovative store decor. Check it out! Good Food Market is open 7 days a week in the Fulton Ranch Promenade at Chandler Heights and Alma School Road....read more