From a branding and design perspective there are more things than I can count that wrong with this ad that I saw recently in a local magazine. Literally it made this Joy girl’s skin crawl. Yet what struck me as being the MOST out of place is that a nail spa is giving away free lottery tickets! Which got me thinking, there are definitely guidelines to follow as a boutique business owner when developing a promotion.
Keep these 3 small business strategies in mind when planning a promotional plan:
1) Be relevant – just because your clients value something, doesn’t mean it’s the appropriate incentive to generate traffic. While I may love playing the lottery (which for the record I don’t), something about playing the lottery while getting my nails done or even anywhere near the same vicinity feels a bit ‘off’ to me. While everyone in town may be raving about a new, hip restaurant or clothing boutique, it doesn’t mean you should offer a gift certificate to that place of business as an incentive to drive traffic to your business. Make the incentive you’re offering about YOUR business….not someone else’s. A better choice for the nail salon would have been to say Complimentary upgrade to a deluxe pedicure this week – a $25 value.
2) Add value and don’t discount – rather than relying on discounts to generate traffic (aka BIG SALE – $50 off your session this month) instead protect your profit margins by offering something additional of value. For example, offer a set of holiday cards for all September sessions. While you may charge $125 for a set of holiday cards, they really only cost you $25, thus protecting your profits and your luxury brand. To learn more about how discounting devalues your brand, read The Boutique Experience, our free eBook.
3) Be unique – if you pride yourself being different and that’s why your clients come to you, then your promotions can’t be run of the mill either. Don’t fall into the trap of running promotion after promotion that is just like what every other retail business is offering.