Great info on the topic of Sounds for getting work done. Hope you enjoy it. Best BarbaraThe right kind of sound can relax your mind, hone your focus, drown out distractions, or get you pumped to kill your to-do list. We've assembled some research and free resources to help you create your own best workspace soundtrack. Read More ….
Survey: America’s favourite stores are…
Thought you might be interested in this information:A regional department store, a warehouse giant, a discount supermarket and an online powerhouse rank among the nation’s favorite retailers.That's according to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, which rates consumers’ satisfaction across six retail industries. The report found that satisfaction with the overall retail trade rise 4.7% in 2016 to a score of 78.3 (on a 100-point scale) an all-time high for the sector.Dillard's was tops among the 15 companies surveyed in the department and discount store category. It received a score of 83 out of a possible 100, up 4% from the previous year. J.C. Penney Co. Inc. took second place with a score of 82, and also had the largest increase from the previous year, up 11%.Nordstrom was the only department store to deteriorate in customer satisfaction, slipping 2% into a three-way tie with Dollar Tree and Belk at 80.Customer satisfaction with Walmart rose 9% as the company's renewed attention to customer service via "holiday helpers" to expedite checkout lines and aid shoppers paid off. Despite the ACSI gain, however, Walmart continues to anchor the low end of the industry with an ACSI score of 72.The supermarkets sector was led by Trader Joe’s, with a score of 86, followed by Publix at 84 and Aldi, H-E-B and Wegmans at 83. Whole Foods climbs 11% to 81, ahead of Hy-Vee, Kroger and ShopRite (all 79). Meijer matches Target at 78, followed by Bi-Lo (+4% to 77).Costco led the specialty retail category, with a score of 83, followed by Sam’s Club, L Brands, and Barnes & Noble, all at 81.Home Depot rose 10% to 80, ahead of Lowe’s (79) for the first time, as well as Menards (79). Ascena, which recently acquired Ann Taylor, makes its debut at 78 and ties with two pet supply stores: Petco and PetSmart. Best Buy, Big Lots and Toys “R” Us follow at 77. Abercrombie & Fitch improved the most, up 17%, but remains last at 76.In the online category Amazon continues to hold first place, advancing 4% to 86 amid a strong holiday season, followed by Newegg at 83 and eBay at 81.The ACSI report, which is based on 12,515 customer surveys collected in the fourth quarter of 2016, is available for free download here.
Since visuals continue to drive customer engagement all small businesses need to take advantage of the selfie phenomenon. Sharing these types of photos can help a company connect its brand identity to customers. How can you use selfies in your marketing strategy?According to Research this word has been around since 2004 when the selfie hashtags first appeared on Twitter. Taking this type of self-portrait became easier when in 2010, Apple introduced a front facing camera on its iPhone.Since visuals continue to drive customer engagement all small businesses need to take advantage of the selfie phenomenon. Sharing these types of photos can help a company connect its brand identity to customers. How can you use selfies in your marketing strategy? Show personality. Customers traditionally rank authenticity as a top trait they seek when doing business with any company. Selfies by their very nature are personal. Their content usually says a lot about the people who work at the company. They are much more effective for connecting to customers than posed photographs. For example, a selfie of employees at the office or a related event can be a powerful message that says, “We like to work here, and we support the company’s mission.” Become human. It is much easier to connect with a person than an abstract concept like a company. Posting employee selfies shows that there are real people behind the brand. This helps create a powerful emotional connection for anyone considering the company’s product. Customers value transparency, and selfies can accomplish this. Remember, prospects buy from whom they know, like and trust. Selfies can strengthen these factors. Give social proof. When customers post selfies with a company’s product, this is the social proof or recommendation that other prospects crave. It acts as a perfect advertisement, since it's not from the company. Logically, customers do not pose with products they do not like. Share a laugh. Humor can be used to promote almost any brand, and funny photos have a greater chance of spreading around the Web. Ask employees and customers to ham it up when they are in front of a camera. Encourage customers to submit selfies by having a contest and rewarding them with prizes. Tie these photos to a Twitter or Instagram hashtag or have a specific Facebook page or Pinterest board for the contest. The selfie risk. Pictures can get posted that a company doesn’t want associated with its brand. While you can edit selfies posted to your company's site and social media pages, you can't control what other people are posting to their sites. Your best defense is to be aware of what's out there. Wishing you every success.
"If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. Everything must be made as simple as possible. But not simpler."
You must read this terrific list of quotes from Einstein. ...Not the most flattering pic of him -but- who cares its Albert Einstein! ...You'll see what I mean.
