2:23 PM
A consignment shop in the University District had developed a reputation for being the "go-to" location for vintage clothing.  We're not talking about your standard second-hand shop here either.  They have a selection that is mind-bending and no, hallucinogens are not necessary.  Ranging from Gothic clothing, to Steampunk to classic 1970's era garments, the shop understands its clientele exquisitely and it shows in their merchandise. 

Knowing full well that they must still keep up with the times in order to maintain new customers while not sacrificing the quality of their merchandise, it was time to make some changes to their image.  They began with a quick logo redesign that suited them perfectly, they then asked us to revamp their social networking presence and from there, develop like-minded print materials they could give to customers in appreciation.  It worked for a number of reasons and it continues to work. 

They are not afraid to keep things "fresh" - which sounds like an oxymoron in their line of work, but the lessons learned from them are quite universal.

1.  Don't fear good change.
Not talking about the kind of "change" that's promised every election cycle and rarely delivered upon, but rather the kind of change that improves image and expands potential market share.  For example, a logo redesign that includes a new color scheme.  Let's face it - there is a reason NFL teams change so frequently...it's all about selling new merchandise.

2.  Be creative.
Creativity is at our very fingertips and being creative shows customers a desire to remain relevant and flexibility to meet their needs.  For retail, changing merchandising options is always beneficial if it meets the needs of customers.  A retail pharmacy often keeps their foot care products close to diabetic supplies.  Why?  Because people with diabetes often have problems with their feet.  Changing the colors of the displays, wearing funky outfits to work once a week can shake things up a little bit and cause staff members to think outside the proverbial box.

3.  Read, read, read.
Whether it be Mashable.com, retail merchandising sites, books from the library on marketing, sales and trade industry publications, the more good information that is taken in, the more sales will reflect.  Staying knowledgeable will give small businesses an advantage in the long run.

4.  Know your limitations.
Sounds simple enough, but many businesses fail when they expand their product or service line too quickly.  Also, if creativity is not a strong suit or negotiating vendor contracts is a weakness, never be afraid to contract with outside help.  We at Allure have a number of clients who ask us to do more than just printing, graphic design and social networking for them - we actually write, produce and negotiate electronic media buys for some of our clients who would rather do what they do best, than to spent countless hours on the phone trying to learn the "lingo."

5.  Build it, watch them come.
Increasing traffic is what business is all about.  Increasing revenues, hiring more staff, saving the environment, doing right by the public is why we do what we do and if we do it right, if we build our businesses on a firm foundation of common sense, creativity, quality products/services at the right price, clients will come.  And they will bring their friends.

If you desire assistance in any of these areas, we challenge you to keep it fresh by allowing us to help.  Contact us today.  services@allurenetworks.net