Nowadays, we are all looking for added value and if we can’t see it, we’re walking away. More and more store owners a closing their doors early because they can’t find ways to drive more sales. Starbucks stores in Seattle (yes, Seattle…the birthplace of Starbucks!) are closing earlier each day because people just are not buying coffee. The answer is staring them in their face. Add value. You don’t even have to lower the price of something to add value to it. Here is five things I would do before resorting to shutting the doors early. 1. Rewards. Buy 5 coffees, get one free. That’s essentially taking about 35 cents off each drink but will actually drive more sales than simply lowering your prices. Why? Added value. 2. Live jazz nights. If your store has to close at a certain time because you have no customers…make that time THE time to be there. Find some local, undiscovered talent and let them play in your cafe. They get the free play time and can sell their garage-band album and you get to give your customers the awesome atmosphere. It’ll sell. Why? Added Value 3. Education and Diversification. Don’t forget your other products.Teach your customer’s how to make Starbucks-Style Caramel Macchiatos in their own home and then you can sell them the machines, beans and syrups. When they realize they can make their favorite drink at half the price, they’ll love you. Why? Added Value 4. Fun Friday, Cheap Tuesday, Mad Monday…call it what you want. If you really want to lower your prices, this is the only time a sale will add value to a product. You pick a day, give it a fancy name and create an event out of it. Put up streamers if you feel like it and get your staff to wear a funny hat. You could also do this as a ‘After 6pm’ deal, too. 5. Finally, combine them all. On Tuesday night, after 6pm, drinks are half price and you can enjoy the music of local band XYZ while we teach you how to make cappuccinos. Buy five drinks on the night and get one for free. The moral? If you’re a customer, keep looking for that added value and if you can’t see it, ask for it. If you’re a store owner, make your competition irrelevant by adding more value and giving your customers an excuse to buy from you and not the next guy.
Google’s unofficial motto, “Don’t be Evil,” seems to shine as a light in the darkness of an otherwise seflish and…well, ‘evil’ world.
It is interesting to note that in a time when moral values seems to take on a more personal (read: ‘postmodern,’ read: ‘bias’) meaning, the word ‘evil’ could have several different definitions.
One thing is for sure; almost everyone is against it. At least, everyone is against their own view of evil. If only we could agree on what that is.
During the winter holidays, I spent some time in what would probably be considered one of the best ski resorts in Australia. I use that term loosely because I would also suggest the title ‘best ski resort in Australia’ would have more to do with the lack of ski resorts and less to do with how good this resort actually is. Every building I saw could be aptly described as a claustrophobic, 70’s rerun and gave me an overwhelming sense that I was getting dirty just looking at it…and this was the best Australia had to offer? The only thing of any quality came from the hand of God and that was the mountain itself.
I wondered why no one else seemed to notice. Have we become so desperate that we are willing to accept the first offer we are given with no thought to what we are actually paying for (or if it is even worth it)?
I am not talking about haggling with a shopkeeper to get the best price for a pair of shoes or that nice purse that you would buy right now if it were only $5 cheaper. This is about raising the bar across the board and letting the owners and proprietors of shops, hotels, cafes, restaurants and ski resorts know that we are not going to settle for paying a high premium for lower than average products and services. I don’t expect everywhere I go to charge obscenely cheap prices but I would like to see some value equal to the price that I am paying.
By the end of my aforementioned ski holiday, I came to one conclusion and I would like to challenge you with this question: If you walk into a café, hotel, or ski resort and think to yourself, ‘I could have done this better.’ Why the hell would you give them your money? After all, these guys are supposed to be the pro’s!
I know what you’re thinking; you may not have a choice. I didn’t have too much choice of where to ski after driving for six hours to get there, but I DO have a choice of where I will go next year!
I would like to think of myself as a down-to-earth kind of person and as such I appreciate good value and I hate that feeling you get when you are dealing with cash mongering, money grabbers who care for nothing other than their own profit margin.
Out of a sense of duty, I will shop elsewhere.