Uniqlo: Japanese fast-fashion retailer is working with a broker to open Canadian stores
Uniqlo's choice of American locations can be considered an indication of what it wants in Canada: prime retail space on busy streets and in prominent malls. Expect large Canadian Uniqlo flagships, as well as some smaller mall-based stores. However, its cautious American expansion foreshadows what's in store for Canada, at least in the short term, as only a handful of American cities see multiple Uniqlo locations. This will change, eventually, as Uniqlo's goal is to become the world's top-selling fashion retailer. We'll explain why Uniqlo stores will open in many Canadian markets over the next several years, and we'll then discuss some of its most likely Canadian locations.
Sources inform us that Uniqlo is talking to Canada's largest mall landlords as its searches for Canadian retail space. In March, the Financial Post reported that Uniqlo was in talks to open a 35,000 square foot space at Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Toronto and Vancouver are ideal cities for the Japanese retailer: both see exceptionally high retail sales, large Asian populations, and considerable Uniqlo brand awareness. Other desirable markets include Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary, and possibly Ottawa and Winnipeg, as the company continues expanding.
You've got to read this! ...
Building Email Newsletters with SNAP Retail
I know that email newsletters are a great way to build trust and relationships and if they include promotional content, they’ll also grow revenue. So an excellent marketing tool! The key is to make sure your subscribers actually read them. Here are 5 tips for making sure your email newsletters get opened, read, and acted upon.
Create Relevant Subject Lines
Most people go through their inbox at least once a day to remove irrelevant email. There's just too much email and too little time so it's critical for your emails have a subject line that makes people want to read more. People are looking for an excuse to delete your newsletter - don't give them one! Don't use a subject line like "Our February Newsletter." Instead, use something that grabs attention like an interesting topic.
The following 13 subject lines ought to inspire:
Our Valentine to You: Take $5 Off an Upcoming Event!
Clogged Pipes Aren’t Romantic. Take $50 off Rotor Rooter Services
Join Us for 7 Days of Love in February
Your Soundtrack for Valentine’s Day
50 Sexy Books to Get You in the Mood (for Valentine’s Day)
♥ Happy Valentine’s Day ♥ Just for you…
Got a Coffee Crush? Your 20% Offer is Waiting
A Unique Valentine’s Day Gift She Won’t Expect
Your Anti-Valentine’s Day Agenda
A perfect meal for your sweetheart
Score points with your Valentine!
6 Ways to Make This Valentine’s Day One to Remember
If you'd like to encourage people to forward your emails, try this: I always recommend adds "Pls. Forward" to the end of their newsletter subject lines. Don’t make your subject lines too long, and don’t use acronyms in an effort to make them shorter, this is a sure-fire way to get your email deleted!
Length and Frequency of your newsletter
The more frequent your newsletter, the shorter it should be. People will happily open a short "Joke of the Day"; but almost no one wants to get something longer every single day! So, keep dailies to a page or less and weeklies to 5-7 pages or less. Biweeklies (every two weeks) and monthlies can be longer – but only if you have truly fascinating information to share.
Make it Easy on the Eyes
Here are two easy tricks to make your email newsletters more visually appealing and more likely to be read:
See how it will look as you create the content: When you are writing a newsletter, set your word processing program so you are writing in the same format that will appear on recipient's screen.
Always add a hyperlinked table of contents at the top. On-screen readers don't want to work hard to find pieces of valuable information in your newsletter. Tell them up-front what will be in it so they can click or scroll quickly to the section of their choice. In fact usability studies show most people won't look beyond the first screen of information if there's not something immediately interesting to them. Give them a reason to scroll down!
Tone and Attitude
Every brand has its own tone and manner, which is adapted to various contexts - formal for official documents with legal implications, more casual and direct for promotional materials. While print newsletters tend toward the formal, email newsletters do not. The best email marketers in the world, no matter what industry they are in - say the same thing: make your newsletter's tone personal and casual. People want to see a little humanity behind the corporate mask and respond better to newsletters written by one particular person at a company who they can get to know over time through little personal comments in the emails. It is sometimes hard to get used to writing in a casual tone for an official communication. It can feel risky, even scary. But chances are it will work far better than old fashioned "corporate-speak."
A Good Idea
Your best resource is your own email inbox. Take an hour in the next day or so to go on the Web and sign up for some newsletters. Start with your top competitors', but also choose a few on your favorite hobby or topics you’re interested in. Look for good ideas you can use; note what makes you open an email (or delete without reading); form an opinion on what formats are easiest on your eyes; consider the tone. You'll be surprised at all the ideas you'll end up with, often from the most unlikely sources. Let me know how you're doing. Love to hear from you! BestBarbara
How to Build Professional Window Displays...A Few Great Tips
Have you ever tried to persuade someone who wasn’t really listening? It doesn’t work.People only have so much attention to give. Show a customer one product and you’re dealing with 100% of their attention. Show them two products and you’ve got only half as much attention on each. That’s called splitting attention. And the more products you add, the worse the math. Some store owners violate this principle hoping that something in the window will catch the eye. In practice, however, the normal result is to catch nothing at all. So little attention is available for any given item, the average passer by sees nothing at all.On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with grouping related products together and selling them as a package.
