|Shake up the Market - Buy Right and Sell at A Crazy Price|
Sometimes You Just Have to Shake Up the Market to Boost Up You Sales
A barber was having a hard time paying the rent. His normal hours started at 10:00. I suggested that working men can't come in between 10:00 and 5:00. Why not open at 7:00 and see what happens. He did and the results were instantaneous.
A bike shop was in a very competitive neighborhood, and he was tired of trying to compete on price. He decided to try staying open until midnight. He gathered a crowd that became very loyal.
A restaurant opened their doors and was underwhelmed with the response. So they blanketed the neighborhood with a flier that offered a free meal to anyone from Friday at 5:00 pm until Sunday at 7:00 pm. There was a line around the block practically the entire weekend. According to the owners, they never had to advertise again.
Another restaurant story. One of the most successful restaurants/diner in Los Angeles has a weekend once each year where they roll back prices to their opening week in the '50. It is a huge draw.
It is a marketing legend. We all took the taste test in the mall. Who would turn down free cookies. Mrs. Fields is still going strong decades later based on offering a small sample free.
Then there's the story of Two Buck Chuck. The Trader Joe's chain of local grocery stores did what they had done hundreds of times before. They carefully researched a single product, found one that was of excellent quality, but much lower than expected cost, and bought a bunch of it. The product became legendary.
What could you do that would be wild and crazy? Could you take a commodity product and offer it as a loss leader even for a day? Could you offer special hours to gain fans who otherwise find it hard to do business with you?
Remember Thrifty Drug Stores. An ice cream cone used to be 5¢. When? 1950? No, at least into the '70s. Later it went to 10¢. Kind of hard to not go in on a hot day and get that nickle cone.
What about service. Here was an inexpensive service touch that changed an industry. Who would have ever thought that urban housewives would be buying bulk pet food and kitty litter. They key to getting mom to stop buying 5 pounds of kitty litter or 3 cans of dog food at the grocery store? Have the staff at the pet shop carry the 25 pound bags and cases of food out to the car.
A Few Rules About Doing Something Wild and Crazy
The restaurant who had the free weekend. It had to be great food. $2 Chuck had to be good enough wine for the uppity West Los Angeles clients that formed the base of the Trader Joe empire. Staying open late or opening early. You will need a massive sign and other publicity. Call the paper.
And if your crazy price isn't crazy enough, the opportunity is lost. 50% off isn't going to get it unless it is 50% off the lowest price of a regularly discounted product. I can remember buying a years supply of Pepsi when it went on sale for 16¢ a can. Normally at that time it was around 35¢.
Let's walk through that one for a minute. Let's say that you can buy Pepsi wholesale for 20¢, and that normal retail is 30¢. You offer it for 15¢ in order to cause a stir and get traffic in the store. You sell 5000 cans and lose 5¢ on each can for a $250 total loss. Or maybe you sell 50,000 cans for a $2500 loss. How many folks will be walking through your store to get to those cans in order to move 50,000 cans. And yes, please make sure those cans or at the back of the store.
Keep in mind - Wild and Crazy. Your competitors have to say: "What? Is he crazy?