my mailing list


How to make every square inch pay

Virgin Media | Passion Brand.jpg

So many CEO’s I meet are under pressure to deliver growth, to find a way to build new, consistent, stable revenue streams. I thought it would help you if I tell you some basic principles that when combined will super-charge your retail spaces to the extent that you will see dramatic, consistent growth in your business. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but follow my advice and you will see growth.

  • Know what you are selling and to who

It may seem obvious, but you would be surprised how many businesses do not understand their product or what their customers need from them. Take a step back and think about this. Speak to your customers, understand why they come to you and what they expect from you. Then optimise your service offer to suit this.

  • Consider the customer journey at every opportunity

Before you create any space, focus your efforts on building a customer journey. This means, putting yourself in the mind of your customers, working out in every detail how your customer will interact with your product or service. Customer journey mapping will help you to craft every detail of your brands product and experience. They will also help you to plan any changes required in your infrastructure and technology

  • Do not create dancing bears

Many of you who follow my blog will know that I refer to dancing bears as pieces of technology that look great, but have no purpose. Ask yourself some tough questions before you deploy any technology:

- Does it work and will it work under stress?

- Does it add to the customer experience?

- Will customers actually use it, or have we fabricated use case?

- Is it there for a reason and what is that reason?

- Do we have the content developers to feed the digital beast, keeping content updated

  • Communicate in simple language that customers understand

Always keep your messages simple and remember, you are not the only message in a customers mind. Your customers will remember three or four things about your product or service. Make sure that what they remember is what you want them to remember

  • Always have a service mind

In a competitive business, a smile, the personal touch, a genuine interest in your customers needs and how best to serve these will not only win you customers, but will retain them. Always be forgiving, always care and always go the extra mile to ensure your customers feel appreciated

  • Learn, teach and sell

Every high performance retail space needs to be designed around three simple principles. First of all, you need to learn from your customers, secondly, you have to teach your customers and thirdly you need to sell to your customers. Think about these principles when you are building your retail offer. Think, how am I going to learn teach and sell and what kind of tools - and people - do I need to get the most from these principles... and remember, sellers may not be the best teachers. Optimise your people to suit the space, put sellers in the sell zone, put teachers in the teach zone and put listeners in the learn zone.

  • Build in convenience - define a why

Customer need a reason to visit your store. Particularly if you are a bank or a telecom operator. Many of the services these sectors offer are available online so as a retailer, you - the brand owner - have to build in a reason for your customer to visit your store. By getting to know your customer better, using data and building a personal relationship, you can evolve your offer to the extent that customers have a reason to visit you.

  • Iterate

Never fear change. Nothing stays still for long and you should always be watching, listening and learning how your customers use your space. Regularly ask yourselves ‘how can we improve what we do?’ Don’t only think it, do it too.