Mask Distractive Background
What else can the customer see through your window? If they can see into the store, you must ask yourself if this is going to enhance the overall effect or detract. Depending on the setting, this could go either way.If viewing above and around the display is distractive, if it looks cluttered, use a backdrop of some sort to wall off distractions. Cover the background panel in fabric or display vinyl. This could be a large panel, or even fire-resistant seamless photography paper.
Keep It Clean
A dirty or dusty window display lowers not only perceived value of the product, but also the integrity and control of store management. Five minutes with a feather duster can make a huge difference. Window glass is best cleaned before the display is done, using a solution of clear ammonia and water. Wipe edges with clean paper towels or newspapers.
Present The Correct Quantity
Now that you’ve selected an item and limited distractions, you need to decide how many products to put on display. This decision may pivot on price. Generally speaking the less involved the customer is in the purchase of the item, the more you may want to display a volume of the items on display. For example, a potato does not require a lot of thought on the part of a buyer, whereas an expensive watch does. So display only one of the watch, but offer potatoes in a huge pile.
Get your items off the ground. To put something on a pedestal or platform is to glorify it. Remember the old idiom about putting someone on a pedestal. You can cover a box in velvet or display felt, buy a plastic column from a display supply, or use a table. Never place items on the floor in a display. Make it special. Elevate.
The use of signage in a window display gives the chance to reinforce the purpose if tasteful and clever. You want your display to be as powerful as possible but since the ultimate goal is to sell there are times when the whole composition will benefit from a word or two. Or perhaps a brand name or logo positioned somewhere. In fact, there are times when the omission of the brand name would be sheer idiocy. Take, for instance, a series of window displays interpreting a new fragrance. Such a display would make no marketing sense without the name of the brand somewhere visible.But in most cases, unless you have a really good idea for a sign, leave it out. As a comparative, advertisements sometimes include a tag line or slogan. Today the rule is, unless the tag line is spectacular leave it out! Like a bad haircut or botched plastic surgery, a mediocre tag line will do more harm than good. Many advertisers don’t understand this. “What’s our slogan for this campaign?”, they think they have to have a slogan -not true. ... The moral of the story, use signage, ( Link to Shoppetalk to Buy! ).
Foliage, flowers, ribbon, a velvet pillow, rusty steel, a wicker basket... in the display profession, props such as these are called “trim.” Older dictionaries give a definition of trim as a, “decorative addition.”In fact, it might interest you to know that for decades, a display artist in the apparel industry was called a “trimmer.” In the main, trimmers worked with wires instead of mannequins, making clothes appear to hang, float or fly in mid air as if by magic. They habitually added in decorative additions such as dried foliage, flowers, ribbon, and all manner of things to tell a story.
Picture courtesy of Cloud Nine Pyjamas ..… Robyn hand made all the butterflies . Nice Trim!
Send me pictures of your window displays. Best Barbara
Reward employees with time to think, while providing them with the structure they need.
Thank Soren Kaplan for this great article on creating a culture of innovation...
Be Intentional With Your Innovation Intent
Create a structure for unstructured time
Step-In, Then Step Back
Measure What’s Meaningful
Give "Worthless" Rewards
Every organization is designed to get the results it gets. Poor performance comes from a poorly designed organization. Superior results emerge when strategies, business models, structure, processes, technologies, tools, and reward systems fire on all cylinders in symphonic unison.Savvy leaders shape the culture of their company to drive innovation. They know that it’s culture--the values, norms, unconscious messages, and subtle behaviors of leaders and employees--that often limits performance. These invisible forces are responsible for the fact that 70% of all organizational change efforts fail. The trick? Design the interplay between the company’s explicit strategies with the ways people actually relate to one another and to the organization ...Link To Whole Article
No Rubber Stamps:
Every company’s culture is inherently different. So when you’re cultivating innovation, you’re cultivating a unique system. Which means you have to be thoughtful about your approach. Whatever you do, it should align with the values of the company and with the company’s goals. And in each case, you have to make it easy and rewarding for the people whose roles and dynamics influence the very innovation culture you’re trying to cultivate.Share your story of ways you have created a culture of innovation !Look forward to hearing from you.
When Buyers Are Ready To Buy,They Will Tell You. But Not With Words ...
They will, however, send loud non-verbal signals All you need to do is be able to read them! ...
When customers come into your sights, whether it is a retail store, at an exhibition or in any other environment, they will be sending you signals.
The Signals That They Send Will Include:
I am just wandering around with no real interest in products and intention to buy.
