This article originally appeared in the September 2015 edition of INVISION.
Mentally Kidnap a Customer
➤ Here’s a powerful way to determine the strength of your store identity from merchandising guru Andrea Hill. If you kidnapped a client, blindfolded him, drove him to your store, and removed the blindfold once you were inside, would he know know instantly that he was in your store and not some random Eyewear Express?
Time For a Logo Refresh?
➤ Today, we want you to stare at your business’s logo for a few minutes. After you’re done, go to invmag.us/greatlogos and browse through the logos there. Feeling envious? Your logo is one of your most important branding tools. If you’re not happy with your logo, take the first step toward rebranding your business with the help of a designer right away.
Showcase a Designer
➤ Feature an eyewear designer, vendor or brand each week with a photo and bio or description, and display it on an easel near the entrance. It’s a traffic-builder, says retail consultant Rick Segel. Place a smaller version near the designer’s product, too.
Put Your Windows To Work
➤ If any business ought to have eye-catching windows, an optometry office should. Dr. Joshua Woodland of The Woodland Eye Clinic had a local sign company install these perforated vinyl graphics at his Dyersville, IA, office. Before the installation, either the sun roasted his office or they had to shut the blinds, which made the office looked closed. Now, the graphics reduce sun glare and heat exposure, which also cuts utility bills. “From the outside, all you can see is the image on the window,” he reports. “From the inside, you can see perfectly through it, similar to looking through a tinted window.” And as Daniel Feldman of dba Communications wrote in a post about the graphics on invisionmag.com, “They protect the eyes of his staff and patients from the blinding sun, and they also promote his practice rain or shine.” The cost? About $350 per window group. Feldman noted at Luxury Eyewear Forum on Facebook that eyecare product vendors can often help with projects like these.
Gauge Your Risk and Let It Fly
➤ Great quote that’s easy to get lodged in your head and good to have stuck in there. “If the risks are low, fear must go.” What it means is ... don’t obsess about every decision. Ask yourself: Is this action low-risk? If the answer is “yes,” and you think the action might work, go for it 100 percent and don’t look back. If it doesn’t work, try something else.
Get Inspired by In-Flight Videos
➤ Want a lesson in making dull material not merely palatable, but truly entertaining? Look to Delta Airlines, which has been creating in-flight safety videos filled with gags that hold viewers’ attention. The company’s most recent video, packed with Internet memes like “Double Rainbow Guy,” “Roomba Cat” and the “Charlie Bit My Finger” kids, has racked up nearly 10 million views since its May release. Think about that: 10 million people, watching a safety video. Check it out at invmag.us/delta. Then ask yourself: Could your business try a similar approach with some of your patient education material?
Creatively Package Gift Certificates
➤ Optician Charlie Blankenship of Spectacle Shoppe in Saint Paul, MN, says he “cringes” when someone comes in to buy sunglasses as a gift. Too often the purchaser makes a wrong choice, resulting in either a return or a disappointed customer. On the other hand, gift certificates often don’t have the impact of a true gift. Blankenship’s solution: give his store’s gift certificates a makeover, making them look like an actual pair of sunglasses (see photo at left), enclosed in a designer case complete with cleaner, cloth and shopping bag.