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Brainstorms

Swap a Staff Member for a Week

It creates more exposure.

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Consider a temporary staff-exchange with a non-competing store or with a complementary business. (You could also “lend” an employee to a store in a resort area for its high season). Shaking things up nearly always yields benefits, as you and your staff are exposed to new ideas and new ways of doing business.

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 11 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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JIM ACKERMAN

Very Few Pet Businesses Do This With Their Ads … But You Definitely Should

Testing and tracking your ads can make a huge difference in the ROI that you get, says marketing specialist Jim Ackerman. But very few pet businesses take the proper steps to run successful ad campaigns. Here, Ackerman shows an example of what effective testing looks like.

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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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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.

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Brainstorms

Pick a Rhyme, Any Rhyme

It increases ‘processing fluency.’

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WE RECENTLY READ a 7,000-word profile in The New Yorker on five-time world snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, whose similarly named father made a small fortune running sex shops in London. “Ron’s the name and porn’s the game,” he would tell anyone he met. That was one of the few details we remember from that long, long story. A recent study from Lafayette College reveals it’s not just us. Rhymes increase “processing fluency.” As a result, people not only remember rhymes better than other clutches of language, but also perceive rhyming statements as both more truthful and more persuasive. “PETS+ is the name, actionable advice is our game …” What could yours be?

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