I had a rather frustrating shopping expedition at the weekend. I won’t name names as that would be unkind…but I will use my experience as an example of how impactful seemingly inconsequential decisions can be on your small business’s brand.
I popped out, in a bit of a rush, to buy a birthday present for a last minute party my little girl had been invited to. I decided, because I like to shop local whenever possible, to head to a local high street and visit an independent toy/book shop.
Oh no. I spotted the handwritten “back in ten minutes” sign hanging on the door. Now sometimes I have 10 minutes, and sometimes I don’t. On this occasion I didn’t.
I walked away empty handed, muttering a little under my breath. As I did this I noticed a multitude of ‘shop local’ logos in the window, and a blackboard written with the statement “Pop in! Handmade, unusual toys you won’t find elsewhere!”
Talk about sprinkle salt in the wound.
Now I’ve no doubt that the toy shop owner has quite literally popped out for 10 minutes…she’s not off swanning around, pleasing herself. She probably works incredibly long hours, and is keeping staff overheads down by working solo in the shop too. She’s probably thinking that 10 minutes is nothing, that she simply needs a break, and if she misses a sale or two it’s not the end of the world. Customers will understand, they’ll be back.
Now I might go back…because I really am dedicated to shopping local. But others aren’t, and won’t. It’s too easy to go somewhere else, to visit a retail park mega store, a super market, or buy on Amazon. “Back in ten minutes” says that you don’t value your customers. It goes completely against the ‘brand’ you are trying to create, a helpful, local business that puts customer care first and REALLY values its customers.
Every single action you take is a building block in your brand story. Customers believe what they see, not simply what you tell them. What do you want them to see?
If you’d like help creating your story get in touch [email protected]