I am interested in this product, but am not currently anxious to buy.
I am very interested in this and might well buy it if you can answer a few questions.
I want to buy this, now!
When They Are Not Ready To Buy:
When a customer is not ready to buy, it does not mean that they will not buy, but it does mean that you will need a different approach. Do remember also that if there are many customers around, spending a lot of effort selling to one customer may mean that you miss out on a lot of other easier sales.
Avoiding Eye Contact With You:
When you look at them and they immediately look away, they probably do not need assistance right at this moment. Do watch what they are doing, because they may need some help soon.If they are handling a limited range of products, spending time looking at things, then it may be a good idea to stand nearby, relaxed and ready to help (not anxious and ready to pounce). When they look at you with a longer glance, move toward them. If they keep looking, keep moving in and start the sale.
Making 'Not Now' Excuses:
If they say 'just looking' or otherwise indicate that they don't need help, then make an encouraging remark to keep them looking and back off. Still keep an eye on them to see if their demeanour changes.
Casual Handling Of The Product:
If they are casually picking up different products and dropping them back, perhaps not tidily, it can be a big nuisance for you as you tidy up after them (when they have left) but this may well be a symbol of a bored browser. As ever, keep an eye on them so you can move in when they change how they are behaving.
Looking At Many Different Products:
If they are wandering around looking at almost random products, spending a similar short time on each one, then they may again be a relatively bored browser.
Moving Around Quickly:
When they are moving quite quickly around the place, they may be scanning for something or may be wandering. If they slow down, watch more carefully and move in when they are showing more signs of interest.
When They Are Ready To Buy:
When the person is ready to buy, or at least they are showing some interest, then you should also be ready to pick them up and move them towards the final close.
Spending Time Looking At One Product Type:
When they are looking at one type of product, and especially if you have a broad range from which they are browsing only a small category, then they may well be interested in buying. Perhaps they need advice, so ask if you can help them decide.The longer a person looks at one product type, the more likely they are to buy it. They are investing their time, which is a sure sign of interest.
Looking Around For Somebody To Help Them:
If you see them looking around, catch their gaze, and perhaps raise your eyebrows a little to signal that you are ready to help. If they sustain the glance or raise their eyebrows too, move in to sell.This is particularly significant if they are holding the product or have just spend time looking at a limited product range.
Asking Questions About The Detail:
If, when you offer help, they get into more detail about the product, then they are likely to be becoming more interested.If they ask about the functionality of the product, they may well have a checklist of things they are seeking, so ask for details of what they are seeking. You can also ask more about how they will use the product, from which you can advice on the best buy for them.
Asking About Price:
This is a good buying signal. You can tell them the price or you can ask how much they are looking to spend today. If they tell you, then you can help them find the best value for the money they have to spend.
Using Possession Language:
When they pick up the product, they are getting a sense of owning it. This continues when they talk about how they will use the product -- which is a good reason for encourage this talk. Look for 'I' language. Get them to use it. Ask how they will use it. You can even talk about it as if they already own it, although be careful of being unsubtle and pushy.
Asking Another Person’s Opinion:
When they ask another person what they think about the product, they are likely thinking about buying the product and are seeking confirmation.You might thus find yourself selling it to the second person also. Think about this when you are making the initial sale -- include whoever else is there in the sales talking, though do watch for whether the main seller wants to be the main focus or appreciates others being included.
Body State Changes:
Any transition in non-verbal communication will typically signal a change in mental state that may well indicate readiness to buy. If they suddenly relax after asking questions or discussing the product, this may well signal that they have changed mental state. Other signals includes changes in body position, gesture, skin tone, style of talk and so on.
Touching The Money:
If they touch their wallet or purse and especially if they get out cash or credit card, this is a very strong signal for you. Get to them and ask if you can help. If they say they want to buy, just take their money (and do beware of 'un-selling' the product by your over-zealous and non-needed sales patter). Great info! Share this with your staff it's all part of improving their skills and knowledge on "How To Sell more Effectively ". Need Sales Training for Your Staff? Contact me today!
24 Ways To Market Your Brand, Company, Product, or Service Inside FaceBook
A large and growing portion of some of the most valuable demographics are spending more of their time and attention on Facebook and less on other social media channels.
Not only are college students and teenagers fully engaged in Facebook, but adults, professionals, and people from around the world now constitute a substantial portion of the Facebook userbase as well. Most marketers lack a comprehensive understanding of the vast array of explicit and implicit marketing channels Facebook offers – most of which are viral.
The goal here is to provide an introduction to what’s possible on Facebook to the spectrum of marketers from brand advertisers to volunteer grassroots evangelists.
Facebook offers many ways to get the word out and bring the people in.
Here’s how to get started. See link to complete article