MacDonald’s? Convenience store?

How does the following sound to you?

All Nighter?

Home Run?

Lifesaver?

Early Riser?

Quite interesting, hey?

(And forget the sexual connotations here! These are not my words, nor do they refer to condoms! )

 Now what you would expect, is for the menu board to be put up behind the cashier and you can order your “home run” directly from her. Rather like when you go to Kentucky Fried Chicken or MacDonald’s. I will have two home runs, and one life saver on the go please!
Wrong!   And even more wrong…

How do we manage to take a nice interesting take on generating customer interest in our promotions and then execute it so poorly? I drove to two sites in this network just to check that it might have been the dealer on the first one that had misinterpreted it so poorly. But no such luck – the second store was even worse than the first.

Ok so picture this. The customer walks into the store, walks to the fridge, gets his drink, and collects some chips on the way back to the paypoint. On that whole journey through the store, he did not see any of the specials. Why? The “menu” for the specials was hanging in the window on the left hand side of the door as you enter! So it was effectively behind the customers’ back the whole time he was in the store! His journey throughout the store meant that he did not even get to see it once – until perhaps on his way out of the store – and we all know that is a complete waste of time and money!

And in the second store? The poster was in the same position, facing into the store on the left hand side of the door as you enter. BUT on the way to the fridges, there was a gondola end with these specials displayed. Guess how they were displayed – I am still shaking my head, but at least the dealer was trying – each special had been bound together with a brown rubber band! And then plonked down on the gondola end alongside a picture of each of the specials!  You have to hand it to the dealer for trying, but boy oh boy it looked just awful.

And besides the looks, once again the same basic errors were made. Firstly there are just too many specials at any one time. On top of these four specials the two stores were also advertising something to do with soccer. Things in this regard were hanging from the ceiling. In a small store these look particularly dreadful. And of course the confederation cup has ended….

Who is going to buy a warm cool drink on special – they want it cold out of the fridges. So we need to stop putting these on gondola ends – unless of course we just want to fill up shelf space or you intend selling case lots of the goods.

All these specials were valid for one month – that is 30 days. If you saw the same special on in any other retail store for more than a day or at best a week – would you see it is a special?? Of course not, that becomes the value of the product in the subconscious mind of our customers.  So that means – no special.

Lastly but by no means the least. These specials were bundles of products, none of which in my view (or that of my teenage children), implied any value to me. Be that as it may – we are expecting the customer to unravel what goes with what –to make up that special – hence the dealer in the second store taking plain brown rubber bands and tying the products up into bundles!

There could not be a more simple way of stating the obvious in the second store – these special bundles are confusing and difficult to comprehend in a split second walking through a convenience store. Rubber bands are not the answer!

Take care out there, speak to you again soon

Jocelyn Daly

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