How To Use Your Physical Business to Win More Local Customers
Something that I’ve been noticing lately is that many businesses don’t use their physical space as a way to draw attention inward. Why not?
I’m going to share relevant examples to help you get creative and start bringing more excited business your way.
Local Business Needs Local Customers
Every business with a physical location should be using this location to draw eyeballs.
Think about the brands that you’re passionate about. You’re excited about buying their products or consuming their services.
Showing your brand’s personality and community involvement through your physical location is an easy way to stay too-of-mind with local shoppers. These are likely the people that make up most of your business, and also some of the people to look right past you!
A nail salon could create a giant, painted nail in front of their store. This could serve as a billboard that constantly rotates in colour and design. They could put jokes, sayings, and/or specials on this work of art.
A pizza place could have a fake pizza oven out front with a live pizza-making demonstration. They could give out pizza boxes at the stop sign in front of the store. Some of those people who stopped could be delighted with a free pizza. Heck, they could offer slices for sale on certain days of the week to get new customers acquainted with their recipe.
Are you a restaurant that lives on dine-in traffic? What would shake things up at your business for those driving by to see? Temporary patios? Free samples of your most popular pastas like they’re at Costco could do the trick! Take it a step further with a food truck propped up like it’s going off-roading or a “what noodle are you?” social station for pedestrians to interact with.
Realtor? Whether you have a physical brokerage office or not: stop putting your faces on garbage cans. I honestly don’t know the ROI on this, but from consulting with Realtors: it seems low and laughable. The “fake smile” billboards have an impact for some, and not for others; when they have the balance of frequency correct in order to avoid becoming annoying.
So: use the space of your brokerage or media in a way that encourages home buyers and sellers to interact with you. Set up an “Ask Me Anything” station where you’ll answer real estate questions at no cost, with no commitment. The world of real estate is intimidating to many and those answers, that value you’re giving out: that’s what makes people trust you and do business with you.
Think about what you can give or show to demonstrate what your business is all about.
Car Dealerships Can Revive the Boring Old Auto Mall
Many dealerships have been around, in the same location, for many years. They’ve become fixtures of their streets that locals drive by all the time and rarely think twice about.
It doesn’t need to be this way!
If your lots are empty: use them to draw attention to your store! While a bouncy castle for the neighbourhood might be too much of a liability, a remote control car-racing station could be a unique way to use space. Let customers and non-customers alike use the cars and encourage them to tag you in social posts with a branded selfie station.
If your lots are full: change them into something your market won’t expect to see. Point vehicles “head-to-head” and encourage users to vote on which one is better/faster/etc. using digital or in-person votes.
Put attention-grabbing objects in the bed of trucks and gave them towards traffic. We truly are in-need of the next “wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube man” object. I’m not against giant inflatable (temporary) figures. Maybe that means a life-size inflatable of one of your team members, but doing something real, charming, and fun. Think about how you could make the opposite of the boring and tired Realtor billboards.
At FlexDealer, we have been working with one of our dealership clients to create a “Ford Smoothie” smoothie station. Think: lemonade stand. They’re on one of the busiest streets in their city but haven’t been leveraging their physical space to their advantage. Not anymore!
They’re now looking into a Beavertails (think Canadian Elephant Ears, if you’re south of the border) truck to have at their car show and on a weekend to draw foot traffic to the store with sweet and free treats for locals. I don’t know about you, but I can always make time to stop for free delicious treats!
Today, I encourage you to think about where your business is located, what type of traffic it gets, and how you could stop eyeballs on you. How you could inject a physical reminder of your presence into your business’s storefront to avoid become lost in the background.
Be authentic. Be fun. Be different. Be true to your brand and voice.
Business doesn’t need to be boring. I promise.