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Brainstorms

Try to Create Some Retailing Folklore

OK, so you know the story.

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“AND NORDSTROM refunded the cost of a set of tires ….” Yawn. OK, so you know the story. (An Alaska Nordstrom was housed in a former tire store, so the man had, technically, purchased the tires in that location.) What’s important here is not whether it’s a fresh tale or that it’s even true. (Nordstrom insists it is.) What matters is that it’s now part of American retail folklore, a tireless generator of goodwill capital. This year, create your own legend with one outlandish, cost-be-damned act of customer service — trudge through the snow on Christmas Day to hand-deliver a rescue pup to an orphan … It doesn’t have to become standard operating procedure. Be sure the press finds out — second-hand, of course.

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 14 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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Brainstorms

Force Some Perspective on Yourself

Like maybe similar to this Walgreens executive?

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The wall street journal ran a story a while back about a Walgreens executive who donned vision-blurring glasses, slipped un-popped popcorn into his shoes and taped his thumbs to his palms as part of an exercise designed to help his company better understand the physical challenges facing elderly shoppers. Could you do something similar in your business? The number of adults aged 65 and older will reach 71.5 million people by 2030, twice their number in 2000 and representing nearly 20 percent of the population. This is a market that’s coming to you soon.

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Brainstorms

Set Up Worlds to Collide

The big believer in “collisions”…

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Tony Hsieh, the entrepreneur who found fame and (additional) fortune with his shoe company Zappos, is a big believer in “collisions,” serendipitous encounters where workers randomly run into each other and share ideas. He recently told Entrepreneur magazine he’d even shut down a bridge linking his office’s parking garage to force workers to walk through a common area before they could get to their offices. Your staff may not be so large, but could you shake things up to spark similar innovation? Occasionally get a groomer out on the salesfloor, encourage sales staff to have lunch with employees they don’t normally spend much time with, ask a new employee to review your procedures after their first two weeks.

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Brainstorms

Invite Your Customers to Play Magic Google 8-Ball

The prize: a $200 gift certificate.

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Ask your customers to post the comment “I love [your business name]” on any social media. On a given date, you’ll shake the “Magic Google 8-Ball” by searching “I love [business name],” and the author of the first one you find will win a $200 gift certificate. Tell your customers there is no limit to where or how many they post.

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